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Winston's Store (1934-1964)


Winston's Store at the corner of Toorbul street and First Avenue was operated by Arthur and Ed Winston from 1934 when they took on a sublease from Arthur Bestmann.

Prior to opening the store, Winston Brothers grew tobacco on portion 11, a tract of land which would be developed as the Winston Estate in the 1950s.

Arthur and Ed's father, Ben Winston (1863-1934) had been a prominent figure in Brisbane's business, musical and bowling world, as a furniture manufacturer for more than four decades.

By 1936, Winston Brothers expanded their business as Bribie Island general storekeepers with houses to let and horses for hire. The store also had one of the early telephone numbers on the island - Bribie 11. Arthur and his new wife Min (Marion) along with Ed operated the business for the next three decades and advertised that "we stock almost anything... from a needle to an anchor". (1)

Being right opposite the Jetty where the ships from Brisbane would unload eager excursionists and vacationers, the shop’s location ensured it was the place to meet for locals. The mixed business included a milk bar and post office mail could be left there and the seat outside the store became known as the "Seat of Knowledge".  During 1943-1945 locals used to gather each evening in the area to hear the radio War News from 6pm-7pm over external speakers. (1)

The following description from Barbara Henderson nee Sked provides a wonderful glimpse from the 1950s through her description for a photo of her brother under a pepperina tree with Winston's Store in the background:

"When the “Koopa” came on Wednesdays with fresh supplies of ice-cream, it was a great thrill to have 3d. (threepence) to spend on an ice-cream in a cone. And there was the tantalising choice between vanilla, strawberry, chocolate and perhaps tutti-fruiti, while “Uncle” Eddie Winston waited patiently, to grant our wishes." (2)

With the opening of the Bribie Bridge in 1963 a new era for Bribie shops began and Arthur, Min and Ed retired from the storekeeping business to enjoy their retirement, though Arthur continued to serve the local community as Councillor for Bribie for several years.

Written by Donna Holmes from information sourced from the BIHS Database and 

(1) Don Mullen, personal communication.

(2) Caption by Barbara Henderson for photo 19, Barbara Henderson collection.

(3) Mr Benjamin Winston, obituary. Courier Mail 10 Sep 1934, p. 16

(4) Old identities chosen as Festival Prince and Princess. (Arthur and Min Winston). Bribie Star 22 Aug 1969 page 1 


Thank you to Lissa Winston for permission to use her family’s photo of Winston’s Store for this article.

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