F A Pidgeon and Son Pty Ltd started in 1927, and Sir John joined the family company in 1946 after service in the AIF. His addition to the company, along with his sister Valmai, soon expanded the company’s activities throughout Queensland, notably in the hotel and commercial building market. The continued success of the company left its mark on the skyline of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and the Pidgeon name is now synonymous with building in Queensland.
Key construction projects undertaken by the company are: The Brisbane Club; Waterfront Place; the Brisbane Transit Centre; the Broadbeach Monorail; The Oasis Shopping Centre and Hotel; The Suncorp Metway Building; the Stradbroke and Macleay Towers – Dockside; Cathedral Square; 313 Adelaide Street; and the Bank of Queensland Building.
Sir John Pidgeon’s leadership style in pursuit of great construction projects has made him one of the most respected figures in Queensland’s construction industry.
Sir John served the wider community as a committee member of the Queensland Cancer Fund, Chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, and the Red Shield Appeal, as well as chairing the Queensland Master Builders Association, the Builders Registration Board, and subsequently founding chairman of the Building Services Authority. His youthful passion for lifesaving has lead to continued support of the Surf Lifesaving Association over many years. In recognition of his contribution to the construction industry and to the community, Sir John was knighted in 1989.
On an equal footing, Valmai Pidgeon has played an integral role in many physical and social changes that have benefited Queensland over her career. Of particular note has been her public profile as a supporter of landscape architecture through her own award-winning garden in her Holland Park home. She also supports many important groups including Opera Queensland, Opera Australia, Australian Ballet, Queensland Art Gallery, Royal Brisbane Hospital, St. John’s Cathedral, QUT’s Art Museum, Multiple Sclerosis and the State Library of Queensland. School and university buildings have been named in her honour. In June 2001 Valmai was recognised with an AM for her services to the Arts; to Women; and to the Community.