CHEERS erupted throughout Eastbank on Friday night when Dale Wright Portrait Maker was announced as the 2018 White King-Pental 95.3 Triple M Business Awards Hall of Fame recipient.
Dale and his family first came to Shepparton in 1962 after leaving the Wimmera district family farm.
Dale began his career with Lloyd Telfer at ‘Varloine’ studios in Shepparton at 297 Wyndham Street on December 11, 1969.
Dale started his own business with his wife, Lorraine after Lloyd Telfer retired and ‘Varloine’ studio and camera store closed in 1975. In 1976 Dale opened a camera store and photography studio at 49 High Street, Shepparton, then in 1986 the studio moved across the road to 58 High Street and diversified to professional photography only.
In October 1989, Dale moved the studio to 73 Wyndham Street and named the home ‘Varloine Cottage’ after his original workplace and is still there today. Dale has one of the best studio facilities in country Victoria which are becoming rare.
Dale and his wife, Lorraine raised their son, Stuart and daughter, Deanne in Shepparton and both children attended St Brendan’s Primary School and Notre Dame College.
His son, Stuart commenced working with the business in 1997 after completing year 12 at Notre Dame College and is still part of the company today.
The business tries to support as many other local businesses as best possible including printers, sign writers, accountants, framers, cleaners, gardeners to name a few and work experience students, training and employment.
Over the years, Dale has played many important parts within our local community. In 2013 Dale received Shepparton Citizen of the Year and Greater Shepparton Citizen of the Year award.
One of Dales most passionate achievements was creating a men’s group called Talking Straight. The group helps men from all ages which has been running for 23 years and is still going strong, helping over 200 men. In total, Dale has been in photography for nearly 50 years and has run his Shepparton business for over 43 years and says he plans on continuing until the banks take over!
Dale said, “It is a great honour to be recognised in my community.
“When I started the business, the brides and grooms were outside the studio to be photographed. Then came the colour. The computer I bought was on a truck and it had a floppy disk. In the early ‘90s, digital was being heard of so I travelled around Australia to learn more about it. They were the changes that have happened over the years. In business you have to learn to adapt to survive.”