In 1910 William Alexander Purvis arrived in Moe in Victoria’s Gippsland region with his wife Alice and three children. The family quickly made an impact on the community. Nearly a century later that impact has spread far and wide and is still being felt today.
W.A. Purvis bought out the W.H. Humphries store in Moore Street Moe and established Purvis General Store, selling work boots, clothing, implements, staple foods and some tinned goods. William Purvis Snr died in 1915 during the First World War, but Alice, a strong and determined woman, together with the three children, continued to operate the business very successfully. By 1928, the children – May, Jack and Myra – had their own store at what is now Yallourn North. Jack had also started a successful business in nearby Erica. The following year, the family decided to bring all stores under the auspices of one company, and W.A. Purvis Stores Pty Ltd came into existence. ‘Purvis for Survis’ was coined as a slogan, and it became well known in Gippsland for decades.
Chairman Jack Purvis was a progressive and innovative businessman and before long the W.A. Purvis name had spread throughout not only the Latrobe Valley, but further east to Sale and Bairnsdale. Purvis stores sold a diverse range of goods, including food through self-serve grocery stores and then supermarkets, furnishings, drapery, manchester, toys, sporting goods, clothing for men, women, boys and girls and hardware. The Purvis Emporium in Moe was the headquarters of a network of retail outlets that spread throughout eastern Victoria.
In 1962 Bill Purvis eldest son of Jack, opened the first Aussie Disposals store in Moe Victoria, expanding the operation rapidly throughout Gippsland with 6 stores. Then in 1969 the operation expanded further to Melbourne. In 1974 he moved to Melbourne to oversee the expansion of the Aussie Disposals Group and in 1992 he retired with an empire of 21 stores and the company is still run and owned by his eldest son Mark and his partners to this day. Now with 39 stores, Aussie Disposals is the largest Military surplus camping and outdoor retail chain in the Southern Hemisphere.
From humble beginnings in Moe just after the turn of the 20th century, generations of the Purvis family have provided years of satisfied customers with a range of quality products and unmatched service. Aussie Disposals proudly continues the tradition nearly 100 years on.