Zeta - A Bit About Harold


Harold Lightburns’s father had a small backyard factory making Hand Wound Concrete Mixers, Garden Wheel Barrows and other garden tools. As a result Harold grew up in a manufacturing environment.

From this, whilst working at a company called APEC making Hydraulic jacks, he and two other men (they were all “design-bods”)  decided to learn as much about the jacks as they could. Armed with this knowledge the three decided to leave APEC and start up their own manufacturing business. Harold was the boss. 

They bought a large parcel of land near the Adelaide Airport and also bought eight surplus Aircraft Hangers which they had rebuilt on their land. Harold employed many discharged Air Force personal - all skilled and disciplined! 

Harold first redesigned the jacks from an APEC die-casting model to a metal cover and provided a better range - 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 10 tonne capacity.  He then went on to produce Washing Machines and Cement Mixers - That was the beginning of a work force of over five hundred people. I was not yet one of those employees.

Harold Lightburn was a very ambitious man, taking note of his fathers work practices, he was inspired. He learnt to do much planning before starting up a business. He had to start small but he had big plans - he planned to make helicopters, submarines once his factory was established. He also planned to sell manufacturing plants overseas to middle east countries.

To do all of this he had to have plenty of land, big buildings, and heavy power and water supplies. So he bought another very large parcel of land which had to be close to the sea, main roads and be an authorised commercial zoned piece of land. The site was eight miles from Adelaide and the Sea. He then bought twelve Aircraft Hangers. His plan was to have a plant for every product. The whole factory was well laid out with on site parking for all employees.

                                                                                                            - Arthur Watson