Fletcher's 70th birthday

On the 11th of August 1965, Fletcher had a legendary 70th birthday party and from these photos, it looked like much fun was had by all!   At one of the morning teas we held as part of the FJ Stories project, Wilma Williams brought along the lyrics to a song that staff wrote and sang for FJ on his 70th birthday.  All the people at the morning tea sang it for us to the tune of Davey Crockett.  It was very funny and very sweet.  

I think what you see in all the stories we received about Fletcher and in these photos and the song and that people have kept all these bits of memorabilia .....what you see is just how much people at FJ's loved Fletcher.  And you also get a sense of the joy and fun he had in life and with people.  



Written for the occasion of ‘Fletcher Jones’ 70th Birthday Party

Born in Bendigo in ’95,

Son of a man who was so alive.

Sam the blacksmith a man so true,

He gave us David Fletcher, the leader of the crew.

Fletcher, Fletcher Jones was born in Bendigo.


Farming tomatoes when he was a lad,

Experienced years both good and bad.

Hoeing rows with Darb his pal,

But fortune his way never fell.

Fletcher, Fletcher Jones, loved to till the soil.


Came the time to leave the farms,

He answered his country’s call to arms.

He sailed away ‘midst cheers and bands,

To carry Aussies’ flag in foreign lands,

Fletcher, Fletcher Jones in the 14-18 war.


Back in Australia as a TPI,

But he wouldn’t be that kind of a guy.

Said he’d rather starve anyday,

Rather than live on sustenance pay.

Fletcher, Fletcher Jones, would not join the queue.


‘Twas 1918 when he got his start,

He set himself up with a horse and a cart,

Selling an apron, pant or sock,

He got as far as Skipton by eating his stock,

Fletcher, Fletcher Jones, he battled on this way.


Sales picked up and then in a while,

He drove into Warrnambool with a smile,

Decided here that he would stop.

He founded a business which he called the man’s shop.

Fletcher, Fletcher Jones, the man of quality.


In 46 he got itchy feet,

He opened a store in Collins Street,

People queued up in their scores,

To swing in and out of those famous doors,

Fletcher, Fletcher Jones, returned to Melbourne town.


In 48, then with a will,

He founded this plant called Pleasant Hill,

We realise now he was no fool,

He established the city of Warrnambool.

Fletcher, Fletcher Jones, King of the Trouser Trade.


We appreciate your struggles thru sweat and tears,

The anguish and triumphs during seventy years.

Happy birthday, and may God bless.

We hope the years ahead of you will be filled with happiness. 

Happy, Happy Birthday, to you from all of us. 





Dancing with the cake, Maurice Bennoun and unknown piper.  Photo: Alex Wilkins
Fletcher cutting the cake with his daughter in law - Isobel Jones. Photo: Alex Wilkins. Shared by Yola Bennoun
Maurice Bennoun holding the birthday cake above his head.  Maurice was the French chef in the FJ canteen.  Photo: shared by Yola Bennoun.
At the party.  Photo: Alex Wilkins.
Placing the cake.  On the right, next to the piper is Chic Phillips.   Photo: Alex Wilkins. Shared by Yola Bennoun.
At the party.  Photo: Alex Wilkins.
The 70th birthday song - shared by Wilma Williams

Become a Part of the Fletcher Jones Story.

If you would like to share images, stories or anecdotes about Fletcher Jones, the man or the business, please contact the Project Coordinator, Julie Eagles, through this website or contact via the Save the Silver Ball and Fletcher’s Gardens Facebook Page.  

We'd also love your feedback about our website and your favourite stories.  You can also let us know if you think we've got anything wrong, misspelt or left out.