Ref NoGB1752.SDC/3
Alt Ref NoOFR:
LevelSub collection
TitleJoseph Meek
DescriptionJoseph Meek was born on 17 December 1861 in Portadown, Ireland, the son of a Presbyterian father and a clairvoyant mother. After leaving school he entered the firm of Marcus Ward & Company Ltd., printers and publishers of Belfast and he advanced through the firm, becoming manager of the London Branch and within fifteen years he had become managing director of the Royal Ulster Works, with over 500 employees in his charge.

It is said that a half-hour interview was enough to convince William Lever of Meek's qualities. He first worked for Lever Brothers Ltd. in the printing department at Port Sunlight and on 28 December 1898 he was appointed a Director. On 15 February 1901 he was appointed President of Lever Brothers Ltd., Toronto and consequently retired from his position on the Board.

In June 1902 Meek was appointed Managing Director and Chairman of Lever Brothers, Australia, positions he was to hold until 1924.

Lever's Pacific Plantations Limited was incorporated on 21 May 1902, for the purpose of acquiring coconut properties in the Pacific to ensure a supply of copra for the oil mill of Lever Brothers Ltd, Australia. In 1905 Meek visited the Solomon Islands and purchased 51,000 acres of land from Captain O.Svensen, owner of large trading interests in the area. Meek convinced Lever that the L.P.P.L should concentrate its efforts on the Solomons and he was appointed chairman of the Board of Directors of the L.P.P.L. in 1905. In 1906 William Lever offered Meek a promotion away from the South Pacific but he refused since he had become captivated by the Pacific Islands and deeply involved with the Pacific Plantation Scheme. He continued to act as chairman until he retired in 1925.

Meek married in 1894 Harriet Brown, daughter of James McQuitty of Belfast. He had three children: Harold George, born 1895, and later Kathleen May and Irene Hope. He died in 1934.
Date1888-1927
Extent0.055m3
Access StatusOpen
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