THE Occidental Hotel, after more than 60 years as a licensed house in Ballina, has now been closed, and the license surrendered. On the water front, the Occidental in early days was the gathering place of seamen of the then numerous sailing vessels which entered the Richmond, and many of Ballina’s present public bodies were formed at initial meetings held on the premises.
Before the present North Coast wharf was built, the N.C.S.N. Company’s boats used the wharf opposite the hotel known as Mobbs’ wharf, and when these boats, together with timber boats, were bar bound, many were the gatherings of “shell-backs” at the Occidental.
Meetings of the race club, footballers, cricketers, and other sporting bodies were regularly held on the premises, and many of Ballina’s present fine improvements originated in the parlours.
The first licensee was the late Mr. T. Mobbs, who was mine host for many years, and other well-known bonifaces who have held the license include Messrs. P. Daley, A. Lewis, J. Blanchfield, J. Bradstreet, H. Dearberg, J. Murphy, F. Priddice, and J. Buckley. Mrs. M. C. Gray, the licensee at the time of surrender, was in the hotel for three years, and is at present living privately on the premises.
– Lismore Northern Star Tuesday 31 January 1933.