Missing the Olympics?

As we bid farewell to the long-awaited Tokyo Olympic Games, and a farewell to that vague reminder of how different life was when we last played in Rio back in 2016, Australians and Accru staff particularly, have reason to celebrate. Our athletes this year have tied with our Olympic gold medal record of 17. The record, made back in 2004 at the games in Athens, make this year’s Australian team one of the most successful in our history. Our largest Olympic team yet brought home a total of 46 medals, including our first medal in Basketball.

Edwin Flack

With the Australian team’s history making effort in mind, we thought we would share a piece of Olympic history linking back to our own firm. The ancestry of Accru Melbourne dates all the way back to the 1800’s. In 1878 the Flack family migrated from Islington East, London, to Melbourne. It was here that Joseph Henry Flack established an accountancy firm, named Davey, Flack & Co.

Edwin Harold Flack (Teddy), son of Joseph, was educated at Melbourne Church of England Grammar School before joining his father at Davey, Flack & Co. Following this he set off for London to gain international experience, working for the firm Price, Waterhouse & Co., chartered accountants.

Whilst in London, the young Edwin Flack heard about the revamp of a 1,500-year-old sporting event named the ‘Olympic Games’ and became determined to participate. He trained extensively in the lead up to the event, and being an accountant, was savvy with his money, allowing him to save for the journey and stay in Athens, where the event was taking place.

Flack arrived, comfortable winning the 800m heat and securing a place in the final race the following day. To his knowledge, his main competition race was an American named Arthur Blake. The stage was set, and the race began, with Arthur and Edwin head-to-head for the most part, until 20 meters or so to go in the event, when Edwin broke free to finish the race in 2 minutes and 11 seconds. This was the time it took to secure Australia’s first Olympic gold medal.

Edwin Flack would go on to win yet another gold medal at these games in the 1500m race he entered on a whim. When he eventually returned to Australia, he joined his father at the firm, now known as Flack & Flack, and became a senior partner in 1917. Edwin, along with his brother Henry, went on to grow the firm, branching out with offices in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth. Accru Melbourne will remember him for his contribution to our Firm at 50 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn East, and Australia will remember him as the first gold medallist in our Olympic history.

About the Author
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Bre Linehan , Melbourne
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