On the right side of this little building is my local butcher, Rayners Gourmet Meats. We always refer to it as "going to see Mr Rayner" or "this beautiful beef comes from Mr Rayner", even though there is no Mr Rayner there. The current owner is the ebullient Mike, and the produce from his shop is simply superb. His gourmet sausages are made on the premises and are a local legend, sold to restaurants and hotels across Brisbane. I love his spicy Italian sausages! Drop in one day - you'll be sure to find something you like.
The original Mr Rayner was a butcher with a real estate penchant. Sidney Rayner came to Australia from Lancashire in 1909 at the age of 22 and was originally part-owner of a butcher shop at Auchenflower. After WWI he had a shop at New Farm, and he and his family lived at the rear of the building. A large block of flats now occupies this site.
(Photo: Sam Rayner)
In 1925 he moved further down Brunswick St to a butcher shop that had just been completed. This is the building still in use today, and it is on the Brisbane City Council's heritage register. Here is a photograph of the shop being built.
(Photo: Sam Rayner)
In 1928 Sidney bought a block of land across the road from the site of his first New Farm shop and built a substantial brick building on it in 1930. It was one of the early blocks of flats in New Farm, and the Rayner family was to live in the top floor with two flats on the lower floor available for rental.
The building was named "Hamel" by Rayner, evidently after the WWI battle at Le Hamel (won by the AIF under Lt Gen Sir John Monash) in which Rayner served as a signaller with the AIF's 43rd Battalion. This building is also on the heritage list at BCC.
Sid Rayner and his wife Gladys had four children: Sam, who served in the AIF during WWII and then became Registrar at UQ; Madge, who served as a coder in the WRANS during WWII; Ken, who also served in WWII (and later died of war injuries), became a butcher and followed on in Sid's shop; and Keith, who became an Anglican priest in 1953 and rose to be Bishop of Adelaide.
This is a New Farm family we should all be proud of.
Note: I am indebted to
the book "Reflections on New Farm" published by New Farm &
Districts Historical Society Inc. for most of this information as well
as Sam Rayner's photographs.
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