Porters - History

Charles Porter & Sons have had a rich history in the Mackay region since commencing business in 1883. Here is a snapshot of some of the significant events throughout the years.


Charles Porter commenced building the Empress of India Hotel on the site of the current Taylors Hotel on 13 August 1883.

The building was finished in nine months without the use of power tools, ready-mix cement or mechanical lifts! Charles Porter and his building team relied on manual tools of trade including ladders, winches and transport through horse and bullock drawn carts.

Charles Smith Porter
River Street Wharves, date unknown


Charles Porter was involved in the construction of Mackay’s Town Hall.

Still standing today and a vibrant architecture piece in the region.

Charles Porter introduced hardware & plumbing supplies into the business.

Products included Rogers Paint, Wunderlich Art Metal and various building material products including hot water systems, oil engines, electric light installations, gas and wood stoves.

Staff in front of Charles Porter & Sons Hardware, circa 1930.
Staff with company truck in timber yard, circa 1920.


Charles Porter was at the inaugural meeting for the formation of the Mackay Master Builders Association.

Charles was one of the early contributors to the association. Porters has enjoyed a long standing relationship with Master Builders that still continues today. Click here for more information on Master Builders Queensland

The Great Cyclone devastated Mackay.

Victoria Street after cyclone damage 1918.


Porters began importing iron from England, glass products from Belgium, paint from America and fibrolite sheeting from France.

Mackay in 1915.


The Brisbane Street showroom opened where the current Porters Mitre 10 Mackay business still stands today, the motto ‘anything in building materials’ was adopted.


World War II


Porters introduced aluminium windows and doors into its business.

Staff at the front of the store, circa 1950s.


Porters celebrates 100 years in business.


Porters launches truss & frame manufacturing into the suite of offerings.


Charlies Coffee Shop was opened introducing ‘food that tastes like home’ concept.

The café is much loved within the region and today seats over 90 with catering and takeaway options available and extensive kids’ playroom facilities.

Porters Whitsunday trade store opened in Cannonvale.


Porters Glass & Aluminium opens in Glenella.


Porters Building Supplies, now Porters Mitre 10 Mackay Trade Centre opens in March.


Porters Plumbing Supplies opens in August.


Porters Mackay reopens after significant renovations.


Porters celebrates 130th year, Mackay store completes significant renovations to the Café, Homewares Showroom and Plumbing Showroom.


Inspirations Paint opens in March within the Porters Mackay complex.


Porters announces acquisition of Woodman’s stores in Marian, Sarina, Proserpine and Cannonvale and joins Mitre 10 group Australia.


Porters Mitre 10 Mackay City relaunches under the ‘Sapphire’ store program with Mitre 10.