Local Family Business Spans 142 years and four generations
Last month saw the closure of an iconic Sandgate business after the passing of local identity, Norm Hawgood, aged 92. In 1973, Norm and his wife Helen started their jewelry and giftware business, which has been servicing Sandgate, surrounding suburbs and even greater Brisbane for the past 44 years.
It all began with Samuel Hawgood, who was born in the Old Kent Road, London. Hawgood would later become a well-known silversmith and pawnbroker in Brisbane, an occupation followed from early times by this family.
Samuel arrived in Brisbane in 1872, after an adventurous life in America, where he was engaged in growing sugar. He eventually established himself again as a silversmith opening his business in Ann Street, Fortitude Valley. Samuel was married twice and had two sons Samuel Jnr and Walter. It was Samuel Jnr who continued on in the family business after the death of his father from a premises in George Street, Brisbane.
Norm Hawgood worked as a fitter and turner during the war and then started work in the family jewelry business in George Street, where he acquired the skills necessary to repair clocks. He and his wife embraced an opportunity to embark on their own journey in business, when they opened the popular "Hawgood Jewelry and Gifts Store" in Sandgate. Norm’s sense of service and quality work resulted in many very happy customers and friends over the years, he continued to repair clocks of all sizes and types until he was 86.
The business in Sandgate was Norm and Helen’s superannuation. When he had to go into care in January this year, it was decided the business would be wound up and sold ending his families’ long and colourful association with the people of Sandgate, Brisbane and surrounds.
Photographs courtesy of Janette Garrad
Janette Garrad - Senior Technician, State Library of Queensland.