Fire destroys Albion Park pub

The Commercial Hotel, Albion Park during the latter part of the 19th century.

The Commercial Hotel, Albion Park during the latter part of the 19th century.


Hotel license was once exchanged for mail run

commercial hotel albion park fire

“This photograph, taken on Sunday night by Mr. William Swan, of Mulda street, Dapto, show how quickly the flames spread. On top is shown the eastern wall of the hotel, with the rear almost completely demolished and flames leaping through the bedrooms upstairs.” – The South Coast Times, Page 1, Thursday 1 July 1954

THE Commercial Hotel at Albion Park, which was almost completely destroyed by fire on Sunday night was once sold in exchange for a mail run.

The hotel was built about 1880 by Mr. Timbs, whose son, Mr. Gabe Timbs, was Town Clerk of Shellharbour Municipality for thirty years.The Raftery family had the Commercial Hotel for 54 years,the late Mr. William Raftery purchasing it from a Mr. Perry in exchange for his mail run  from Sydney, through Campbelltown to Nowra and back via Moss Vale.

On the death of Mr. William Raftery the license was later transferred to his son John. Some seven years ago the freehold was sold to Mrs. Frances Bingham, who later disposed of it to Mr. Mick Tobin, the present licensee.

Damage in Sunday night’s fire was estimated at £36,000, this including some jewellery owned by Mrs. Tobin. One piece of jewellery was a century old cameo brooch.

The damage is only partly covered by insurance, Mr. Tobin, who is calling tenders for the erection of a new hotel at Unanderra, said this week that he had expected to sell the Commercial Hotel onTuesday.

Making the most of their loss, Mr. and Mrs. Tobin and their staff spent Monday and Tuesday salvaging some bits and pieces and clearing up around the ballroom which was undamaged.

On Tuesday a temporary bar was opened and Council workmen were connecting the electricity to the western section of the building.

  • The South Coast Times, Page 1, Thursday 1 July 1954.


Categories: Illawarra Hotels, NSW hotels

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1 reply

  1. Hi There ……i always thought that the Commercial was totally destroyed in the fire? but reading this indicates that they started trading again? when did the Hotel actually cease operation and disappear? (My Great Grandfather was William Raftery and this is what i was always told happened)

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