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First Private Store


Alfred Hall and Arthur (Artie) Bestmann built the first private grocery shop on Bribie Island.

The Brisbane Tug & Steamship Company, in 1915 brought over from Moreton Island in 1915 two buildings, one a Dining Room and Kiosk and the other a Dance Hall. as part of their improvements to Bongaree after the Jetty was built. They were placed at the end of the jetty next to the Caretaker’s home.

In 1913, Alfred (Alf) Hall, a grocer from Toowong in Brisbane, built a holiday cottage across from the Jetty and next door to Artie Bestmann, on what was to become Toorbul Street. Artie had moved from his parents’ farm near Godwin Beach in the early 1900s to keep bees and graze dairy cattle, establishing the first dairy on Bribie Island.

Although the Tug Company store sold various items and the SS Koopa would carry bread, vegetables, meat, ice etc, on its visits, local residents, cannery workers and campers were soon asking Alf Hall to bring provisions from Brisbane to replenish their supplies. So Alf started selling groceries out of his cottage’s kitchen window.

Soon after, Alf commenced a partnership with Artie and by 1918 the partners built the substantial Hall & Bestmann Store on the corner block opposite the Jetty precinct.

From the early days they had dairy cows for milk, chickens for meat and eggs and grew vegetables to supply both visitors and Islanders. The pair also hired out tent poles to campers and would erect them before the campers arrived.

Alfred Hall retired in 1926/27 dividing his assets with Arthur Bestmann. He retained 321 acres at Bongaree which the Cotterill family continued to farm on his behalf.  Artie renamed the store  “A.H. Bestmann General Storekeeper”.

In 1933 the Winston Brothers (Edwin and Arthur) bought the business and ran it until the 1960s. [see Winston store for further information on the Winston Brothers].

Written by Lynne Hooper from information sourced from the BIHS database.

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