Wilbrahams Store in Mary St in the 1960s.
Wilbrahams Store in Mary St in the 1960s. Contributed

5 Famous Gympie brands that have disappeared

Chappy's Cordials

YOU know you are from Gympie when you have heard of Chappy's Cordials.

A local business institution for decades, Chappy's Cordials was iconic.

Col Chapman, his wife Betty and brother Doug bought what was then Hydes Cordial factory in Red Hill in 1967.

 

Chappy's Cordial crates. Courtesy of Gympie. The real treasure is the town FB page.
Chappy's Cordial crates. Courtesy of Gympie. The real treasure is the town FB page. Gympie Real treasure is the town

It was promptly renamed Chappy's for obvious reasons.

Like the business, Col Chapman was a stalwart of the Gympie community and served in various community roles including two stints as deputy mayor.

He passed away in 2008, and Chappy's Cordials cancelled its business registration in 2002.

Lane and Ward Butchers

STARTED by Henry Lane and Tom Ward, Lane and Ward Butchers was another local brand, once familiar to everybody in Gympie but that disappeared in the 1960s.

Combining skill and acumen, the Lane and Ward butcher shop was located on Mellor St in the same building that Gympie Army disposals now occupies and was one of the more successful retail butcher shops in town.

Henry Lane was a skilled butcher and Tom Ward had many different business interests in town but was not a butcher by trade.

Cullinane's
Cullinane's

Cullinane's

CULLINANE'S is one of Gympie's most iconic brands and was a family owned retail empire.

Cullies, as it was known, was a grocery and department store in Mary Street.

It also had hardware and crockery departments and operated on the site where Gympie News and Gympie Bags and Gifts are today.

In those early days, the drapery department was across the street where Cullinane's Plaza now stands, while the produce department, which was up the hill behind grocery, was accessed from the laneway that, today, is known as Glandore Lane.

The furniture department was on the site of the top car park above Mary Street; opposite that was plumbing and below that, electrical.

Long term employee Bob Bradford told The Gympie Times in 2008, "they had three or four horses that they kept up behind the old Glandore Hospital in Nash Street".

 

Cullinanes Plaza in Mary Street
Cullinanes Plaza in Mary Street Jordon Warhurst

"I used to have to feed them.

"Joe Hickey picked the orders up, they were filled and then delivered all over the district, even as far away as Kingaroy, in old tin Lizzie trucks.

"In those days, Harry Cullinane was boss of the grocery department and Jack Cullinane ran the drapery.

"In the '40s, Cullies had a staff of 80 people. I went on to manage the grocery department when it shifted to the other side of the street.

"I worked there until I retired when Cullinane's closed down in 1982.

"I was the last to go.

"I've got lots of memories of working there, like having to weigh everything.

"If a customer wanted a pound of salt, we had to scoop it out and weigh it then put it in paper bags.

"We had quarter pound, half pound, two pound bags and so on.

"There was no plastic back then.

"We sold things like seven-pound tins of syrup and we had ladders that slid along in front of the shelves so we could reach the really high ones," he said.

 

The Sundowner magazine with a picture of former Gympie mayor Mick Venardos.
The Sundowner magazine with a picture of former Gympie mayor Mick Venardos. Tom Daunt

Sundowner Magazine

A PSUEDO rival to The Gympie Times, the Sundowner Magazine was published in Gympie from 1977 to 1982 by Golden City Publications.

It contained hard hitting local news as well as softer, human interest feature articles.

In a 1979 issue, Gympie Mayor Mick Venardos participated in an interview that ran for three pages. He spoke extensively on council issues including off street parking and amalgamation.

In 1979 the Sundowner cost 20 cents.

 

EMPIRE: Wilbrahams Store in Mary St in the 1960s.
EMPIRE: Wilbrahams Store in Mary St in the 1960s. Contributed

Wilbraham's

WILBRAHAM'S Pty Ltd was one of the stable and long-lived businesses of Mary Street, established in 1914 by Thomas Joseph Wilbraham, as a tailor shop, and operated in central Mary Street until 1986.

When TJ's health began to deteriorate in the mid '50s, Ray Wilbraham took over the business.

TJ Wilbraham's store was originally just a fraction of what many Gympie people will remember. It had a billiard saloon on one side and a fruit shop on the other.

At one stage the site even boasted a shooting gallery.

In 1922, the saloon was taken over and the firm expanded and began to sell general drapery.

A few years later TJ obtained a lease over the whole property and the firm eventually used the fruit shop area to sell soft furnishings and floor coverings.

In 1946, Gympie Building Company began a building program which continued in three stages until 1973. All joinery and the glass fronted showroom display unit were supplied by W.C. Pronger & Sons, another old Gympie firm, which is now only a part of history.

Wilbraham's employed a commercial traveller for a time who canvassed the Goomboorian, Wolvi, Kin Kin, Kenilworth areas and the Mary Valley townships.

The traveller, Horace Brown, drove a Model-T Ford purchased in Brisbane in 1925.

Gympie Times


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