OUR HISTORY

1961

Beginning with John Mackay

John Mackay worked as a fire fighter in Brisbane with wife Bev and 1 year old son Bob at home, also working another part time job of garbage collecting to make ends meet.  He would Work 4 days in the QFB and 2 days Garbage collecting. John sought alternative ways to make money for his small family and noticed a lot of old houses needed restumping so he offered his services to a local restumper and started restumping on his day off.

1961

1963

The Doctors Report

Working for the fire brigade and restumping homes on his days off John noticed a problem with his vision and saw a local doctor. John Mackay was diagnosed Melanoma  Cancer of the right eye, this was  terrible news but didn’t let it get him down.

1963

1964 - 1965

Pressing Onwards

John Mackay continued to work in the fire brigade and restump houses on his days off whilst doctors kept a close eye on his developing cancer. Determined to provide for his now growing family he continued to work and took great joy in the little time he had to spend with his family Bev, Bob and new daughter Debbie.

1964 - 1965

1966

The Metropolitan Restumping Service

John received horrifying news that the melanoma in his eye had turned malignant.  John had no choice but to have his eye removed. Due to only having one eye John was honourably discharged from the QFB.  With little money and a family to support,  John Mackay started Metropolitan Restumping Service with a fellow Fire Fighter, Tommy Conellan.  They setup a small office at John’s family home at 10 Franklin Street, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane with wife Bev manning the phones and being the “Silent Partner” doing all the behind scene activities.  Business cards were made and Advertisements were put in the “Phone Book”.

1966

1967

All or Nothing

With restumping being the only means of income for John and his family, he gave it everything he had . With business steadily increasing day to day Tommy Conellan knew he had to either leave the fire brigade or give up restumping. He chose to stick to fire fighting and sold his half share to John. Now with John the only owner he expanded the business into other areas such as house raising and sliding houses.

1967

1968

Trade Secrets

John devotes all his time to the business, hand writing  his own contracts and quotes each and every night, something he would do for many years, spending his weekends quoting work and reading into better and safer work methods for his business. John learns many trade secrets for house raising and sliding making him able to complete the jobs faster, safer and cheaper. Witch in return would give him more raises/slides. 

1968

1969

Crash Course

With John’s knowledge and understanding of houses growing he seeks to diversify into other areas. He notices an advertisement in the local paper for a  house removal business for sale.   The Company called Cyril Hoff House Removals.  CHHR  had been going for some  30+ years and Cyril was retiring.  John inspected the equipment and made the offer to restump Cyril’s house and pay a sum of $2,000 in exchange for a 2 axle wooden trailer made from power poles and aeroplane wheels, 1x kb9 international truck, a Plymouth sedan, timber skids, jacks and an assortment of other tools together with a 12month crash course in house removing.  John Mackay House Removals was officially born.

1969

1st September 1969

Murphy’s Law

The very first house was moved in Ascot, Brisbane.  Being the first home John had ever moved, he took it very slowly unfortunately the house and truck got bogged into the road and had to be winched to its destination.  It took 20hrs to move the house 1km.   Today this job would take on average 5 minutes.  This was the first of many houses that John moved and in a few short months a new business premises was required. The family and the business moved to 20 Somerset Street, Windsor Brisban

1st September 1969

1970

New Found Love

Johns new love for house removals drove him to focus on house removals, he would endlessly talk about it with anyone who would listen and spend nights researching new and different methods in Australia and New Zealand in the hope to make it more affordable for the average family, however stumping was still the main component of Johns business. Over the year house removals slowly grew, it was still a very much unheard of trade.

1970

1971

The b61 Mack Truck

By the end of 1971 John Mackay House Removals was advertising in all papers and phone books. By this stage John had successfully implemented different methods and techniques which he had studied making jobs run smother, safer and faster resulting in an influx of work. John bought out another House Removalist Company, Ken Dell House Removals based in Redcliffe for $6,500.  This included a state of the art 2 axle dual wheel steel trailer more styes, jacks and a keen crew of young workers including a man named Peter Waldock.  Peter would later become Foreman for the 3rd generation Mackay’s.  1971 saw John’s love affair with Mack trucks evolve and he bought a 2yr old b61 Mack truck.  This was unheard of in the house removal industry where most equipment was either homemade or outdated by 30 yrs.

1971

1972

Leading the Pack

Much to John’s satisfaction, John Mackay House Removals was leading the industry across Australia.  JMHR became one of the largest house removal companies in Australia and was always owned and operated solely by John throughout his tenure at the helm.   House relocations had now become the main component of John’s business with more than 14 men employed, along way from a crew of 2 or 3 men, it was definitely bigger then John had dreamed.

1972

1973

Mutual Respect

With the business growing every day John continues to lead the industry, always researching and investing in new equipment and methods to achieve jobs safer, quicker and easier.  John always looked after his staff and he expected nothing but the best of his men and they in turn respected him.

