JOE Wallis (pictured), hosted the Cricketers’ Arms Hotel, in the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills during the 1940s.
The popular publican was born Joseph John Newton, to working-class parents, at St Peters.
As a teenager, he boxed for money and masculine honour.
After substituting in a bout for a friend called Wallis, he assumed his mate’s surname and went on to fight as a featherweight, but soon turned welterweight.
In later years he became a successful boxing referee before becoming host of the Cricketers’ Arms, which he was granted a license, in October 1941.
Wallis also ran a gymnasium and became well-known for giving away milk to children from poor families, outside his Surry Hills’ pub.
Joe Wallis died of cancer, aged 63, on October 30 1952.
JOE WALLIS, well-known boxing referee, giving away milk to children of the district outside his hotel in Surry Hills recently. The milk had been given to him by one of his customers in exchange for a bottle of beer. It was the first milk the children had drunk that day. From left: Donald Friedwald, Alex Bradshaw, Windsor Chrispin (Wallis extreme right).
– Call and Bailey’s Weekly (Perth)Thursday 25 January 1945
Funeral of a fight referee
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