The matriarch of Australia's first family of dental equipment manufacture, Hilda Campbell Green, passed away peacefully on February 17. Together with her late husband, William "Bill" Green, Mrs Green founded William Green Pty Ltd, Australia's only manufacturer of dental units in 1946.
A crowd of family and friends, business associates and current and past employees of the enterprise she started and loved so dearly crowded the East Chapel of the Northern Suburbs Crematorium in Sydney to pay their respects to a grand lady.
Grandsons Stuart and Ryan delivered eulogies celebrating a wonderful life and with it, an insight into a time long past and the successful business enterprise that endures to this day 65 years later.
Mrs Green was born and raised in Sydney to Scottish migrant parents, living at various times in the eastern suburbs and the north shore and sometimes under less than ideal circumstances as the fortunes of her father waxed and waned.
Starting school at Mosman Public School on the lower north shore in 1923 at the age of 6, a young Hilda soon moved across the harbour to the eastern suburbs to reside in Bronte, attending Clovelly Public School. From there, she gained entrance to the prestigious Sydney Girls High at Moore Park, which she attended from 1929 till 1932.
Financial disaster struck the family with the beginning of the great depression however and the family had to move back to the northside to Killara and take in boarders to make ends meet. This meant Hilda's daily commute to Sydney Girls High then involved walking to Killara station, taking a steam train to Kirribilli, crossing the harbour by ferry in the shadow of the still to be completed harbour bridge and then taking a tram!
Upon leaving school, Mrs Green worked in the accounts department at Farmer's for three and a half years and then at Hector MacLean and Associates, a firm of solicitors, auditors and accountants until she married Bill in February, 1942.
The couple were blessed with daughter Frances in 1945 and their son and heir, John, in 1946. This was also the year Hilda and Bill started William Green Dental Manufacturers in a garage at the side of their new house in Willoughby.
The family moved to Lindfield in the early 50s where Mrs Green resided until she was 93.
In the early years of the business, Hilda did the "books" at home but as the business expanded and prospered, she had an office in the new factory at Rydalmere, near Parramatta, where she was much loved and revered.
Hilda was a well respected woman in both her personal and business circles and was immensely proud of her family and the business she and Bill founded. As the saying goes, "behind every successful man is a strong woman" and this definitely sums up Hilda and her role at William Green.
William Green Pty Ltd was founded on the core principles of honesty and hard work. Over the years, the company has recruited, trained and developed a team of highly skilled personnel. Many of whom attended the service. It is testament to the strength of the company that Bill and Hilda built that so many employees have long standing careers with William Green and as a result, the company is synonymous with reliable, dependable and high-performance products and services. William Green Pty Ltd has evolved to be a major supplier of dental units to the Australian Dental Industry.
Hilda was bitten with the travel bug from an early age and part of establishing the business required frequent trips overseas to many an exotic location. One of her all time favourites was Singapore and it was fitting that her final overseas adventure was there... to attend a dental show of course!
Mrs Green often remarked that no woman could be as lucky as she was. She was grateful for all her good fortune, her family, her business and her friends. However, Hilda made her own luck. She was a strong, determined and capable woman. She attributed her vitality to her daily swim - swimming laps in the early morning for 9 months of the year. She said bridge kept her mind sharp and she drove her beloved Lexus until the age of 92.
Mrs Green is succeeded by her daughter Frances and son John, grandchildren Stuart, Peter, Ryan, Simon and Elizabeth and a growing clan of great grandchildren. William Green Pty Ltd continues to manufacture dental units for the domestic and international markets as well as distributing many popular products, notably the Kodak range of x-ray units. Hilda's son, John, is managing director and his sons, Simon and Ryan, hold management roles within the organisation.