Wallace Bishop may have passed but his legacy lives on in the company that is now one of Australia’s oldest and most successful jewellery businesses.
The beloved Brisbane jeweller who made the family business a national brand, died peacefully at home on the 17th of November 2022, at the age of 88.
The grandson of his namesake, Wallace Bishop, who came to Queensland in 1909 and opened the family’s first store in the city, is a third-generation family jeweller. He joined his grandfather’s company after sitting for his Year 10 examinations at Brisbane Boys College, where he was Dux of his class in 1950.
At that time, the family had two stores, including the Wallace Bishop Arcade on King George Street, which would become a Brisbane landmark for over seven decades.
In 1976, Wal, as he was fondly called, became the chief executive officer of the Wallace Bishop company and ran the family business from day to day. The jewellery brand was already established name in Queensland, supporting 160 workers.
Two decades later, under his guidance, Wallace Bishop bought the Hardy Brothers Jewellers, a 166-year-old Australian company marketing high-end products. The jeweller also secured the opportunity to design and deliver the handcrafted Melbourne Cup for 17 years.
Today, the family business has over 50 stores and more than 500 employees and Wal’s son, Stuart, has taken the reins. Stuart said his father succeeded because he believed that “what goes around comes around” and had always given back to the community.
Wal also surrounded himself with loyal associates and believed that luck is paid off with hard work.
In 2018, Wal was awarded the Order of Australia membership for his significant contribution to retail business. A year later, he was also inducted into the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame.