The History of Fry Bros
Fry Bros, established in 1889, is the oldest established funeral company in the Newcastle and Hunter Region that is still owned and managed by direct descendants of the original family—a six generation involvement! Fry Bros continues to be the trusted name in Funeral Care, helping families plan truly personalised and meaningful farewells.
Henry Fry 1827 ~ 1894
Henry Fry immigrated with his family from Kent, England in 1862 on the sailing ship Troboolgum. The family settled in Paterson, NSW.
Henry Fry possessed exceptional carpentry skills and supplied horse drawn vehicles to the developing region. This led to the development of a successful coach business, Fry & Co’s Coaches in the late 1860’s.
Fry's Coaches conveyed passengers and Her Majesty’s Royal Mail throughout the Maitland, Paterson and Dungog areas until the North Coast rail line was completed through Dungog in 1911. Henry’s sons, Richard and Harry Fry, established Fry Bros Funerals in 1889.
To read more about the history of Fry & Co Coaches, click here
Richard Fry 1860 ~ 1944 & Harry Fry 1868 ~ 1944
Richard, born in Sussex, England in 1860, was a cabinetmaker of note, serving an apprenticeship to cabinetmaker, Mr WA Norman in Maitland.
Together they helped with the rebuilding and fitting out of the newly named The Centennial Hotel, Maitland opened in 1888 (later known as The Grand Central).
The two brothers complimented the funeral business by producing and supplying fine furniture throughout the Hunter region.
Born at Paterson in 1868, Harry was very much involved in local government for many years, including 3 separate terms as Mayor of Maitland. Harry took over sole management of the business in 1924.
Henry Herbert (Bert) Fry 1901 ~ 1976
Bert Fry was the eldest son of Harry & Mary Fry. He took over as CEO of Fry Bros in 1944, upon his father’s death.
During Bert’s time as manager, the Fry Furniture Factory continued to create and supply quality furniture throughout the Hunter region. Solid Cedar was frequently the timber of choice, with early furniture pieces now keenly sought after by antique collectors.
The furniture showrooms were in High Street, Maitland, with the laneway behind the shop appropriately named “Coffin Lane”.
Lindsay Fry 1931 ~ 2013
Bert’s son, Lindsay Fry, took over the management of Fry Bros Funerals in the 1960’s. Under Lindsay’s leadership, with the support of his wife Mary, the company continued to expand with premises opening in Maitland (Campbells Hill), East Maitland and Raymond Terrace.
Lindsay’s brother, Stewart, continued to manage the Fry furniture factory on the same premises, off Coffin Lane, Maitland until its closure in the early 1980’s.
Anthony (Tony) and Margaret Fry
Tony Fry is the fifth generation of the original Fry family to be involved in the family business. Tony has always been a “Maitland boy”, growing up in central Maitland and attending Maitland Boys High School.
During the 1970’s, whilst nursing at The Maitland Hospital, Tony met his lovely wife Margaret, who was also a nurse. Margaret is from the NSW north coast and attended St Mary’s in Lismore.
Over many years, the late Lindsay Fry has been an inspirational role model for his son Tony in the running of Fry Bros.
Tony’s brother Campbell is currently working at Fry Bros after many years teaching music in London.
Tony & Margaret cherish the opportunity to be involved with families and recognise that it is an honour to be able to assist our community at such a significant time.
Annabelle, Dominique and Genevieve Fry
Three of Tony and Margaret’s daughters: Annabelle, Dominique and Genevieve are actively involved in the family business and assist Tony & Margaret in the management of Fry Bros.
Fry Bros - The trusted name in Funeral Care since 1889