Born at Kilmarnock, Scotland in 1880. Emigrated to South Australia in 1912 as a qualified Master Grocer. In 1920, after a year with W.J.Davies in a smallgoods shop in the Central Market, he was given the opportunity to take over the business. It was not long before his flair for merchandising encouraged him to expand. Thus began the Central Provision Stores to become known as ‘The White Stores of Quality’, prominent in Adelaide until the late 1940’s.
The headquarters and each new shop was painted a dazzling white and kept that way with elbow grease and frequent applications of fresh paint.
Robert lived with his mother and sister in First Ave. Joslin. He remained a batchelor all his life and on his death in 1943, there were 40 Central Provision Stores in Adelaide and suburbs including four at Glenelg. He left a substantial legacy to his sister, his sole remaining relative, and made bequests to every member of his staff who had been with him for more that five years. The residue of his estate was bequeathed to the Adelaide Children’s Hospital and Minda Homes in equal parts. A charitable Trust was set up to administer the substantial funds that became available as the businesses were sold. The Rogerson Building at Minda Homes at Brighton, and the Rogerson Building, the latest addition to the Children’s hospital on Sir Edwin Smith Ave., are fitting memorials to this great philanthropist.
(A book on the life of Robert Rogerson is in the Trust’s Library)
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