The Finlayson family¹s involvement in the timber industry spans four generations and dates back to 1875.
In 1870, young Charles Patterson left Aberdeen in Scotland, bound for Australia. He arrived in Brisbane, and found work as a gardener in the Botanical Gardens until 1875, when he and two brothers set up a sawmill (the Bon Accord Mill) at Indooroopilly.
After a fire destroyed this mill, the brothers started again in Toowong in 1877/78, opposite where Brisbane Boys College now stands - and then in 1881, relocated to the famous location in Sherwood Road, now the site of the Toowong Village retail complex.
In 1882 the company formally changed its trading name to Pattersons Pty Ltd. The Toowong mill supplied much of the material used to build the magnificent Queenslander homes in adjacent suburbs, sourcing its timber from surrounding areas where Maiden Hoop Pine, Crows Ash and Queensland Cedar were plentiful. Logs were conveyed by bullock teams to what is now called Rafting Ground Park, then floated down-river to Kayes Rocks at Toowong.
As timber became scarcer locally, loggers moved further afield, and transportation difficulties required new sawmills to be established closer to the resources. In their heyday, Pattersons had milling operations in the Glasshouse Mountains, at Moore, Linville, Kippa Creek, Rocklea, Mooloola, Sippy Creek, Kenmore, Beaudesert, as well as Toowong.
In 1985 Finlayson Timber and Hardware Pty Ltd was formed by Malcolm Finlayson, a direct descendant of Charles Patterson and Gordon (Aub) Lawson, a senior partner of Touche Ross Accountants. Skene, Michael and Malcolm Finlayson formed a wonderful partnership with Aub for the many years he was with the company. Hugh Gresham from Gresham Cosmetics and Sir Robert Mathers, from Mathers Shoes completed the board of directors.
In January 1997 the Finlayson family put in place a plan to buy out the other shareholders. When the last shareholder was bought out in August 1998, the family took full control of the business, with Skene, Michael and Malcolm on the board. The site at Wellington Road was bought and Title Deeds show the site was once owned by Walter Taylor, a great friend of the founder, Charles Patterson.
Many things have changed over the last 139 years. the most significant being the upgrading of plant and equipment now used at both the sawmilling and processing facilities.
In 1990 Finlayson's purchased their first Laser Cutting Machine, and the company now operates one of the most sophisticated laser cutters found in the world. Our window and door plant has had a $2,000,000 upgrade in recent times, and with the arrival of the latest door processing machine, we will become one of only a few fully-computerised joinery factories in Australia.
One of the great benefits Finlayson's offer is the fact that customers are dealing with the manufacturer in all cases. We not only make the finest quality products, but we also have our own sawmills, finger-jointing plant and high-speed moulding lines. But even the best plant and equipment are useless without a dedicated and skilled workforce to use them to the best advantage.
At Finlayson's we are proud and fortunate to have an experienced and loyal team who have been able to adapt to changing markets and help keep the company at the forefront of the industry.
And of course, without your support we would not be in a position to celebrate our 139th year in business. Our loyal customers have supported us through good times and not so good times, and have helped us develop into what we are today.
On behalf of the staff and management team at Finlayson's, we thank you for your tremendous support, and look forward to servicing your building requirements for the next 139 years.