JOHN Wall said to be the only blind hotel licensee in Australia is happiest when he is doing his hotel chores. He is mine host at the Oxford Hotel, Taylor Square Darlinghurst.
When a Truth reporter called this week, Mr. Wall was in the chill room changing an 18 gallon keg with dexterity of a cellarman with normal vision.
To reach the chill room, he had to find his way down a steep stairway, and along a passageway. Mr. Wall finds it just as easy to dial a phone number from his office and rarely receives wrong numbers.
“I dislike publicity intensely,” said Mr.Wall, “but if my ability to overcome difflculties will help someone else, I am happy to co-operate.”
Mr. Wall, who was blinded when blown up in Greece in World War II, owns and manages the hotel. His wife attends to the till.
After being invalided out of the army, he purchased the lease of the Commercial Hotel, Parkes. His uncanny business acumen made the hotel a success from the start.
Came the opportunity to purchase the Oxford Hotel, Taylor Square, and he was an immediate success with the customers. He said yesterday that in the last year his business had almost doubled and his hotel now did one ofthe largest bar trades in Sydney.
Tall and greying Mr. Wall walks so erect and smartly that many casual patrons are unaware of his disability. He has learned to recognise the voices of regular patrons and has a cheery word for them as he does his rounds.
– Truth (Sydney), Sunday 19 December 1948.