A CITY publican had to serve free beer to hundreds of thirsty customers yesterday because of a practical joke.
He is Mr. Jack Mulcahy, licensee of the Grosvenor Hotel, Little Collins st (Melbourne, Victoria).
Two of Mr. Mulcahy’s friends early this week posted notices on walls around the city, saying Mr. Mulcahy would “turn on free beer today to honour interstate oarsmen who are here practising for the King’s Cup.”
The friends Jack Berkery and Sid Hammond, Tasmanian Rowing Council officials, here with the Tasmanian King’s Cup crew, put up the notices to payout Mr. Mulcahy for a joke he played on Mr. Hammond before the King’s Cup in Tasmania in 1948.
Mr. Mulcahy, who was coach of the Victorian 1948 King’s Cup crew, put a notice outside Mr. Hammond’s Hobart produce store, saying 30/ worth of potatoes could be bought in-side for 6/6.
Mr. Hammond’s store was rushed, but he honoured the notice to many customers.
As he served the free beer yesterday Mr. Mulcahy said:“I have lived up to some of the bargain, but I can’t go on doing it forever. I don’t think we’ll be serving ‘free for all’ tomorrow.” Then he started to tear down the notices.
Drinkers came into his small bar in a steady stream from 12.45 to 2 p.m., and each received a beer on the house.
When the free beer was turned off Mr. Mulcahy estimated it had cost him more than £50.
Mr. Mulcahy said: “The worm turned on me. and my joke came back; but I can wait till I get back to Tasmania again. Then there might be a third joke.”
– The Argus (Melbourne) Friday 5 May 1950
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