Australian Dictionary of Biography

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: Use double quotes to search for a phrase

Levy, Patrick Reginald (Pat) (1900–1988)

by Kay Sweeney

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 18, (MUP), 2012

Patrick Levy, by Jim Collins, 1943?

Patrick Levy, by Jim Collins, 1943?

Australian War Memorial, ART28403.047

Patrick Reginald Levy  (1900-1988), stockbroker, was born on 26 August 1900 at Newcastle, New South Wales, youngest of three sons of Septimus Ralph Levy, a Sydney-born merchant, and his Melbourne-born wife Gwendoline, née Marks.  His father, later a company director and chairman (1929-34) of Tooth  & Co. Ltd, was prominent in the Jewish community.  The family moved to England to be near the eldest son, Maitland, an officer in the Irish Guards, who was killed in action in 1918.  Pat attended Repton School, Derbyshire, for two years.  Towards the end of the war he too served in the Irish Guards.  Returning to Australia, he settled in Sydney.  He married with Jewish rites Helen Watt Laidley on 28 June 1923 at his parents’ home at Woollahra.

When Levy showed an interest in stockbroking his father arranged for him to work with Ernest Davis.  On 30 June 1924 he became a member of the Sydney Stock Exchange and a partner in Ernest L. Davis & Co.  He operated as a sole trader from 1927 to 1930, when he joined Richard Allen in partnership.  Divorced in 1938, he married Nedra Kathleen Ryrie on 17 November that year at the district registrar’s office, Paddington.

Enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force on 15 July 1940, Levy gained rapid promotion to warrant officer, class two, in the 2/18th Battalion, which was sent to Malaya.  When Singapore fell in February 1942, he became a prisoner of war and was sent to work on the Burma-Thailand Railway.  He returned to Sydney in 1945 and was discharged from the AIF in January 1946.  Next year he and Nedra were divorced.  On 8 March 1952 at Wesley Chapel, Sydney, he married with Methodist forms Pearl Mabel Edwards, née Appleton, a widow and a grazier.

Patrick R. Levy & Allen took advantage of the economic boom after the war.  Levy continued to trade on the floor but also took an interest in underwriting and advising clients.  The firm merged with Eccles, Reynolds & Dowling in 1953 to form Patrick & Co.  The Sydney Stock Exchange committee regarded the use of a first name as unconventional, but allowed it.  The firm opened an office in Wollongong in 1955.  In 1959 Patrick & Co. advocated (as others had done earlier) that the Exchange move from the 'call' system of trading to a 'post' system.  This change was effected the next year.  Levy became the senior member of the Exchange in 1965.  With Allen and A. P. ('Perk') Reynolds, he tried to ensure that, although rapid, Patrick’s growth was soundly based.  By 1970, when the firm changed its name to Patrick Partners, it was Sydney’s largest brokerage house.  In July that year Levy retired as an equity partner but he remained as a consultant.  He resigned from his seat on the Exchange in 1974 but did not manage to sell it until 1976.  Although Levy was not responsible for Patrick’s crash and insolvency in 1975, he remained one of the firm’s largest creditors.

A charming man, Levy belonged to the Imperial Service and Australian Jockey clubs; he was also a member of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust and of the Marylebone Cricket Club, London.  He was said to be a 'dedicated atheist'.  Survived by his wife and the son of his first marriage, he died on 12 November 1988 at Darling Point and was cremated.

Select Bibliography

  • S. Salsbury and K. Sweeney, The Bull, The Bear and the Kangaroo, 1988
  • S. Salsbury and K. Sweeney, Sydney Stockbrokers, 1992
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 26 January 1934, p 6
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 2 July 1970, p 20

Citation details

Kay Sweeney, 'Levy, Patrick Reginald (Pat) (1900–1988)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/levy-patrick-reginald-pat-14153/text25164, published first in hardcopy 2012, accessed online 20 August 2019.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 18, (MUP), 2012

View the front pages for Volume 18

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2019