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Arthur Dudley Hayward (1874–1953)

Mr. Arthur Dudley Hayward, who died late last night, at the age of 79 was one of Adelaide's most highly esteemed businessmen. As chairman of directors of John Martin and Co. Ltd. for the past 28 years. Mr. Hayward had a leading part in the State's commercial life.

He contributed in large measure to the development of John Martin's. His own association with the enterprise extended over more than half a century and covered the period of its greatest expansion.

Though now a public company, John Martin's is still generally regarded as one of the old family institutions of South Australia. The late Mr. Hayward did much to preserve this distinctive feature, and at the same time maintain the ''Big Store's" close ties with the wider community during its years of progress.

The Hayward family has roots extending back to the very early days of the State. A member of the third generation in South Australia, Arthur Dudley Hayward was born at College Park on May 16, 1874, the third son of Edward W. and Pauline Hayward. His grandmother. Mrs. Charles Giles, had arrived here in the Recovery in 1839.

Educated at St. Peter's College, Dudley Hayward, as he came to be known to the wide circle of his friends, distinguished himself in the school's sporting life. He captained the SPSC cricket team at the time the late Clem Hill, afterwards one of Australia's greatest left handed batsmen, was beginning to show his prowess.

Dudley Hayward at his prime in school cricket opened the SPSC batting and bowling averages. He also represented the school at football.

On leaving school, he went to England to learn the drapery and retail trade, joining the firm of Gorringes in 1891.

By this time, the little drapery store opened at 94 Rundle street, city, in 1866 by Messrs. Peters and Martin, had grown into a limited liability company. Mr. A. D. Hayward joined John Martin & Co. Ltd. in London, remaining there until 1897, when he returned to join his father and brother on the board of the company in Adelaide.

Two years later he married Mary Pagan, of Grantown on Spey, Scotland.

The turn of the century marked major advances in what was then coming to be recognised as one of the State's leading family enterprises.

In 1901, the company's Rundle street premises were destroyed by a spectacular fire. Big decisions on rebuilding and other matters had to be made. In the absence of his father and brother overseas, the 27-year-old Mr. A. D. Hayward had been left in charge of the business. On him fell most of the responsibility for the reorganisation of the establishment and the shaping of the firm's future policy.

It is a testimony to the soundness of his decisions that the policy then laid down was followed in the ensuing half-century of growth and progress. The three storey building erected after the fire was one of the city's chief landmarks for a long period.

Travelling extensively in Europe and North America, Mr. Hayward kept well abreast of advances in merchandising methods and practices affecting the well being of his firm. Becoming chairman of the company when his brother F. E. Hayward retired in 1925, he continued to guide the expansion of the enterprise. During his most active association with the company, more land was bought in Rundle street and North terrace.

The State's emergence from the depression in the early '30's' was the signal for a further progressive move by John Martin's. The rebuilding of the Rundle street store was begun in 1933 and completed three years later at an approximate cost of £350,000.

This reconstruction made Martin's one of the largest as well as best-known stores in Australia.

Viewed merely as the progress of a firm, this growth was remarkable. But in a special sense it symbolised the whole State's development. Essentially South Australian in character, John Martin's grew with the State, reflected the harmonious industrial relationships in SA through its board and staff, and aimed to give a constantly improving service to the public.

Mr. A. D. Hayward set the firm's course firmly in this direction, and it was very largely due to his leadership that John Martin's played so prominent a part in the State's patriotic activities, welfare organisations and public and charitable appeals.

This public-spiritedness was perhaps most impressively demonstrated in Martin's annual Christmas Pageant—a parade through Adelaide streets which in recent years has aroused an enthusiasm only rivalled by appearances of Royalty.

Mr. Hayward's personal interest in the pageant from its inception was very close and intense. There is no doubt, indeed, that the encouragement he gave this annual re-creation of nursery rhyme and story book characters was a vital factor in raising the pageant to standards of quality which earned it a Commonwealth and world-wide reputation.

Mr. Hayward's influence in these and many other matters, however, was seldom apparent to the public. A man of retiring nature, he avoided publicity.

He had a wide circle of friends and his kindly disposition, humor and wit made him a pleasant companion as well as popular employer. To the staff of John Martin's he was affectionately known for many years as 'The Chief.'

An interstate trade journal recently referred to him as 'The Grand Old Man of the Retail Trade in Australia,' and the Commercial Travellers' Association made him a life member.

Devoting most of his life to his family and business, Mr. Hayward held few public positions, but generously supported good causes and was an ardent worker for patriotic bodies during both world wars. In 1940 he gave strong support to the John Martin queen competition to raise funds for the presentation of drums to the 2/43rd Battalion.

The sporting interests of his youth later found their chief outlet in golf. He was a very early member of the Royal Adelaide Club, joining it some 48 years ago, after having played with Glenelg. In addition, he was a foundation member of the Kooyonga and Mt. Lofty Golf Clubs.

He leaves a widow and two sons— Messrs. I. D. and E. W. Hayward, joint managing directors of John Martin & Co., through whom the family tradition in the firm is being maintained.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • tributes, Mail (Adelaide), 5 December 1953, p 3

Citation details

'Hayward, Arthur Dudley (1874–1953)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 May 2024.

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