R. M. (Reginald) WilliamsPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Stephen Warren

The interpretive centre commemorates clothing manufacturer Reginald Murray Williams (1908 – 2003) who was born at Belalie North near Jamestown.

The interpretive centre features story boards and a skilfully carved wooden bust of R.M. Williams which was unveiled by his daughter in 2009.  The display is located on R M Williams Way which stretches from just north of Clare through the town of Jamestown and ends close to Horrocks.

Reginald Murray Williams AO, CMG was an Australian bushman and entrepreneur who rose from a swagman to a millionaire. Widely known as just 'R.M.', he was born at Belalie North near Jamestown in the Mid North of South Australia, 200 kilometres north of Adelaide, into a pioneering settler family working and training horses. R.M. had many adventures in Australia's rugged outback as a bushman, and became known for creating an Australian style of bushwear recognised worldwide.

One woman's idea has led to a new tourism drive for an entire region. Jenny Hall, Jamestown, was part of a group behind a push to name a road going through the town after local boy Reginald Murray, better known as RM Williams. RM Williams was born in 1908 at Belalie North, a short distance from the town, and lived there until he was 12, when he moved to Adelaide

Now the RM Williams Way stretches from just north of Clare through the town of Jamestown and ends close to Horrocks. Ms Hall said the 214-kilometre road was just one way to pay tribute to a man who had a major influence on the Australian outback.

"The road has always been the B80 – how boring was that?" she said. "I'd always had an interest in the fact RM Williams was born and raised in this area. The renaming is an opportunity to have people pass through Jamestown," she said.

Ms Hall said most people in the town were proud of the fact that the country boy had gone on to become a major entrepreneur. She said RM would have travelled that stretch of road several times, including when he left Jamestown to move to Adelaide at the age of 12.

It would also have been the road he took when he made the journey north to the Nepabunna settlement near Copley where he met Dollar Mike Smith and learnt to make the infamous elastic-sided boots, before returning to Adelaide and starting his business.

Ms Hall said roadworks on the stretch made the decision to rename it easier. It involved working with several councils including the Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council and the Orroroo-Carrieton Council, as the road covered sections in those regions. "They both thought it was a great idea but said it needed a feature, so we built an information bay in Jamestown where people could stop off and read about him," she said.

The bay was built with the help of the local Apex Club. "They were fantastic; they virtually built the whole structure," Ms Hall said.
farmonline, 30 September 2014. 


Address:R M Williams Way, Jamestown, 5491
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.201865
Long: 138.603598
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2014
Front Inscription

Plaque :


Unveiled By Daughter
Diane Beer
11th October, 2009

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au