1978 Flashback: Telephone Timber, it’s Charlie on the Hot Line!

Wood Central Senior Editor Jim Bowden recalls an interview with Charlie Henry in 1978.

Fri 04 Aug 23


Should you desire to pay a business or social call on energetic and industry-dedicated Charlie Henry at his office in Salisbury East, Brisbane, be prepared to face a sequence of ‘interruptions’.

Don’t get the wrong idea. Charlie Henry is most courteous, and an enjoyer of life, and helper of the unfortunate. Between the telephone calls that form part of your ‘interrupted” session with him, you readily appreciate his desire to be a servant and helper for those in the timber industry – an industry he loves and lives for.

The telephone at the Henry office, situated at the rear of his home, “rings all the time” as we noted during our one-hour ‘talk’ with Charlie early this month.

Founder of Charlie Henry Timbers Pty Ltd, based at 54 Meynell Street, Salisbury, he estimated that close to 60 timber species fill the orders his receives in a trading year.

While Charlie has been linked with the furniture trade for 24 years, he made his start as a Saturday job boy, sweeping up sawdust and shavings in an inner-city factory and was an apprentice wood machinist.

“But it’s my education in the timber business that I appreciate the most,” he said.

The company enjoys a close business link with the Queensland timber industry with its main interests in softwoods such as hoop pine and radiata and a range of hardwoods, buying and selling for many traders.

Fellow director Chris Hall controls the company’s holding depot on a 50-ha farming property at Roadvale, close to Ipswich. Chris has special knowledge in imported timber species and for a period was the manager of the import and wholesale division of a leading Australian timber firm.

He is an expert in the timber marketing field and holds a certificate of wood technology.

Chris Hall is also a most progressive farmer.

Both Charlie and Chris worked with David Wilkinson’s successful business Forest Products Marketing before they went out on their own, first as partners.

Charlie Henry Timbers deals directly with sawmillers, merchants and major manufacturing companies allied to the timber industry.

The company’s philosophy is “service with a minimum of fuss”.

Charlie insists that this is more readily achieved when dealing directly with the management of a small business.

“We enjoy a perfect harmony with industry and receive the best of cooperation from the personnel that make up the staff at many traders.

“The timber industry is blessed with people who are friendly, helpful, cooperative and charitable,” Charlie said.

On business prospects: “I am an optimist and am confident that our industry is showing sound signs of business improvement. I base this on the continued activity of our company.”

Charlie is an associate member of the Queensland Timber Board and associate member of the Queensland Guild of Furniture Manufacturers.

Company secretary is his wife Anne, the mother of a son David, 11, and daughter Linda, 5, and away from attending the business activities of her husband, Anne finds time to help on school committees and playing social tennis.

On the road, the company has veteran furniture man Les Hefferfnan, who travels the coast from Noosa to the Queensland-NSW border,

This knowledgeable timber and furniture expert is never happier “talking the trade” and time is never a barrier.

Charlie Henry has sponsored Debbie Easton, 18, a city bank officer and daughter of a neighbour in the Miss Timber 1978 Quest, a contest that raises funds for children’s charities.


  • Jim Bowden

    Jim Bowden, senior editor and co-publisher of Wood Central. Jim brings 50-plus years’ experience in agriculture and timber journalism. Since he founded Australian Timberman in 1977, he has been devoted to the forest industry – with a passion.


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