As a seventeen year old young man he emigrated to Australia, settling in Abbotsford in 1875, where he started the business known as Fred. Robt. Abrecht, buying and selling jewellery parts and findings from and to the trade. One of his suppliers happened to be J. Bird and Son and there is a page in the Bird ledger book showing Abrecht as a debtor.
From there he moved to the City of Melbourne Chambers on the Corner of Elizabeth and Lt. Collins Streets. It was there on a holiday weekend in 1911 that his office was burgled in what was the largest robbery in Melbourne’s history.
He died three years later and the business continued under two of his sons, eventually passing on to the third generation with brothers Bruce and Noel Abrecht in 1941. They built a very successful wholesale business, servicing retail jewellers across Australia. This partnership continued until Bruce’s death in 1978, at which stage Noel’s son-in-law, Leon Corn, who had started in 1971, joined his father-in-law as a partner.
In 1992 it became obvious that the writing was on the wall for wholesaling with the large buying groups gaining a strong hold on the market. A decision was therefore made to search for a like-minded business with which to merge, particularly one with a strong manufacturing arm. One day, by chance, Leon happened to meet David Bird (third generation principal of J. Bird & Son) and the two discussed the idea, resulting in David’s son, Peter and Leon working through a formal agreement to merge the two family businesses. The trading name at that time was registered as Abrecht Jewellers with a 50% ownership for each of Fred. Robt. Abrecht and J. Bird & Son.
After about a 20 year ‘engagement’ the partnership became known as Abrecht Bird Jewellers and we look forward to celebrating our 150th anniversary in 8 years time.