1911-12, Broadmeadow, Newcastle - Joe Booth (manager) with a customer

1911-12, Broadmeadow, Newcastle Joe Booth (manager) with a customer

Our story

Our company is rich in family history, from how we started to where we are today. Read on to learn more about us and how we’ve come to be.

It was 1908, Mr. Alfred John Bush had just finished serving his apprenticeship with Marshall & Sons in Broken Hill, when he commenced trading as a butcher in Newcastle. He worked for Harry Lucerne, who was the owner of several large Newcastle butcher shops. 

He opened his first butcher shop in 1909. By 1921 he owned 12 shops, in that year he moved his family to Homebush and established the wholesale butchery business of AJ Bush & Sons.

With the assistance of his four sons—Norman, Albert, Jeffrey and Lance, the business grew to such an extent that Bush’s were the major meat operators at the then Homebush State Abattoir in the 1940’s and 50’s. At that time livestock were delivered to Flemington stockyards by rail and road and stockmen drove sheep, cattle and pigs across Parramatta Road to the abattoir.

With Alfred Bush retiring in 1940, he handed over control to his four sons, who operated the family business under a partnership agreement. They all lived in the Homebush and Strathfield areas. The eldest son, Norman, who was highly regarded as an ‘outstanding figure in livestock matters’, died at Bankstown on 6th January 1947, when he met with a fatal aeroplane accident at the age of 40. In the accident, his brother Jeffrey was badly injured and Jeffrey’s daughter Helena, aged 9 was also killed.

On the death of Alfred Bush in 1951, he was described as a ‘Captain of his industry’. He was also a pioneering motorist being the first to introduce motor transport on a commercial basis to Newcastle and in later years he became an avid horticulturist.

The 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s saw incorporation of the business and progressive
expansion into meat retailing, stock treatment works at Yanco NSW (1963),
smallgoods at Rockdale (transferred to Prospect in 2017),
and rendering (meat by-product recycling) at Rouse Hill, Sydney
(1956) and Murarrie QLD (1972).

The Queensland plant was relocated in 1994 to Beaudesert with the
construction of a state of the art animal waste recycling facility. After a
major fire in 2001 the plant was totally rebuilt.

Today the Company’s retail division trades as ‘Bush’s Fresh Meats’ a chain
of butcher shops from its original office on Parramatta Road, Homebush. The
Company remains owned and operated by the Bush family.

So this is us, so many stories still left to discover, many yet to be told.
Our family history book is still being written.

The Family Tree