History of West Australia/William Mumme

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William Mumme HOFWA.jpg
Photo by
Greenham & Evans.

THE evolutionary ideal of pure altruism has not yet reconciled itself to the world of commerce. From the satiety of "commercial egoism" flows a subsequent and secondary spirit of philanthropy. In the race for life there are many "watery kindnesses." The zeal and zest of each individual's energy is awakened and quickened to the consideration of the narrow region of self, and by very slow degrees to the region of not-self.

In reviewing the several stages of the life of pioneers, we cannot but take into consideration the many hardships and difficulties of their lot. William Mumme is a living proof of the theory that the universe of commerce demands rigid laws of her own. Till these are obeyed there is no high-water mark of success. Mr. Mumme was born in Hamburg in 1838. He left school at an early age, and became engaged in a brewery in Wohldorf, near Hamburg. He subsequently transferred his services to the Poppenbuttel Brewery. After acquiring complete knowledge of the art of brewing, he resolved to go to a field where there would be sufficient scope for his energies. In 1857 he sailed to South Australia, and found employment at Mount Gambier. He remained at that pretty town for twelve years, and gave the greatest satisfaction to his employer by the skilful way in which he pursued his business. He had in that period reaped a knowledge of colonial brewing, and was now ready to embark on an enterprise of his own.

He started business for himself in Albany in 1869, but found many difficulties barring the door to success. Leaving there, he entered Perth in 1872, and established the Stanley Brewing Company, with Mr. J. M. Ferguson as his partner—a tolerably successful venture. The formation of the Swan Brewery was Mr. Mumme's next achievement, and again Mr. Ferguson was his partner. For fourteen years he was manager and during that period the growth of the business was enormous and rapid. Partnership, however, was dissolved, and Mr. Mumme floated the Stanley Brewing Company, Limited. He purchased the Stanley Brewery from John Johns, who had taken it over on the expiry of Harwood and Smith's lease. The capital obtained was £6,500, made up of £1 shares. This company has been exceptionally successful, and the directors are T. F. Quinlan, J P.; H. Sherwood, and J. C. Foster.

Mr. Mumme is social, and esteemed by all who know him. He is a keen sportsman, having a perfect enthusiasm for yachting. He is a Freemason, and a member of Tattersall's Club. The characteristic temperament of his nationality, namely, the slow response to stimuli, is not his. He has directly and indirectly been a large employer of labour in Perth. His years of toil are rewarded, and he may devote himself to the higher ideal of altruism.