After reflecting on the past few weeks’ tales about John Swannell, I decided he would be dealt a great injustice if I omitted details relating to a remarkable outcome as a result of his settling Lake Rowan and nearby St James.Continuing our recent historical accounts regarding John Swannell, it is essential to provide additional insight into his remarkable role in the foundation of early Victoria. With the establishment of Lake Rowan and the neighbouring St. James, George Coles Snr chose this region as the home for his growing family, which includes 10 children, and his store.
Due to the failure of the railway line to travel through Lake Rowan, the township suffered with an exodus of businesses heading towards the new station at St James. George’s eldest son, George Jnr. bought the family shop from his father in 1910. This was the start of something special for Australian retail shopping. Four years later, he and two of his brothers opened a shop in Collingwood, and the rest is history. Coles Group has grown to a diverse public company which includes over 800 supermarkets, over 700 Express outlets, nearly 900 liquor stores and more.
From humble beginnings that started with the man from Myrniong, John Swannell and his determined vision.