The fourth generation was there to pick up the award, while the third was overseas. The fifth was likely just contemplating the next feeding time.
The 112-year-old Dawson’s Garden World was one of two companies inducted into the Family Business Australia WA Hall of Fame yesterday.
Charlie Dawson accepted the recognition on behalf of father Ian, who has managed the Forrestfield-based business for more than 40 years.
Dawson’s has four retail outlets in the metropolitan area. The chains offer plant stock, seeds and garden supplies.
Charlie Dawson said the advent of water restrictions and the growing dominance of Bunnings stores tested the business.
“A lot of local small nurseries went out of business, unfortunately,” he said, when wholesalers began exclusively supplying Bunnings.
“We were lucky we had our own plants down the back in our nursery so that got us through those really hard times.”
The other inductee was the Biernat family’s Freedom Pool and Spas, a 41-year-old business which began its existence selling water tanks in the Wheatbelt town of Narrogin.
The company moved into manufacturing pools and in 1984 Bob and Rona Biernat moved the business to Perth. Freedom then began exporting pools and expanded into the Eastern States.