1973

1974

Brisbane Suffers

Tragedy strikes as Brisbane suffers from horrendous floods never seen before. John is contracted to move hundreds of homes out of the lowest lying areas to avoid future floods.  Many of these areas included Windsor, Wilston, Bowen Hills, Chelmer, Rocklea.  Numerous suburbs were simply wiped out by torrents of water and John was solidly booked out for more than 2 years and found he was saying “sorry” to potential clients as he was unable to carry out their move for some time.   After leaving the QFB 8 years earlier to do house restumping,  John had changed his business direction and founded a unique niche, doing what not many had done before him, a true risk taker.   John Mackay House Removals is now so large it can no longer work out of residential premises at Windsor.  John sources  new premises for the Business only, whilst the family moved back to the former family home at Kelvin Grove.  The new business premises, affectionately known by John as “The Depot” was zoned “industrial” which was perfect for John’s growing business and vision.  This also kept him in good steed with the Brisbane City Council.   John purchased the property at 60 Ryan’s Road, Northgate which would remained Johns “Depo”  for the next 22 years. This is also the year that John Mackay House Removals formed a Company, Hunstall Pty Ltd trading as John Mackay House Removals.

1974

1975

Father & Son

With a well-established business, John was ecstatic to see his eldest son Bob Mackay join the family business, with team work and eagerness to learn Bob would quickly learn the trade.

1975

1976

Room to Grow

With Bob by his side the business thrived requiring more and more room, John purchases the adjoining property to expand.

1976

1977

The Great Expanse

With John constantly researching new techniques and always updating and maintaining his equipment. The business grows and it is now so large that it not only moves houses for itself,  it also moves houses for 3 other Removal Companies, moving on average 4 houses a week all over the State of Queensland.  Sometimes away from home for many days.

1977

1978

Ryan’s Road

With growth increasing every year the need for more room is growing, with foresight in mind John purchases 2 more adjoining properties to enlarge his Depot at Ryan’s Road, Northgate.

1978

1979

The Cinder Block Phone

John continues to grow and another adjoining property was purchased.  With new requirements for road and government permits becoming more and more complicated and time consuming John decides to make his son Bob Foreman allowing John to spend less time onsite.   With the hydraulic age upon them John invests in a new machine called a bobcat, making work efficiency and capability increase.   John also gets tech savvy and purchases a mobile phone, it was the size of a cinder block and his family would tease and laugh each time he used it.

1979

1980

“Nothing Stays The Same Forever”

With the constant need of workers John bought 3 residential properties on Ryans Road, Northgate for workers to live in.  As the cost of timber rises and the production of steel beams grow,  it becomes more feasible and safer to use steel under slings/ carrying beams.  All timber beams are changed to steel,  a costly yet safer way to move homes.   John had a very firm saying…..”nothing stays the same forever” and he used this philosophy  constantly in his day to day running of his business and the safety of his men.  He loved to embrace change and understood to be successful, change had to happen.

1980

1981

The Takeover

With John’s quest to become the largest house removal company, he  purchases yet another House Removal company,  Allen Lorie House Removals.  This take over includes 2x b model Mack trucks and 2x brand new state of the art hydraulic 2 axle duel wheel boomerang trailers which could be raised from 1m up to an astronomical 1.7m.   These where the first hydraulic trailers in Queensland.  This dramatically increased the time it took to move houses,   now John could lift up over guardrails/ bridges etc.  Whereas before blocks where required to be laid on the ground and the truck/house would drive on top of them to get the height required to clear the obstacle.  This is also where John’s signature colour of  black started.  The takeover of Allen Lorie’s business enable John’s dream and vision to become a reality.  John Mackay House Removals is now the largest house removal company in Australia

1981

1982 - 1983

“Night Moves”

With the only hydraulic trailer in use in the House Removing business,  John’s business thrived moving houses,  Again, John was hiring his Business to up to 6 other Removal Businesses.   Not many nights went without a move.    “Night moves” were allowed every night of the week, except for Saturday night.

1982 - 1983

1984

The Best of The Best

With John adamant to stay up to date with equipment and safety he continued to be the best of the best,  John purchased the first house removal trailer from Modern Transport in New Zealand which has a 3 axle dual wheel trailer and had the capability to lift up to 2m.

1984

1984

John & John Jnr

John’s youngest son John Mackay Jnr leaves school and starts in the family business and stays with the Company for approximately 12 months.  John Jnr enters and completes a Motor Mechanic apprenticeship with Pauls Dairy.   Upon John  Jnr’s qualification he returns to the family Company and works as a Mechanic up until 1996.

1984

1985

The Flood Gates Open

With the most modern and extensive equipment as well as professional workmanship the work flooded in.  John’s work ethic and reputation was well known and he was the preferred Removalist to have.

1985

1986

Get Over It

With work mounting,  and new advances in equipment John bought another 3 axle trailer from Modern Transport.  This state of the art Trailer had the capability of raising up to 2.4m and  having double acting cylinder’s making it able to lift wheels individually to raise over obstacles like holes or banks.

1986

1987 - 1989

The Business Exploded!

With an extensive fleet and no shortfall of work,  the business exploded and John looked for new equipment to make the job easier and safer always wanting to deliver the best to his clients was foremost on John’s mind.

