Telegraph, Thursday 27 January 1938, page 18
Mr. James Allan Dead
DOYEN OF BRISBANE DRAPERY TRADE
PUBLIC-SPIRITED AND SUCCESSFUL MERCHANT
Mr. James Allan, who for over 50 years was prominent in the commercial life of Brisbane, and who also took an active part in the public life of the city, died at his home at Hampstead Road, Highgate Hill last night after about three months’ illness.
Mr. Allan was the son of a farmer and was born near Airdrie, Scotland,on December 20,, 1856. He thus was in his 82nd year.
The firm of Allan and Stark, drapers, Stanley Street, South Brisbane, was started with a capital of £500. In the 1880’s Stanley, Street was a busy trading centre, and the firm formed a big connection with settlers in the Logan .and Albert and Coomera Valley.
Mr. Allan rendered good service as member for South Brisbane in the Queensland Parliament.
In 1885. the late Mr. Allan married Miss Elizabeth Stark, a sister of his partner. The golden wedding, which was celebrated in June, 1935, brought the principals congratulations from hundreds of friends not only in Australia but from overseas.
James Allan was not only a successful retailer, but also a politician. As well as serving on the South Brisbane Municipal Council, he was the Member for the State Seat of South Brisbane and then the first member for Kurilpa after it was created in 1912. He was also active in the YMCA and wrote a book entitled “A Holiday Ramble in New Zealand”.
Wairuna was used during World War 2 as a hostel for service women as described in another post ion this blog, Lest We Forget – Highgate Hill.
The firm of Allan and Stark expanded over the years from its drapery store beginnings to become a full department store. After the 1893 flood, the company moved from South Brisbane to Queen Street. It pioneered the suburban department store in Australia with the opening of the Chermside shopping centre in 1957. The firm was taken over by Myers in 1959. Myers continued to trade from Allan and Stark’s heritage listed flagship store in Queen Street until the new Myer Centre was built on the other side of the Queen Street Mall.