H.V. McKay's Influence

H. V. McKay Photo 01.jpg

Since the time H.V. McKay won the tender and purchased the Braybrook Implement Company and the surrounding 16 acres of land at Braybrook Junction, the area changed forever.

H.V. McKay won the tender in 1904 and between 1906 and 1907 he moved his entire Ballarat business to Braybrook Junction which included machinery and materials. He also moved about 200 employees and many of these employees & their families found accommodation in nearby Footscray.

In 1906 he brought 276 acres of land from a local grazier that stretched from Ballarat Rd in the north to the Kororoit Creek in the south and west. He then became a property developer and subdivided and sold many parcels of this land and houses to his employees. He wanted the area to become a "Garden City" where his employees could work, live and enjoy life.

In 1907 Braybrook Junction was renamed to Sunshine after the Sunshine Harvester Works.

The Sunshine Harvester Works became the largest industrial manufacturing site in the southern hemisphere and over the years it has employed many thousands of employees from the local and nearby districts.

The factory provided a social life for his employees and family outside work including picnics, concerts, fetes, sporting clubs, social clubs, etc.

McKay established essential Infrastructure for the community including the Presbyterian Church, parks & sports grounds, public buildings and electric street lights. His workers maintained the Sunshine Gardens for many years. His employees raised funds for a Mechanics' Institute.

 

McKay sold land to the Education Department that allowed the Sunshine State School to expand. In 1913 he offered the land and money towards a technical college to be established. In future years many of his workers did their apprenticeships there.

Names of localities in the area that can be contributed to his influence include;

 

H.V. McKay Memorial Gardens

McKay St

Talmage St 

Selwyn Park named after his first son Hubert Selwyn McKay.

He was the patron of many of the local clubs and his name can be found on many honour boards.

Even in 2000's his influence was still being felt in the district when the new Sunshine Harvester Technical College and Sunshine Harvester Primary School opened.