1987 - 1989

1988

Debbie Mackay

John’s daughter, Debbie started work in the business.  John now had all his children, Bob, Debbie and John working in the business.  John can finally stop hand writing all his quotes and contracts now he would use a dictating machine and Debbie typed the quotes and they were sent out weekly.   Debbie left the family business in 1991.

1988

1990

The Revolution

John bought the first steerable trailer in Queensland and could lift to 2.8m.   This  trailer revolutionised the house removal industry and is the base for all house removal trailers today, it  made “impossible jobs possible” and further cemented John’s name in history

1990

1991 - 1995

Proving the Doubters Wrong

With a steerable trailer John continues to do jobs people say are impossible and the business grows as does John’s reputation. 

1991 - 1995

1996

Calling it a Day

After 30 years at the top John calls it a day and retires leaving his son Bob and Bobs wife Debbie to run the business. The company name is changed to Mackay House Removals.

1996

1997

Banyo

With a fresh start and eager attitude Bob and wife Debbie push the business to grow and  purchases a second steerable trailer, with this comes more growth and the need to hire a new foreman becomes apparent, Peter Waldoc joined the crew as the new foreman and  the business moves to Banyo to get closer to the highway.

1997

1998

Proud of You Son

As a family owned and operated business Bob is proud to see his eldest son Ben start work in the company.

1998

1999

Coming of Age

With Bobs 2nd eldest son coming of age, Robbie starts work and the business is moved to acreage property on the Warrego highway at Walloon with the foresight to store houses on the block for resale.

1999

2000

Its in the Name

Now with 2 sons working in the family business the name is changed to Mackay and Sons House Removals, a proud day for the boys.

2000

2001

The “Depot”

With a successful few years,  Bob dreams big and purchases a  property at Narangba which backed onto the Bruce Highway.  This property will become the base for the business for the next 15+ years.  This was the new “Depot” and the family also lived on the premises

2001

2002

Enter Matt

Bob’s youngest son Matt starts work.

2002

2003

East West

As Brisbane grows the need for tunnels/ busways increase. The government resumes a large number of homes with Bob being the preferred removalist to remove all the homes for the east/west bus way tunnel in Brisbane CBD.  This was a major contract moving entire streets for the Brisbane City Council.

2003

2004

The Clem7

After successfully completing the bus way, Mackay and Sons are engaged again to remove the first stage of houses to make way for the Clem7 tunnel.

2004

2005

Hanging Up The Hat

After a life time of house removing spanning 37+ years Peter Waldock retires, stepping aside to let the boys run the show.

2005

27th March 2006

In Loving Memory

John passes after a short battle with cancer at Holy Spirit Northside, Chermside leaving behind a distraught family.   Whilst John was at the helm of his beloved business he built over 40 years  he went from  a 1 man show who owned a shovel, ute, a water leveller to a multimillion dollar company that he could proudly pass down. A wonderful role model to the next generation.   John Gilmour Mackay was a Shearer turned Wool Classer, who joined QFB to provide for his small family until honourably discharged due to the loss of his eye.   John took every life setback as a challenge making the most from every situation, always learning and reading.  John read until he could read no more.   John’s business mind and  relentless devotion to his dreams and family not only brought him happiness and success it also did to everyone who encountered  him.  He will forever be remembered and missed.  12/7/1936 – 27/3/2006

27th March 2006

2006

Welcome Ashleigh

Bobs daughter Ashleigh also joins the family business. 

2006

2007

Family Tradition

With all Bob’s children working in the family business,  Bob continues to make John proud taking the business to new levels.  A wonderful family tradition had been born –  Each of  John and Bob’s children having had a part in the family business.

2007

2008

Good to Go

Bob is engaged to move the remaining houses for the Clem 7 tunnel.

2008

2009

Take It From Here Boys

After 13 years at the top and with 34 years in the industry Bob calls it quits retiring to travel Australia, selling the family business to his 3 sons Ben, Robbie and Matt.

2009

2010 - 2012

More For Less

With the 3 boys in control they push the business forward with new, faster and safer methods of moving houses. With a decreasing economy the boys manage to deliver a top quality job at a lower rate, thus increasing the amount of houses moved and the business continues to grow.

2010 - 2012

2013

Remember The Motto

After 11 years Matt Mackay sadly leaves the family business to peruse other dreams in Northern Queensland. With technology ever changing and the boys keeping Johns motto in mind “nothing stays the same forever” most equipment is either updated or replaced

2013

2014

Two Boys & A Girl

With only the 2 boys and Ashleigh left in the business, they push the business forward. Using the most modern technology they are able to move more houses than ever before in less time. 

2014

2015

Time To Demolish

With business thriving, the need for more efficiency is required more steerable, remote control  house removal trailers and trucks are purchased, also a Redcliffe demolition and asbestos Removal Company  is taken over starting Mackay and Son’s Demolition, after 18 years Ben Mackay leaves the family business.

2015

2018

Setting the House Removal Bar In A Digital World

An Industry first Mackay And Son launched a new website featuring case studies, helpful resources and  virtual tour walkthroughs of almost every home listed. Virtual tours are giving Mackay and Son’s customers the ability to inspect each home from the comfort of their home.

2018