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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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Claude Charlick

c. 1961
Sir Ivor Hele

oil on masonite (frame: 102.0 cm x 87.0 cm, support: 76.5 cm x 61 cm)

Claude Charlick (life dates unknown), businessman, was managing director of the Adelaide firm Charlick Ltd for nearly forty years. Claude was the grandson of Richard Charlick, who after arriving in Adelaide from England in 1849 established a retail fruit business in the city in the 1850s. Richard’s sons William (Claude’s father) and Frederick Charlick in 1881 founded the firm of Charlick Brothers, which conducted a large fruit, vegetable and grocery business at the East End Market, with branches in Mount Gambier and Melbourne. In 1902 the pair split the business; William concentrated on the produce trade. William was hotly active in the affairs of the Church of Christ, as were other family members; in recognition of their assistance to Kings College, that institution named one of their Flinders Street properties Charlick House. In 1902 William became involved in the produce and potato trades; a year later he succeeded in having a Private Bill introduced into Parliament seeking authorisation to establish the Adelaide Fruit and Produce Exchange. The Bill was passed; the gateway to the Adelaide Fruit and Produce Co, bearing the inscription ‘The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof’, can still be seen on Grenfell Street (with the exception of its elaborate façade, the market has now made way for apartments). William Charlick founded the South Australian Cold Stores in 1904 and in the same year established William Charlick Limited, with a total capital of $4 000. When he died in 1926, at the age of 68, the task of building the business fell to Claude Charlick, who was managed Charlick Ltd from 1923 to 1966. With Claude Charlick at the helm, the Charlick empire grew exponentially, though at one stage Charlick had to sell his home to raise funds and call upon the loyalty of employees in order for the company to survive. By 1978 the original capital net worth of the company had increased 2 500 times. Several other Charlicks were involved in the business; Maggie Beer’s second Adelaide restaurant was named in the family’s honour. Claude Charlick’s uncle Henry Charlick was Chess Champion of Australasia, won the annual South Australian Championship thirty consecutive times, invented the Charlick Centre Gambit, and wrote a chess column in the Adelaide Observer for many years.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Gladys Lock née Charlick 2012
© Estate of Ivor Hele

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Sir Ivor Hele (age 49 in 1961)

Claude Charlick

Subject professions

Business, trades and industry

Donated by

Gladys Lock (1 portrait)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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