Ernest William Spark (1897–1963)
In 1919, when Corporal E. W. Spark returned from the war, ‘there was a wonderful welcome home party for him. The house was decorated beautifully and illuminated inside and out. There was no electricity in those days, but kerosene lamps and Chinese lanterns were used’.
Soon after, Ern married Ida Dawson, and they moved to Melbourne. Ida was making crochet berets, and they were selling well. The couple rented a shop in South Yarra and went into business.
Behind the shop they set up a factory with flat knitting machines, to make ladies woollen garments and scarves. The business grew to be one of the leading knitwear manufacturers in Melbourne, with a factory in Prahan, and shops in five suburbs. But Ern was also a gambler. Sadly, in the end they lost the lot.