It is with deep sadness that we share the news our much-loved and respected former leader, Harold Clough, passed away late Wednesday evening.
Harold Clough was one of Australia’s foremost engineers, visionaries, business leaders and philanthropists, and still today, his values and vision are instilled in the Clough business from his 49 years at the helm.
Our heartfelt condolences and sympathies go out to the Clough family at this difficult time.
The Life and Times of Harold Clough
Harold was born on 30 September 1926, and in 1954 he joined his father at Clough Bros. In 1955, through his drive to expand the business, Clough Bros. secured the National Mutual Life Association office contract, the largest building in Perth at the time. Later that same year, Clough Bros was renamed J.O. Clough & Son.
In 1956, J.O. Clough & Son won the Narrows Bridge contract in a joint venture with Christiani & Nielson. Numerous infrastructure projects were won after that, including the Muja Power Station, Ord River Diversion Dam, Durack River Bridge, and part of the Standard Gauge Railway with Perron Bros (Stan Perron).
Harold was also deeply involved in the development and opening up of the Pilbara region in the late 1960s, working closely with Lang Hancock and Peter Wright. It was during this time that a long-standing joint venture with Harbourworks (now BAM Clough) started in 1964 with a jetty at Parker Point near Dampier for then Hamersley Iron (Rio Tinto).
Harold was also instrumental in exploring opportunities across Asia in the late 1960s, including Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Pakistan.
The 1970s also saw Harold grow the company into Queensland and open a joint venture in Saudi Arabia. In the 1980s, Harold oversaw the company’s move into oil and gas with significant projects being the North Rankin ‘A’ trunkline, Harriett Oil Field in 1985, and LNG Jetty at the Burrup Peninsula for Woodside.
In 1989, Harold retired as Managing Director of Clough Engineering, remaining a director and Chairman of Clough Limited.
A significant part of Harold’s business acumen was the concept of joint venturing. Harold pioneered this approach when bidding for the Narrows Bridge project and then applied this to a wide range of projects across all parts of the business and new ventures.
In 1972, Harold established the Clough Scholarship program to provide support for young engineers studying at the University of Western Australia. Since that time, the company has awarded over 300 scholarships.
Many Clough scholars have become leaders in business, construction, engineering, and offshore oil and gas companies around Australia and the world.
Harold retired as Managing Director of Clough Limited in 1995 and listed Clough on the ASX in 1998 when he became Chairman. At listing, Clough had 21 offices throughout the world, with more than half its work sourced from Asia and a turnover of $600 million for $20 million net earnings. Harold retired as Chairman of Clough in 2003.
Harold was passionate about engineering and growing new generations of highly-skilled professionals. He was a firm believer in bringing talented people into his businesses, supporting their learning and growth.
He was also active in a wide range of business, engineering, trade and political organisations and was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1979 and an Officer of the Order of Australia (OA) in 1990.
In addition, he was awarded an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Engineering, University of Western Australia in 1990, the Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal, Institution of Engineers, Australia in 1993 and the UWA, ECM Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 among many others.
Much of Perth and Western Australia’s iconic infrastructure, buildings, ports, resources and energy facilities have been constructed, engineered or supported by the company that still bears Harold Clough’s name.
He is survived by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.