1928 was a big year in Toowoomba; QANTAS conducted its first unsubsidised flight between Toowoomba and Brisbane, the legendary Bert Hinkler dropped in for a cup of tea and a sticky bun on one of his epic flights, modern technology allowed the screening of the very first colour movie at the Empire Theatre and Morgan Hugh Simon founded a timber yard to sell timber from his Cooyar mill.
Morgan Simon was a bloke who knew his way round a tree stump he was at one time the Deputy Director of the Queensland Forestry Department, he also had a nose for business and quickly saw the potential for the use of Cypress Pine as a quality termite resistant building product.
In 1950 Simon Pty Ltd was formed and the entire family played a part in the day to day running of this burgeoning empire. Suffice to say an invitation to dinner at the Simon residence could be a tedious affair if timber wasn’t your favourite topic of conversation. Apparently the roast beef with Cypress salad and the apple tree cake were enough to make a willow weep.
Business boomed. Simon P/L took over the timber yards in Snell and Herries Streets Toowoomba and a Borax treatment plant owned by the Toowoomba Timber Company. The family also owned mills at Western Creek, Millmerran, Chinchilla, the Ballon State Forest and Cooyar.
In 1950, with chamfer boards, flooring and finished timber in full production it was decided to sell timber and hardware direct to the building trade. A planing machine and Borax treatment plant were set up in Jones Street and a hardware store and office on adjacent land facing Wilkinson Street which has undergone many changes and upgrades over the decades.
As the great south east grew, so did the Simon family’s commitment to a rapidly growing city, with truss manufacture in 1964 and then wall frame manufacture in 1979. During this time the Simon Transport Company carted power poles from NSW and then hauled flooring across the country to Darwin. Today the transport company is separate from the building products arm.
In 1979 Ross Simon, son of Guy, took over management of the timber division and oversaw a period of expansion with the purchase of Nortruss Builders Supplies at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast, adding an exciting new dimension to the company. At that time Sid’s Place was the name chosen for the Toowoomba and Coolum sites. Ipswich followed in 2009, designed specifically to service the local building trade with most timber sold in bulk.
We can only wonder if Morgan H Simon had the vision to see what would become of his humble beginnings; a greatly respected company with a reputation for honesty, integrity, quality products and a happy well looked after work force. The company’s line is ‘Everything to build a home.’ And that’s exactly what Simon Home Timber and Hardware delivers. I think Morgan Hugh has every right to be well satisfied.
Several questions though: Who is Sid and what was that first colour movie at the Empire Theatre? If you think you know the answers to these questions email us, add your contact details to our mailing list and go into the draw to win a $500 shopping voucher.
2016 - ANOTHER NEW CHAPTER BEGINS
With Ross Simon having retired at the end of 2015, after almost 4 decades with the company, the company directors, after months of searching, appointed a Company General Manager to commence writing a new Simon Home chapter. We welcomed John Ryan to the Simon Home family.