12 Facts About Arthur Coles


Arthur Coles served as Lord Mayor of Melbourne from 1938 to 1940.


In 1946 Arthur Coles was appointed chair of the Australian National Airways Commission, which founded Trans Australia Airlines.


Arthur Coles was born in Geelong, Victoria and educated at the elite private school The Geelong College.


When World War I began, Arthur Coles enlisted as a private, fighting at Gallipoli and on the Western Front in France, and was wounded on three occasions before being commissioned as a lieutenant.


Arthur Coles returned to Australia in 1919 and married Lillian Knight.


Arthur Coles joined with two brothers and an uncle to open a variety store in Collingwood, a working-class suburb of Melbourne.


The family opened a series of new Coles Variety Stores around the country, Arthur moving to Sydney in 1928 to open and manage the first one in New South Wales.


Arthur Coles became Lord Mayor of Melbourne in 1938, remaining in that position until 1940.


Arthur Coles was one of the two independent parliamentarians who held the balance of power through the early years of the Second World War.


In 1944, Arthur Coles retired from business and devoted himself to public works, becoming the chair of both the Commonwealth Rationing Commission and the War Damage Commission.


Arthur Coles was appointed chair of the Melbourne Olympic Games Committee in 1952, and a member of the CSIRO Advisory Council in 1956.


Arthur Coles died in 1982, leaving three sons and three daughters.