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Virtual Timeline

1950s

1950s

It was in the 1950s that Luigi Grollo's extra weekend work as a concreter began to develop into a business. By 1952 Luigi was a full-time employer. Emma, his wife, looked after the paperwork while Luigi worked hard to win contracts. His business flourished and Luigi built up a permanent workforce – an unusual move in those times, but one that was to ensure he had a loyal and hard-working team. These men were mostly Italian, many hailing from Veneto, Luigi's home region.

In 1957 a new young man joined the team – 15 year-old Bruno Grollo left school as soon as he was able to join his father's business.

Luigi Grollo developed a reputation for speed and reliability and his workforce trusted and respected him. His company became known as domestic concreting specialists who were ready to meet the concreting needs of Melbourne's sprawling suburbs.

The building industry in Melbourne in the 1950s was characterised by a number of small firms, each employing dozens of workers. The large construction projects of that time were major infrastructure projects in regional areas like the Snowy Mountain Scheme – there were no skyscrapers. Urban building was of community projects such as swimming pools and car parks.