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"Governments come, and governments go, but the Edgley's are always there". These words are those of an official of the Russian Ministry for Culture, and indeed the history of the Edgley family reflects in microcosm the history of modern Australia.

(Below: Edna and Michael Edgley)
Much of the continuing economic growth of this young country is due to the success of its migration programs and to the calibre of those migrants who left their homelands to build a good life for their children in what is often still regarded by the rest of the world as 'the last frontier'.

During its short recorded history, Australia has produced a number of dynastic families whose success in various spheres continues through the generations. Most of these families sprung from the agricultural community, from the influential sheep, wheat and cattle owners of the turn of the century. Over the years Australia's flourishing entertainment business has produced many promoters, one or two great entrepreneurs, but only one dynasty in the mould of the old impresarios. This is the Edgley family, headed now by Michael Edgley

The path to the world of super stars, mega-million dollar productions and international prominence started back in Victorian England, where the music halls then had the same hypnotic attraction for young performers that Hollywood had in later years.

One young man tempted to try his luck on the gas-lit stage was Charles White. Five generations and a migration later, his family are still very much in show business. The end of World War I saw the White family living in Clapham. Not exactly the world's most exciting suburb, but much favoured by theatricals because the bright lights of London's West End were only a halfpenny tram ride away.

Following in the already established family tradition, young Eric White formed a stage partnership with his brother Clem. Feeling that the name 'White' was about as exciting as 'Smith', young Eric cast about for a name with 'a bit of a ring to it' and finally settled on his own address, Edgley Road.

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