Woolf Aron – Ze’ev ben Moshe Ha’Cohen z’l
זאב בן משה הכהן
Woolf’s life was expanded across three continents: Europe, Africa, and Australia.
He was born in Riga, Latvia. At the tender age of thirteen and one day, travelling alone, he boarded a liner (steerage) that took him to Cape Town, South Africa.
Woolf had a very pleasant voice and was requested to sing in the dining room of the First-Class Salon. It was his first experience of how pleasant life could be if one had the where-with-all and promised himself that he would achieve a similar lifestyle.
In the 1930’s, South Africa was still a very English Colony. His name was actually spelt “Vulf” on his travel documents, however the immigration officer stamped and registered it as Woolf. So began his life as Woolf.
Eventually moving to Johannesburg, at the age of 16, he was the youngest registered clothing manufacturer in South Africa, beginning with a shirt factory, then graduating to a suit and frock factory.
He predominantly manufactured tailored female wear and also obtained a franchise to manufacture Catalina Swimwear from California.
He was elected Chairman of the Clothing Manufactures of the Transvaal and also served a record length term as President of the National Clothing Federation of South Africa. In addition, he was appointed as a Justice of the Peace and served as a chairman of clothing industry industrial tribunals for many years.
He was a judge of the Exhibition Hall at the Rand Easter Show and was elected as a Vice President of the Witwatersrand Agricultural Society, the organising body of the annual show.
Woolf was well known for his outgoing and engaging personality and had many friends, amongst whom was the maternal grandfather of his future son-in law (Paul Gross).
When a lot of clothing manufacture moved from South Africa to China, Woolf focused his business interests on household goods and acquired various agencies for household items such as Duralex (toughened glassware) from France and Rubbermaid Kitchen Products from the U.S.
On retirement he moved to Sydney. Being civic minded he joined Rotary International (as he had done in South Africa) and was diligent in attending Central Synagogue in Bondi Junction.
Woolf z’l is much loved and missed by family and friends.
יהי זיכרו ברוך
Written by Beryl Aron