A Dedicated Company Man

Arnott’s, is one of Australia’s best-loved brands and millions of Australians have grown up on Arnott’s Biscuits. Arnott’s is more than a food company; it’s a piece of Newcastle’s history which was once a way of life for one of its former employees.

Barry Wheatley of Kahibah joined Arnotts in 1969 as a salesman and retired twenty-three years ago, however, at 83-years-old he still is a company man spreading the brand name and goodwill of his last employer Arnotts Biscuits as if his own.

Since his retirement he has been guest speaking at over 180 Probus, View Clubs and community groups promoting Arnotts Biscuits, as a guest speaker. This is all at his own expense and even the powers-to-be at Arnotts do not know of one of their greatest assets.

Meeting Barry and his wife of 60 years over a cup of tea served at their kitchen table with Arnotts biscuits of course, was a trip down memory lane. Barry even shared his favourite packet of Mint Slice with me as we reminisced about the good old days, feeding our children with soggy milk arrowroot biscuits because they were full of goodness (we were told) and the names of our favourite biscuits.

I remembered as a little girl visiting the local grocery store at Ingleburn and Mum would buy us the broken biscuits from the tins stored high on the shelves behind the counter. These were a treat as I later discovered were cheaper than the whole biscuit as money was tight in those early 50s.

Story and Images Marilyn Collins.