Reminiscence and Resource Centre












To manage Canadian Rubber Factory at Batawa, Ontario - 1948
Leaving East Tilbury tonight to take up his new position as manager of the rubber factory of the Bata Shoe Company of Canada, at Batawa, is Mr J Matthews, for a number of years the joint manager of the rubber factory at East Tilbury with Mr A R Chytil.

Coming to East Tilbury as a young man in the early days of the British Bata enterprise, Mr Matthews joined the rubber factory staff and soon began to make rapid strides up the promotion ladder through his conscientious attention to details and his ambition to succeed as a rubber technologist.

During the early war years until the rubber factory was closed down by the Board of Trade in 1942 because of the shortage of supplies of Malayan rubber, Mr Matthews supervised a number of Government contracts and carried out a considerable amount of experimental work in connection with special Government equipment, including the overshoes used for seamen’s exposure suites among other things.

He afterwards joined the Army and was soon selected for a commission, later seeing service in India and other places in the Near and Middle East. In India he made contact with the Bata Shoe Company of India and was a frequent visitor at the big factory at Batanagar, just outside Calcutta.

Upon his return to East Tilbury he devoted his time in the rubber factory to the work of the manipulation departments and carried out much of the preliminary work in connection with the manufacture of rubber flooring.

A resident of the Bata Estate, he is a married man with two children and was, prior to his joining the Army, chairman of the Bata Gardens and Allotments Association.

He is due to sail from this country on Christmas Eve and will take up his new appointment in the New Year.

Before leaving Mr Matthews asked Bata Record to express to all his good friends and fellow workers at East Tilbury and throughout the Bata Organisation his best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

“I regret leaving behind so many good friends at East Tilbury,” he said to Bata Record today just before he left, “ and I shall not be among strangers in Canada for I have had the pleasure of meeting many of my future fellow workers at various times.

“There must, of course, be some of our friends to whom my wife and I have not had the chance to say Goodbye personally, and I want therefore, to take this opportunity on my wife’s behalf as well as my own to tender our apologies and ask them to take this notice as the only opportunity we have had of making our farewells.”

Joe Matthews in the "They made good" series.

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