Luck Bros

Luck Bros at Devonport began with John Luck, born in 1849 at Longford. An engineer, his career included sawmilling at the Lefroy goldfields, bridge building, and erecting the Table Cape lighthouse and wharves at Devonport. In 1890 he built and operated a flourmill in Devonport, producing international prize-winning rolled oats, flour and baby cereal. His father and two brothers worked with him.

The next generation closed the mill and concentrated on the building industry. They built the Devonport sewerage works, wharves, several coastal schools and hospitals, freezer works, food processing plants, Devonport Technical School, Latrobe nurses' home and Tootal's factory. In 1947 they won the tender to construct prefabricated houses for the Hydro-Electric Commission, and are said to have built over 2000 houses, four a week, each delivered in three sections to Hydro villages throughout the state. Family members were community-minded and filled numerous civic and administrative positions in Devonport.

In 1967 Luck Bros merged with another builder, FH Haines Pty Ltd, begun in 1903 by Frederick Haines. He also owned many sawmills and a brickworks at Railton, and in 1939 opened extensive showrooms and joinery workshops to supply everything required by the building trade, including an innovative advisory service. Luck and Haines was taken over by Gunn's in 1999.

Further reading: C Binks, The story of Devonport, [Devonport], 1981; F Gardam, Shifting sands, Devonport, c 2001.

Faye Gardam