The Master Baker’s Association was founded in 1891 and consolidated in 1901 to form the Bread Manufacturers Association of Queensland Union of Employers. The Pastrycooks Association of Queensland was started separately in 1947 and continued until 1992 when a new structure was put in place to join the bread manufacturers and pastrycooks together.
The National Baking Industry Assocation (NBIA) was thus founded and has gone from strength to strength with the direction of a strong and diverse board and a team of expert in-house staff.
HISTORY OF THE ‘BREAD HOUSE’
To many people travelling along picturesque Gregory Terrace in Brisbane, directly opposite the historic Brisbane Girls Grammar School a source of amazement to them is the building, ‘Bread House’.
How it got there and what is it all about? Is there any history about it?
Our short story will tell a little 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 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, the dome chapel Custom House.
The acquisition of this original Bread House was due to the terrific imagination and energy of Mr A. A. (Buller) Dome who was instrumental in leading the charge in 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, whilst secretaries who ruled there were 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 a good street frontage and excellent parking via a lane at the rear. This was all very good until the big car era when members would arrive in their Chev Corvettes, Twin Spinner Fords, Dodges, De Sotos and Studebakers. The rear parking became chaotic. It was decided that the industry should move onto bigger and better premises with adequate parking.
The industry was one of only two employer organisations owning their premises and it was decided that this ideal be perpetuated and the search would be on for another location. The home was sold and the association moved to Fortitude Valley to a property jointly shared with the Meat and Allied Trade Federation. Phew. The butchers and the bakers under one roof!!
Mr Jack Sheeran was President and the property search commenced. 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 was not unlike a lot of his fellow competitors of this period, just to mention a couple, Mr Sid Oswald and Mr Vic Fisher, tough as nails, gentle and kind as lambs with limited education but with 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, Bruce was offered the present site with two very large wooden homes thereupon and whacko, a rear entrance to Boundary Street. (Some time 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 we should have a building stone erected in the site – of course to have a swish party on this occasion was taken for granted. The secretary made the bold suggestion and was promptly informed that he in fact should get the Governor.
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 to the Governor 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 then if and when a building would be erected he should be contacted and that he would perform any function required then.
This he just 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 and the basement area was originally used for members and tenant’s parking.
Bread industry members, flour millers and allied trades donated all of the furniture and furnishings. The large boardroom table was built by Hancock and Sons and entered the building via the back landing. On a wall in the foyer of the building is 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.
All of the above has been carefully produced by Mr Morrie R. Hutchinson who is possibly the last man standing from this remarkable period of friendship, generosity and very tough competitiveness and is written to honour aforementioned colleagues who made Bread House possible.