Three generations of the De Rooze family are celebrating their diamond anniversary in the jewellery business this year.RENEE THOMPSON May 9, 2014 4:00am
Michael De Rooze and his mum, Yvvone De Rooze, out the back of their family business in Hare St, Echuca.
Three generations of the De Rooze family are celebrating their diamond anniversary in the jewellery business this year.
The family-owned business began in Echuca 60 years ago and, while its latest incarnation is at 208 Hare St, it has moved around town a few times.
‘‘The first shop was actually near where Subway is, in that strip of shops there,’’ Michael De Rooze said.
The business was there for about five to six years before moving to the corner of Hare St and Anstruther St, where it remained until about 15 years ago.
In 1950, Michael’s mum Yvonne De Rooze migrated to Australia and was followed by her (late) husband, Fred, eight months later.
Fred and Yvvone married in Sydney and lived there for about three years before moving to Echuca via Shepparton, where they lived for about nine months.
Yvvone said the plan was to get away from their Dutch culture and become more assimilated in Australia.
‘‘We felt we couldn’t get to know the Australian people (in Sydney),’’ she said.
‘‘Then we went to Shepparton and it was worse there, there was a big Dutch population. We wanted to go totally Australian.’’
Fred learnt goldsmithing in Holland and was also taught by a master watchmaker.
‘‘(In Holland) he would get slapped over the ears if he didn’t do it right on Christmas Day,’’ Yvvone said.
In Australia, he developed a reputation for hard work and quality craftsmanship.
‘‘(It was) nothing unusual for him to work two nights a week all through the night,’’ Yvvone said.
Michael said his father was a skilled craftsman and had a great sense of humour.
‘‘Fred was very mechanically-minded and a perfectionist,’’ Michael said.
‘‘When reps came in he’d say, ‘Do you have a joke?’ If they didn’t have a joke, he’d say, ‘There’s the door’.’’
In 1998, Fred retired, leaving Michael to take over the family business.
‘‘I actually watched (Fred) do a couple of jobs the first time up and I thought, ‘All that looks pretty simple, I can have a go’,’’ Michael said.
‘‘I got on the bench and he said, ‘Well, you’re a natural at it’.’’
While he had been hesitant about taking over the business at first, Michael eventually took to it when he was about 21.
‘‘I started a late apprenticeship because I was a pretty wild boy and I just didn’t want to commit to anything,’’ he said.
‘‘So I wouldn’t work for him for a fair while. But then I thought, I’ll give it a go.’’
Michael inherited his father’s knack for good craftsmanship, Yvvone said.
‘‘He’s got the ability his father had, and on all sorts of things — even if it isn’t jewellery, he can do it.’’
‘‘The hardest part of the whole trade is if someone comes in and is trying to get what’s in their head out onto paper,’’ Michael said.
Michael said handmade jewellery was a lot different to cast jewellery.
‘‘Hand work is a lost art,’’ he said.
‘‘A cast metal is never as good as what a handmade is.’’
‘‘What you get with a handmade one is more time, more labour, more cost but better materials, better thickness, better everything else.
‘‘People today aren’t shopping for quality, a lot shop for price. I would say 90 per cent of people shop for price.’’
Michael’s love of the jewellery business has also been passed down to his daughters, one of whom works in his shop, another works for another jewellery shop and a third has expressed interest in the more technical benchwork.
McDonald's owners to pass on baton
The first preliminary final on Saturday saw the Tungamah seniors start their campaign against Waaia at the Rennie Recreation Reserve.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
If too much footy is never enough for you then get down to Echuca South’s oval on Sunday and catch the Echuca Moama United masters, the EMUs, in action.
TRUCKS, cars and vintage machinery took over Rochester Recreation Reserve on Tuesday last week.
KYABRAM’S Margaret and Leonard Flint have come a long way since meeting in the early 1950s.
Avenel win over Nagambie to take top spot
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
YOU probably wouldn’t expect to find an intensive care nurse running an award winning hotel and brewery, but that’s exactly what you will find when you visit Tooborac.
The preparations for the 10th Cobram Swap Meet have been given a boost with a brand new line marker. The Rotary Club of Cobram, which organise the swap meet, applied for a volunteer grant from the Federal Government, from which it received $4600.
At 77 years of age, popular local golfer Paul ‘Tango’ has claimed his second hole-in-one.
Tuesday, August 16
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.