More than six months late, but it was worth the wait, Ritchie's Stores celebrated its 150th birthday on May 15th with a magnificent gala ball at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne.
The Ritchie's Directors were introduced by hosts Shane Jacobsen, Fred Harrison, Mal Cameron and James Cameron and welcomed special guests including The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp and The Hon. Edward O’Donohue MPs. Together with their partners, members of the Ritchie's team, suppliers, business partners and industry colleagues took part in the celebrations for the prestigious "Night of the Nights" from Ritchie.
In the course of the evening the audience was invited on a journey into the early years of Ritchie with a presentation by "Thomas Ritchie" personally, played by Matt Keating. Matt's performance by Thomas & # 39; Trials and Confusion was "a fitting tribute to the long legacy of this Australian business legend".
Thomas' story has been described by Mr. Harrison as a motivation to serve the community with the courage, determination and passion that continues to this day. With the same courage, determination and innovation as Thomas Ritchie, the company continues to seek growth and success with the goal of being recognized as "the friendliest team in the supermarket and liquor industry".
There have been an abundance of thank you messages from charities like Guide Dogs Australia, The Breast Cancer Network Australia, Love your Sister, and The Salvation Army, all of which are prime beneficiaries of the Ritchie's Community Benefit Card program, which was recently re-launched as the Ritchie's Loyalty app. "With over $ 51 million in donations, Ritchies leads the industry in consistently supporting and funding the local community."
IGA International Chairman Mark Batenic conveyed his congratulations via video link. Mr. Batenic's admiration for the Ritchies team and dedication to the independent supermarket industry was evident in his description of the personal and professional friendship that had developed over the years and the accomplishments of Ritchies in the industry.
Guests were treated to a fanfare of entertainment, including an operatic performance of Pot Pourri and a stunning set by the Master of Magic and Illusion Consentino. The evening was rounded off with live music by Australian rock legend Adam Thompson and his band Chocolate Starfish.
Ritchies delivered an extraordinary evening of celebration, fun and excitement while honoring their long history and the team that will continue the legacy of Thomas Ritchie into the future.