With wife, Shirley, and three young children to support, Keith Gregory abandoned the cabinetmaking trade he had learned on return from active duty in the Pacific to promote a revolutionary new product for the building industry, the “Sawmaster” Radial Arm Saw.
Until this time, house frames were completely cut and assembled on site with only the aid of hand-held saws. Keith obviously had his work cut out for him to convince builders that this new, and quite expensive, product would revolutionise house building forever and actually ‘save them money’.
One of the most enduring childhood memories of one of Gregory Machinery’s former Directors, son, Robert Gregory, was with Keith delivering a petrol-driven Sawmaster to the site of the original Lennon’s Hotel at Broadbeach, where the unit was set up amongst the sand dunes – there were virtually no other structures in sight. From that point on, most of the Gold Coast was built with this ‘new fangled gadget’.
K M & S E Gregory operated from the family home in St Lucia for almost 30 years, outliving much larger competitive companies such McPhersons, ESCA and IBC. They progressively broadened their product range to power tools, including the brand new Makita range, which had just arrived from Japan, and a broad range of equipment for the cabinetmaking and building trades.
In 1970, Alan Gregory returned from Melbourne he was asked by Keith to come and work for him in the company. Alan worked as a salesman and manager when Keith and Shirley were away taking holidays for 14 years until Keith retired in 1984.
In 1974, along with the rest of Brisbane, disaster struck the company. The entire business at St Lucia disappeared under 8 foot of murky Brisbane River water. With the help of most of the Western Suburbs 1974 Australian Rules team (Alan’s football mates), the machinery was hastily moved to higher ground in the old Avalon Theatre, which was also the evacuation centre for many St Lucia residents for the duration of the floods.
Robert Gregory came to work for the comany while on log service leave from Evans Deakin in the early 80s and subsequently stayed on.
In 1982, sons, Alan and Robert renamed the business Gregory Machinery Pty Ltd and moved it to Vulture Street, West End, fortuitously into a building recently vacated by Bostitch, for whom the company had been resellers for decades. With the help of this walk-in business, Gregory Machinery was seriously on the move.
By 1992, Gregory Machinery had outgrown Vulture Street and purchased premises in Jane Street, West End, and expanded their product range even further, incorporating much larger equipment in panel saws, edgebanders etc. They also secured Australian distributorship for exciting new product ranges such as Jet Machinery & Tools, Kreg Jigs, Sicar Panel Saws, Safety Speed Cut Wall Saws and a full range of Taiwanese and Italian woodworking machines.
In 2003, Gregory Machinery had yet again grown out of their premises at both Vulture St and Jane St Now, Alan
Gregory and Maria Gregory are pleased to announce that their new, substantially larger premises located at 807 Boundary Road, Richlands (cnr Kelliher Road) is offering an even larger range of new and second hand machinery, including Laguna Tools, Harvey, Jet machinery, Woodman, Maggi, SSC, Putsch Menconi and many more including the Australian Distributorship of Cehisa Edgebanders
August 2006, Gregory Machinery has farewelled Robert Gregory, who no longer is a Director of Gregory Machinery.