Over Five Decades Of Providing Security Solutions
In 1943, a young John Barnes commenced locksmithing with AF Johnson and Co Pty Ltd and was one of 5 locksmiths working for the company at the time. While not a locksmith by trade when he started, his aptitude for mechanics meant that he soon became one of the companies leading locksmiths.
And so, in 1949, John Barnes opened the first John Barnes and Co Melbourne on the corner of Swanston and Little Lonsdale Sts. Eventually moving to 576 Elizabeth St, where they still operate today.
Keith Norris began employment at John Barnes and Company Melbourne and quickly picked up the skills of the trade to become one of the best locksmiths around.
Due to the increase in the national clientele, John Barnes made the decision to expand interstate in order to better serve his northern clients. By this time, Keith had excelled in the trade and this young gun was given the opportunity to lead the interstate move.
The Expansion North
John Barnes & Co Queensland began operations on 1 July 1966 on the corner of Stanley & Water St, Mater Hill; The business was operated by Keith & Shirley as the only 2 employees during its inception.
The first ‘apprentice’ came on board in that December.
The premises were resumed due to the construction of the Southeast Freeway, therefore, the business relocated with its now four staff members to 515 Stanley St, South Brisbane.
John Barnes & Keith Norris became partners in the Queensland operations
John Barnes headed into retirement and sold his interests in both the Victorian and Queensland operations. Both businesses continued to trade independently as family owned and operated businesses with by the Norris (QLD) and Roberts (MELB) families.
The Queensland branch of the Master Locksmiths Association was formed and was represented by Keith Norris at the inaugural National Conference in Canberra on 6th May.
Taking over adjoining premises, John Barnes & Co (Queensland) continued to expand due to include the provision of commercial door hardware to builders and shop fitters for commercial and government construction projects.
Adjoining premises were snapped up as they became vacant to accommodate the growing operations, now encompassing 515 -519 Stanley St.
A fruitful result of hard work and strong on-going client relationships fuelled the John Barnes expansions.
Official name change from John Barnes Queensland to John Barnes & Co (QLD) Pty Ltd.
Our professional service and quality products were on show to the world as we supplied and installed all hardware and ongoing maintenance to Expo 88.
We were honoured to be requested to manufacture the key to the Treasury Casino in Brisbane CBD.
A large brass key and two smaller keys were handcrafted by Bill Jefferis. One of these keys is still on display at the Casino entry.
On 21st April, the key to the Treasury Coffers was presented to Mr Keith De Lacy.
In October 2001 we were certified by ABLOY SECURITY as an authorised level six ABLOY DISTRIBUTOR. This is the highest level attainable.
The business had diversified with the success of commercial door hardware. This led to further expansion with access to a range of washroom equipment and disability access hardware which has made John Barnes a one-stop shop for builders, with residential and commercial products available as well as ancillary products such as door closers, door seals, and electric strikes.
Unfortunately, Keith Norris, aged 69, lost his battle with cancer and passed away on 19 January 2004.
Leaving a huge legacy behind, John Barnes (QLD) remains a family business with son Gary Norris succeeding as the Managing Director and daughters, Susan and Robyn taking on integral positions.
Prior to his passing, Keith had a vision to further expand the business by not only supplying door hardware to commercial projects but to include the installation of and also the supplying and hanging of doors.
On 1st July 2005, Gary Norris brought Keith’s vision to life and John Barnes Projects Pty Ltd commence trading.
Change of logo to reflect the expanding direction of the John Barnes & Co (QLD) Pty Ltd brand.
On 30th August, official notice was received regarding the government’s resumption – giving John Barnes just a few short months to relocate.
The business relocated over the 2008 Christmas period.
1st January saw trading commenced at the new purpose-built facility at our current location of 211 Evans Road, Salisbury.
McLarens Trade Doorware, suppliers of door hardware and accessories to the Victorian Market for nearly 50 years was purchased by John Barnes & Co (QLD) Pty Ltd.
Renamed to McLarens Door Hardware Pty Ltd – our combined resources make us one of the largest commercial door hardware and washroom equipment suppliers in Australia.
John Barnes has grown over the past 50 years, from 2 original staff members to a workforce of more than 70 people – making its presence felt as a leader in the locksmithing service and security solutions industry.
Watch some footage from John Barnes & Co (Queensland) Locksmith 50th Celebration Gala below:
“Our achievements during the past 50 years have been the result of many collective groups working together. Without the dedication of each individual staff member, the support of our business partners and the engagement and satisfaction of customers; we could not have come this far.” Gary Norris
An important contributor to our expansion and diversification is the result of ongoing personnel development.
We will continue to promote this by encouraging employees to become engaged in different roles across the business. We will utilise new methods and technological updates to ensure that the company and all employees are successful in these ventures.
Beyond the 50 Years