Person: Salem (Alam) Dyer

Salem Dyer

Salem Dyer

Abattoir worker/Hawker/Storekeeper/Bedding manufacturer


Abbilias, Syria/Lebanon

Arrival In Australia:

Years Lived In Brisbane:
1895-1912; 1923-1960

Date Of Naturalization:

Year Of Birth:

Place Of Death:
Mater Hospital, Brisbane

Date Of Death:

Residential Address

  • Type of Location: Drapery store
    Address: 719 Stanley Street South Brisbane
  • Type of Location: Family residence
    Address: 268 Vulture Street South Brisbane
  • Type of Location: Family residence
    Address: 6 Inkerman Street Woolloongabba
  • Type of Location: Family residence
    Address: Leopard Street Kangaroo Point

Businesses Owner

  • Type of Business: Bedding factory
    Duration of Business: 1923 - 1959 Years


  • Marriage Date: 10/01/1906
    Birthplace of spouse: Abbilias, Syria/Lebanon
    Heritage of spouse: Syrian/Lebanese
    Place of marriage: Brisbane


Only fifteen when he arrived in South Brisbane in 1895 with his widowed mother and three siblings, Salem Dahur (Dyer) initially found work at the Cannon Hill abattoirs. However, when he was about sixteen, he decided to try hawking and:

… his uncle Calile Malouf, gave him one pound and said, ‘Okay, now you’re on your own. You go to the warehouse and buy some goods for a pound, you go out and sell them for one pound ten… then you take the one pound ten and you buy some more and you sell that for two’. And that’s how he started off as a hawker… hawking was on foot for a start, then he eventually got a horse and cart, and then he was doing his hawking up through the Brisbane Valley following the building of the railway lines.

Salem married Mintaha (Minnie) Trad in 1906. They worked together with Minnie sewing and Salem selling their goods door to door as they followed the railway line through Esk to Yarraman. In 1916, Salem stopped hawking and opened a general store at Blackbutt, an important centre for the timber industry. They operated the store until 1923 when they returned to Brisbane with their six children. Ultimately, Salem and Minnie had eight children, four boys and four girls. However, their third child, Alma died of meningitis when she was about 15 and a student at All Hallows.

Salem bought 719-721 Stanley Street Woolloongabba. The family had a drapery store at 719 but eventually Salem established a bedding manufacturing factory which developed into a thriving family business.

Salem is remembered by his son, Nick, as an exceptional person who firmly believed his future and his family’s future were in Australia. As Nick recalled: ‘As far as Dad was concerned, he, without any question wanted to embrace the British way, or the Australian way’.


Nick Dyer, interview with Anne Monsour, Brisbane, 1995.

Nick Dyer, The Dyer Family: a Loving Tribute to Salem Dyer and Mintaha Trad, Brisbane: Author, 1991.