The history of the NBIA

The National Baking Industry Association (NBIA) together with its associated entities (Baking Industry Association of Queensland (BIAQ), Baking Industry Group (BIG) and Baking Industry Training Australia (BITA) supports Australian baking industry businesses to pursue their vision of success.

Our story begins with the Master Baker’s Association which was founded way back in 1891 and then in 1901 consolidated to form the Bread Manufacturers Association of Queensland Union of Employers (BMAQUE). Spanning over 100 years, the baking industry of Australia has a very interesting history which has grown over the ensuing years to become a strong, diverse, and highly respected industry.

In 1947 the Pastrycooks Association of Queensland (PAQ) was formed and continued until 1992 when the BMAQUE and PAQ joined forces marking the beginning of the NBIA chapter.

The history of the National Baking Industry Association

Bread House

Located on Gregory Terrace in Brisbane Queensland, there is a charming historic building that holds great value to the baking industry of Australia. “Bread House” can be found directly opposite the historic Brisbane Girls Grammar School.

How it got there and what is it all about? Is there any history about it?

This short story tells the tale of Bread House, the dreamers who were there at its inception and the grand legacy given to today’s bread bakers who have the duty to reflect on their good fortune in having such a wonderful asset literally handed down to them for preservation of the past.

It is now more than fifty years since progressive and determined thought resulted in the building of today’s Bread House on Gregory Terrace—but hold on, it was not the first Bread House in Queensland. Reinforcing their proud philosophy of independence, the first Bread House was at 426 Queen Street, Brisbane. In the main street of the capital city no less, and directly opposite an architectural masterpiece, Custom House, the Dome Chapel.

The acquisition of the original Bread House was due to the terrific imagination and energy of Mr A A (Buller) Dome who was instrumental in leading the charge for the bread industry to have its own premises. Presidents who reigned there included Mr D B (Doug) Nunn of Sunnybank, Mr T B (Tom) Condie of Gympie, and Mr J J (Jack) Sheeran of Taringa. Accompanying secretaries included Mr E W (Eddie) Heindorff, Mr K M (Ken) Shaw, Mr D C (Doug) Black, and Mr M R (Maurie) Hutchinson.

426 Queen Street, Brisbane was blessed with good street frontage and excellent parking via a lane at the rear. This was all very good until the big car era when members began to arrive in their Chev Corvettes, Twin Spinner Fords, Dodges, De Sotos, and Studebakers turning the rear parking lot into a chaotic mess. It was at that point decided that the association should move into bigger and better premises with adequate parking.

The association was one of two employer organisations who owned their premises and so it was decided that this ideal be perpetuated, beginning the search for another location. The premises was sold, and the association made a temporary move to an existing property in Fortitude Valley jointly shared with the Meat and Allied Trade Federation. Phew. The butchers and the bakers under one roof!!

Mr Jack Sheeran was President and began the property search. Naturally a committee was formed and with great fortune, Mr Brad Dance, (Buller’s son) became a member. Brad was a big man, big in physical size and big in ideas, particularly in having them carried out. Brad, like a good many of his fellow competitors including, Mr Sid Oswald and Mr Vic Fisher, was as tough as nails, gentle and kind as lambs, with limited education, but loads and loads of energy and ability in many fields.

These were the golden days of the bread industry in Queensland – disciplined.

With his wonderful contacts, Brad was offered the present site with two very large wooden homes thereupon and whacko, a rear entrance to Boundary Street. (Sometime later a further adjoining property in Boundary Street was acquired).

After the removal of the two homes and a clean-up of the site, the association decided that they should have a building stone erected at the site – of course to have a swish party on this occasion was taken for granted. The secretary at the time made a bold suggestion and was promptly informed that he should in fact get the Governor in.

Sir Henry Able Smith very kindly accepted the invitation and before a huge afternoon gathering of bread industry people, their wives and family members including the infant daughter of the president and the infant son of the secretary, the stone was unveiled.

Very ample refreshment was available marquee style, and well into the afternoon the Governor’s aide-de-camp on several occasions suggested that it was time to leave but no, the Governor stayed.

Upon leaving, the Governor told the President and Secretary of his pleasure at attending with some ‘salt of the earth’ people and that when a building was eventually erected, he should be contacted and that he would perform any function required. This he certainly did. Isn’t that something that today’s people should proudly reflect upon. Does the industry still have the same drawing power? If not, why not?

G E Day and Sons Pty Ltd were the selected builders. The basement area was originally used for member and tenant parking. Bread industry members, flour millers and allied trades donated all the furniture and furnishings. A large boardroom table was built by Hancock and Sons and entered the building via the back landing. Installed on a wall in the foyer of the new building was a Swedish black onyx stone donated personally by Mr Bernard J and Mrs K Bakels to have a little bit of Sweden amidst the baking fraternity they knew so well. Mr Vernon J Baynes the CEO of Bakels Australasian Empire delivered the stone personally.

Thank you, Mr Morrie R Hutchinson for sharing the above historic story as possibly the last man standing from this remarkable period of friendship, generosity, and very tough competitiveness. Your rendition honours your colleagues who made Bread House possible.