James McWhirter JuniorPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by John Huth

A memorial tablet erected by employees commemorates James McWhirter Junior who died suddenly while on a business trip in Sydney in 1919. 

In 1898, James McWhirter established the drapery firm of McWhirter and Son in a small Brunswick St premises in Brisbane, employing thirty people. A strong work ethic and undoubted commercial acumen enabled the business to expand fairly rapidly. A mail order department was established to enable the store to serve country customers, and McWhirter & Son then had to expand physically by buying adjoining premises in Brunswick St. This was still insufficient, and a new five-storey building was constructed for the company in 1912, on the corner of Brunswick and Wickham Streets.

James McWhirter Junior died suddenly whilst on business in Sydney in 1917, and the firm's founder James Senior died in 1925. However, the store had floated as a public company, McWhirters Ltd, in 1920, and the strong relationship that the company had developed with its 800-strong staff enabled further success. Expansion into clothing manufacture followed, and the development of "The Valley" into Brisbane's department store precinct ensured a competitive but profitable business environment. The next step was the construction in 1930-31 of the Art Deco store designed by Hall & Phillips, who were the architects of Brisbane's City Hall.


Address:141 Ann Street, Ann Street Presbyterian Church, Brisbane, 4000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -27.467899
Long: 153.024344
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

In loving memory of James McWhirter, Jun. who departed this life 17th Sep. 1919, aged 45 years.

Erected by the employees of McWhirters, Ltd.

"Far may we search before we find, a heart so manly, and so kind."

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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