Austin Otto Moll dedicated a major part of his life to poultry in general and particularly to furthering the objectives of the WPSA. He was born in 1913 and, sadly, died in New Zealand in 1995. He was a third generation poultryman of German parentage, his father having emigrated to Australia. Otto joined the family business, which involved the manufacture and marketing of incubators and other poultry equipment, in the early 1930s.
Immediately after active service in World Ware II, Otto made the first of many visits to the USA and various other countries to gain up-to-date scientific and practical information that would subsequently be put to use in Australia, not only within his own company but also very much for the good of the poultry industry as a whole. He was responsible for bringing Californian laying cages to Australia, a great advance on systems previously available.
In association with other Otto started the Australian branch of the WPSA in 1956, taking the position of Secretary/Treasurer. He remained in this role for the next 18 years. By 1958, very largely through Otto's efforts, sub-branches had been formed in all major states of Australia and membership stood at 370, which apparently made it the third largest branch in the world at that time. in the same year he led the Australian delegation to the XIth World's Poultry Congress in Mexico City and successfully gained approval to hold the XIIth World's Congress in Australia in 1962. This proved to be a major success with 2500 delegates attending. Otto was the driving force behind the organization of the event.
Otto Mol's massive contribution to the Australian industry was formally recognized in 1964 when he received the first "Australian Poultry Award", presented by the Australian WPSA branch for outstanding service to the poultry industry. Otto continued to serve the branch as Secretary/Treasurer until 1974. During his many years in this position he organized numerous other conferences and many visits to Australia by leading overseas poultry scientists. In the words of one of his contemporaries, Bill Stanhope, "Otto was "Mr Poultry" in Australia at this time of dramatic development for our industry - he did more than any other single person to shake us out of our previous insular and backward way of operating". During this time Otto traveled regularly to countries in south-east Asia and through the Pacific doing business but always, and at his own expense, "spreading the WPSA gospel". He was instrumental in encouraging the formation of the New Zealand branch of the WPSA, helping to write the branch rules and attending the inaugural meeting. He subsequently started another branch in Fiji.
Otto "retired" in 1981 and moved to New Zealand. Subsequently he spent two years in Fiji as Poultry Adviser to the Fiji Ministry of Agriculture. He served for many years on the New Zealand branch Executive Committee and for five years, until quite recently, he was honorary editor of New Zealand Poultry News. Virtually single-handedly he developed this into a successful, self supporting 52--age magazine.
Until the very last Otto was still busy, writing articles for various poultry magazines, breeding poultry and quail and operating as hatchery "trouble shooter" for people with ducks, quail and other species including emus. Otto Moll was a person who dedicated a very major part of his life to the poultry industry and those within in.