Q150 Heritage Plaque - 7 of 16 - First Shop
These 16 bronze plaques set on a white concrete square record various aspects of the history of Bribie Island: Record Rainfall, South Esplanade, Campbell's Store, Camping Grounds, Bribie Island heritage quote from A. Meston, Ian Fairweather, First Shop, Bribie Island Heritage quote from Stan Tutt, First Avenue, Fishing Records, Welsby Parade, Bribie Island Wartime, First Car, Shirley Creek, Castaway Convicts and Fish Cannery.
The following excerpt is from the 2009 booklet produced prior to the plaques placement. The Heritage Plaques Waterfront Walk Bongaree project was a Q150 Community Funded Program, initiated by the Rotary Club of Bribie Island and supported by Moreton Bay Regional Council in conjunction with Bribie Island U3A and Bribie Island Historical Society.
A copy of the map for the Bongaree Waterfront Walk can be found at
A.H. “Artie” Bestmann kept bees and dairy cattle here from 1903. Alfred Hall, a Brisbane grocer, built a house next door in 1913 and together they provided basic goods to visitors from a spare room. In 1921 they built the “Hall and Bestmann Store” on this corner.
History of Bribie’s First Shop
¨ Arthur H. “Artie” Bestmann moved to Bongaree from his parents farm at Best Park, near Godwin Beach, in the early 1900’s. He kept bees and grazed dairy cattle, establishing the first dairy on Bribie Island. Artie supplied milk and honey to local residents and visitors.
¨ In 1913, a storekeeper from Toowong in Brisbane, Alfred T. “Alf” Hall built a holiday cottage next door to Artie Bestmann on what was to become Toorbul Street. Locals and campers on holiday were soon asking Alf Hall to bring provisions from Brisbane to replenish their supplies.
|Alfred Hall's holiday home and shop on verandah|
¨ Alf and Artie began selling their foodstuffs from the window of the spare room at the front of Hall’s house to customers on the verandah. Over time business expanded and the partners built the substantial Hall & Bestmann Store on the corner block.
¨ Although the original shop has had many subsequent owners and renovations, it still occupies the same site today, on the corner of Toorbul Street and First Avenue Service Road.
|Hall and Bestmann Store 1920s|
Business on Bribie.
¨ Saplings were cut and stacked beside the shop as tent poles for sale or hire to campers to erect their teowned in partnership by Artie Bestmann and Jack Bishop.
¨ A Pontoon owned in partnership by Artie Bestmann and Jack Bishop was used to take cows with calf to Bongaree. This pontoon also brought the “First Car” to Bongaree in 1918.
¨ During the time of the Winston Bros. ownership, a wooden seat was placed on the footpath outside the shop. This became a meeting place for locals who proclaimed it “The Seat of Knowledge”.
Hall & Bestmann Family History
¨ Alfred and Emily Hall had four sons—Roy, Hector, Len and Ian. The boys helped out at the shop, delivering groceries by horse and cart to island residents. In 1923 Len Hall, aged 15, worked in the shop alongside Artie Bestmann while his parents were on a trip to England.
¨ In 1924, Alf Hall’s niece, Lilly, came out from England and she and husband Wilfred Cotterill ran a dairy and crop farm on what is now Cotterill Avenue. Alfred Hall retired in 1926/27 dividing his assets with Arthur Bestmann. He retained the 321 acres which the Cotterill family continued to farm on his behalf. Always a keen bowler, Alfred was now able to enjoy this activity at the new bowls club. He was elected the 2nd President of Bribie Island Bowls Club.
¨ Artie Bestmann continued in the store with the help of his sister Eda Bishop and his niece Myrtle Bestmann. The shop was later sold to the Winston Bros. Artie continued to live at the back of the shop for a while.