Great granddaughter of Garlicks' founder shares info PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 24 May 2016 08:42
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Sherry Garlick Stanton from California, USA is researching the life of her great grandfather, John Garlick, the founder of the Garlicks store. On The Bronberger’s website, she came across an article about old Pretoria’s shops and shopkeepers and shares further information about the relationship between John Garlick and William Millar.

Sherry Garlick Stanton

I came across your interesting article ‘Karakters op ‘n kruising: Stories oor Ou Pretoria se winkeliers’, published in June 2015, on Pretoria’s shopkeepers some time back. You have produced a fascinating account of old Pretoria’s stores – well done.

I am researching the life of my great grandfather, John Garlick, going through all his business records at the University of Cape Town’s Special Collections Library and elsewhere. The relationships Garlick forged with all his employees and particularly with his wholesale stores, as they were all called then, are well documented in letters in the collection: BC292 Jagger Library.

John Garlick
Photo from Find A Grave, posted by Sherry Garlick Stanton

I would like to point out some inaccuracies I found in your article: William Millar didn’t leave Garlick in 1882 – he was still on the list of employees for John Garlick in 1885. I have a photo of a letter written in June 1885 signed by his staff members, one of whom is Millar.

The partnership between Hobbs and Millar broke up at the end of 1891 – letters between Hobbs and Garlick, and Millar and Garlick confirm that the two had differences of opinion with growing incompatibility of temperament. In 1892 the name Hobbs on the letterhead stationery was scratched out.

The letter written to John Garlick in June 1885 was signed by his staff members, one of whom is William Millar
Source: Sherry Garlick Stanton

The business relationship between Millar and Garlick began long before 1905. The only way that Millar was able to start a business in Pretoria was with loans from Garlick, so the business relationship really began when Millar opened his store in Pretoria. The earliest correspondences with Hobbs, Millar & Co are letters in early 1886 about orders for the store from Garlicks' London agents, Hollingsworth and Matthews.

From my research, Millar did not break off the relationship with Garlick prior to when he (Millar) retired from the business in 1921. I was in Cape Town in February this year and found a lovely 1921 letter from Millar to Garlick saying farewell and thanks for the years of friendship and service.

Garlicks in later years
Photo: Universiteit van Pretoria, Biblioteekdienste

As far as the information about Garlick is concerned, it is mostly accurate given the many years that are condensed into the brief summary. He was a member of the Legislative Council for one year only, 1903. Between 1904 and 1908 he was a member of House of Assembly in the Cape Parliament.

Garlick imported the first motor car that arrived in Cape Town, but not the first into South Africa. I don’t think he imported the first safety bicycle. He started importing bicycles in 1888 and motor cars in 1898. Garlicks’ Cycle Supply became Garlicks’ Motor and Cycle Supply in 1902. He also started importing Remington Typewriters in 1888 and opened the Remington Typewriter Agency with the associated Remington Business Colleges in all the centers.

A 1921 letter from Millar to Garlick, saying farewell and thanks for years of friendship
Source: Sherry Garlick Stanton

Thanks again for your help and your work on the article on the old stores of Pretoria.

If anyone would like to add to Sherry’s research on the Pretoria branch of Garlicks or would like to know more about William Millar and the early business years, she can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



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