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Joseph John Holmes HOFWA.jpg
Photo by
Greenham & Evans.

STURDY independence is a characteristic of the Australian native. A student might discover the explanation in the unlimited opportunities the country affords. No man in the prime of life need be in such penury that he has no hope of obtaining affluence. A little versatility, a strong persistency, leavened with a concentrated direction of effort, will quickly lead him to the goal.

Happily, it is not an unusual circumstance to find an Australian possessing qualities which enable him to reach the top of the commercial and the professional world when competing against those of wider experience from Europe and Great Britain. He is quick in adopting the superior methods which he may observe; he is no conservative.

Mr. J. J. Holmes deserves honourable mention in his work. He is the senior member of the firm of Holmes Brothers, who are known throughout the length and breadth of the colony, and, in addition to this, he represents one of the most important constituencies in Western Australia.

Joseph John Holmes was born at Mandurah, Western Australia, in 1866, and after leaving school followed pastoral and agricultural pursuits for a number of years. This peaceful occupation gave him a splendid insight into the business which he embraced in after years. Leaving the pastoral and agricultural industry, of which he had acquired a thorough knowledge in the Murray district, he went to Fremantle, where he was engaged for seven years in the house of a leading firm in the principal Western Australian port. Having thus had a sound commercial training, he, in conjunction with his brothers—R. H., W. J., and G. D. Holmes—launched the now well-known firm of Holmes Brothers and Co., meat purveyors. This was in 1890, and the success of the brothers was remarkable. When the golden days of prosperity set in for Western Australia in the early nineties, bringing in their train the great influx of Eastern colonists and people from all over the world, the brothers saw their opportunity, and were not slow to grasp it. They opened butchering establishments in the rising suburbs of Perth, and at Coolgardie they were one of tle first to introduce fresh meat—a pleasant relief to the toil-wrung pioneers from the monotonous "tin dog." Their enterprise was extended to all the different centres as they were opened up. Just as Western Australia has made leaps and bounds, so has the firm of Holmes Brothers, and they stand as an example of what foresight and perseverance will do. To Mr. J. J. Holmes has fallen the task of carrying out the financial portion of he firm's work, and he does it skilfully.

In returning Mr. Holmes their representative, the East Fremantle electors in 1897 chose one of solid merit. His large property interests and his personal affection for the colony are sure to guide him in the direction of subserving the true welfare of Western Australia. He has passed a serviceable municipal career, and as representative of the East Ward in the Fremantle Council since 1892 he has left the ratepayers no room for cavil. He has won his way in life through his own efforts. He is shrewd and observant, and ready to assimilate the lessons which experience teaches.