02 February 2016

George Colman, Canberran of the Year 1967

"Enterprise before population" was the motto of George Colman's father, who owned Canberra's first department store, JB Young.

Young's grew with the population of Canberra and George learned the business from the ground up (shovelling lime at the new Kingston store), starting in the firm at the age of 14 while studying accountancy at night.

George served in the AIF during World War 2, returning in 1945 following the tragic death of his mother and daughter.

Post-war expansion saw new JB Young stores open in Canberra as well as in rural NSW and Victoria.

George was active on the Council of the ANU, in the Salvation Army, Legacy, Scouts and Rotary as well as business and arts organisations.

Further biographical detail about George Colman is available on our website, as is a history of the Canberra Citizen of the Year Award and a full list of awardees.
The 40th consecutive Canberra Citizen of the Year will be announced by the Chief Minister during Canberra Day Celebrations in March 2016.

Image Source:  The Canberra Times 10 March 1979, page 1.