Our History

The history of Northern Memorials began in 1919 with George Watters, a Northern Beaches local stonemason, who operated from the corner of Hill Street and Griffith Street Manly. In 1946 William (Bill) Mullins joined the fold and together Watters and Mullins operated for 30 years.

After a long association with Watters and Mullins, Jose (Joe) Lourenco joined the team in the early 1970s. Jose, who was born in Portugal and began work as a stonemason at a very young age. Coming from a family of quarrymen, Jose spent his youth acquiring his trade, being the third generation in a long line of stonemasons.

After immigrating to Australia in 1955, Jose brought his wealth of experience to our shores. Jose worked on a number of notable projects including the Queen Victoria Building, the Intercontinental Hotel and the Chief Secretaries Building, before plying his trade in the monumental sector with Bill and George. With the retirement of George Watters in 1976, Jose began work as a senior partner in the firm.

In 1986 Ian Lourenco, Jose’s son, commenced work with the firm and quickly began playing an instrumental role in the business. With the retirement of Bill in 1987, Jose and Ian began operations under the new name of Northern Memorials, which functioned as a father and son team for the next 24 years.

From 2011 Northern Memorials expanded, taking on young stonemasons to learn and assist in the business. Christian Armstrong joined Northern Memorials in 2014 and under the tutelage of Ian and Jose has become a valuable part of the masonry firm, now offering a family business of three working generations.

Northern Memorials takes enormous pride in the personal caring service it offers and in maintaining its commitment to traditional and aesthetic memorial work, which has been refined over almost a hundred year history.

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