Stokes, which had made badges and medals since 1856, will shut its Ringwood factory by the year’s end.
As reported earlier this month, Stokes sold its appliance parts manufacturing and services division, and will bring to an end nearly 160 years of manufacturing. It will focus on audio-visual and lighting products.
The Maroondah Leader reports that 10 will be made redundant when the company’s Ringwood factory shuts down.
Long-time employee Bob Lodge, who joined aged 16 in 1961 and will retire aged 70, said that 800 worked at the site at its peak in the early 1980s. Manufacturing had been increasingly outsourced to China, he explained
“It was very interesting and varied and there was always such a lot to do even up until 2003 (when the company closed robotic manufacturing),” Lodge told the Leader.
“The people were good — management were always great, it was like a family.”
Stokes had made badges since the beginning, and among its work has been the “Rising Sun” badges worn by the 1st and 2nd Australian Imperial Force soldiers in the World War One and Two.