Walter Leslie Rutherford, and his wife, Josephine, acquired the freehold and lease of the Prince of Wales Hotel at Blackall, south-east of Longreach, Queensland, in 1937.
Wally, as he was known, was 48 when he was killed in the freak accident at the outback pub.
The Brisbane Telegraph reported on March 1 1949 that the publican was fatally injured when a keg of beer exploded in the bar.
Flying wood and hoop iron injured Wally severely, and he died two hours later in the Blackall Hospital. He was running gas into the keg at the time.
Wally reportedly was bending over the keg to turn off the gas when the explosion occurred. The Longreach Leader Friday 4 March 1949:
WHILE serving in his bar at the Prince of Wales Hotel, Blackall on Monday morning, a keg of beer exploded portion of which struck the proprietor, Mr. Wally Rutherford necessitating his immediate removal to hospital, where he died later. He had been licensee of the Prince of Wales Hotel for 11 years, was a registered bookmaker and patron of the Colts Football Club. The funeral was largely attended, and Rev. Cowen conducted the service. Deceased leaves a wife, son and daughter.
For many years after his tragic death, the publican’s strong support of regional rugby league was honoured with the playing of the Wally Rutherford Memorial Cup.
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Categories: Queensland hotels