Fremantle Stuff > people > Edmond Antoine (1870-1936)
Edmond Antoine was a French wool broker with offices in Cliff Street and then High Street. He owned and operated the Swan Wool Scouring Company for more than a decade, and was President of the Alliance Française for 20 years.
His second wife, Alice Rachel Denise Louise BOIVIN, died in 1932. (West Australian, 2 January 1933). Alice’s father, Eugène Boivin, the brother of Georges Boivin, was 3rd Secretary at the French Embassy in Sydney for many years. (Julie Dyson, personal communication)
The Antoine family photographed in 1926. Standing at the back are Roger, Charles, Jean, Marcel and Edmée. Seated in front are Yvonne, Alice, Edmond and Odette. The photo was taken at Melba Studios, which was at 97-99 High St, the Bousfield building, and I think was Charles Nixon's business.
The West Australian, Tuesday 28 January 1936 p. 12:
M. E. ANTOINE DEAD. Consul for Belgium. M. Edmond Antoine, Consul for Belgium in Western Australia and a prominent woolbuyer, died at his home in Stirling-highway. Cottesloe, yesterday afternoon, after a long illness. He was aged 65 years.
M. Antoine came to Western Australia about 1917 and was later appointed Consul for Belgium. He began as a wool buyer on his own account soon after his arrival in the State, and when the firm of Kreglinger and Ferneau, woolbuyers, bought the Swan Wool Scouring Company of W.A., Ltd., about 1920, was appointed the local director. In 1924, Kreglinger and Ferneau ceased business in Western Australia and M. Antoine bought the Swan Wool Scouring Company from them and was managing director until his death. He was president of the Alliance Française for a number of years. M. Antoine was twice married. He left a widow, and seven children by his first wife. The funeral will take place at the Karrakatta cemetery tomorrow morning.
Cernay, the Antoine house in Stirling Highway (then 196 Claremont Avenue) Claremont, in 1923 - demolished 1956. There's now a block of flats on the site: Brookwood Flats, 396 Stirling Highway - where Jillian Brewer was killed by Eric Cooke in 1961. There is a family connexion: Edmond Antoine's grandson, Bret Christian, wrote a book containing full information about the Brewer murder, including mention of Cernay.
The Antoine family in their Minerva, c. 1922. The driver is the eldest son, Jean. His father Edmond is next to him. Alice is in the rear in black, with hat. [Minerva was a Belgian firm active from 1902 to 1938 which was a prominent manufacturer of luxury automobiles. The company became defunct in 1956. Wikipedia.]
The West Australian, Thursday 30 January 1936, p. 12:
THE LATE M. ANTOINE.
The funeral took place yesterday of the late M. Edmond Antoine, Consul for Belgium in Western Australia, managing director of the Swan Wool Scouring Company of W.A., Ltd, and president of the Alliance Francaise, who died at his residence, Cernay, 196 Stirling-highway, Cottesloe, on Monday afternoon. A Requiem Mass was celebrated at the Star ol the Sea Church, Stirling-highway, Cottesloe, at 9 o'clock, at which the Rev. Father Placid Sesma was the celebrant. At the conclusion of the mass the cortege proceeded to the Karrakatta cemetery, where the remains were interred in the Roman Catholic portion. The Rev. Father Placid Sesma officiated at the graveside, assisted by the Rev. Father Masterson, of Claremont. M. Antoine was born at Cernay, Rheims, France, and came to Australia about 46 years ago. He was then employed by Messrs Picard-Goulet Fils, of Tourcoing, France, to whose Sydney branch he was sent out as junior buyer. He received his early training in the wool trade on the Continent. After 10 years in Sydney he became representative for the same firm in Melbourne, and later developed a business on his own account as representative buyer for French and Belgian firms. He came to Western Australia about 19 years ago and commenced business on his own account. Throughout the Government Wool Appraisement Scheme he was the official repacker at Fremantle. Soon after the Government Wool Scheme had finished he was appointed manager to Messrs Kreglinger and Ferman, Ltd., who had purchased the Swan Wool Scouring Company at North Fremantle. He later took over the interests of Messrs Kreglinger and Fernau, and was managing director of the company until the time of his death. M. Antoine had been consul for Belgium almost the whole time he had been in Western Australia, and had occupied the position of president of the Alliance Francaise for many years. He was awarded the order of Chef de l'Instruction by the French Government for French educational services rendered in Australia. He leaves a widow and grown family to mourn their loss.
Consul for Belgium since 1925. Mng Dir. The Swan Wool Scouring Company of W.A. Ltd., Wool Scourers and Wool Buyers. Est. 1917. Address: 15 High St. Fremantle. W.A. Pres, the W.A. Wool Buyers Assoc. 1923-24: Vice-Pres. W.A. Wool Buyers’ Assoc 1927-28-29; Pres. Alliance Française. Born: Rheims France. Nov., 1870. Son of Jean Baptiste and Antoinette (née Richart) Antoine, both of France. Educated: Christian Brothers’ College, Rheims, France. Joined Picard-Goulet Fils at Rheims, France, 1889. Went to Sydney in 1891 as Asst. Wool Buyer; was appointed Representative in Melbourne 1898. In 1909 began business on own account an Wool Buyer In Melbourne, and in 1916 opened a branch at Fremantle. In 1918 joined Swan Wool Scouring Company of W.A Ltd. as Mng. Dir. and Chairman of Dirs. Relinquished own business 1920 and took over management of Kreglinger, Fernau Ltd.: in 1926 purchased their interests in Swan Wool Scouring Co. Married: Alice Rachel Denise Louise Boivin, eldest daughter of Eugene Boivin, of Paris. Issue: Four sons and three daughters. Club: Royal Automobile. Creed: Roman Catholic. Home address: "Cernay," 196 Claremont Ave., Claremont, W.A.
Grateful acknowledgements to Julie Dyson, the granddaughter of Edmond Antoine, for the information above, including all of the images.
See also my page on a different website for her great-uncle Georges Boivin, one of Australia's very earliest cinematographers.
Christian, Bret, 2013, Presumed Guilty, Hardie Grant Books, Melbourne.
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