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Christmas, Harold Percival (Percy) (1884–1947)

Mr. Harold P. Christmas, who was one of the founders of Woolworths Limited, and until recently its managing director, died suddenly yesterday at a hotel in Bordeaux, France.

Accompanied by his wife and daughter, Margaret, and a brother, Mr. Cecil Christmas, of Woolworths, Brisbane, he left Sydney on the Orient liner Orion on April 12.

His other daughter and son are Mrs. John Goodall and Mr. George Christmas, both of Sydney.

Mr. Christmas, who was 63, is to be cremated in London.

Mr. Christmas was born at Kiama, where his father was a bank officer, and was educated at the Sydney Church of England Grammar School.

As a young man he entered business in York Street.

In the early 'twenties, Mr. Christmas, with others, founded Woolworths Limited, Sydney, a chain store business whose growth was destined to be phenomenal.

Woolworths first store was opened in the city on December 4, 1924; the company having an original paid-up capital of £10,000.

To-day, Woolworths has 101 stores throughout Australia and New Zealand, and the total paid-up capital of the controlling company, Woolworths Limited, is £1,670,000.

In addition, the total paid-up capital of Woolworths Properties Limited is about £605,000; of Woolworths (New Zealand) Limited about £700,000; and of Woolworths (West Australia) Limited about £115,000.

Mr. Christmas was the managing director of the company from its inception in 1924 until he retired from that position in 1945. Since then he had continued as a member of its board of directors.

During the war, Mr. Christmas was the controller of the New South Wales division of the Australian Services Canteen Board.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • probate, West Australian, 27 September 1947, p 9

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Christmas, Harold Percival (Percy) (1884–1947)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 9 February 2023.

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