Bulli’s main street, much how the tippling civic father would have seen in 1888 when he dropped into one of the four pubs for a bottle of lager. The third and fourth building on the left is the Railway Hotel, a little further on with the red roof is the Star of the Sea Hotel, and opposite that is the Black Diamond Hotel. On the hill in the distance is the two-storey Denmark Hotel, which sat opposite the Wesleyan Church. Picture: National Library of Australia.
I HEARD rather a good yarn the other day, Mr Editor, about a leading local resident, and as the thing might spoil if bottled up, I tell it to you as it was told to me, and you may rest assured that it is bona-fide. The yarn, without being too personal, runs thusly :-
A short time ago a gentleman who occupies a very important civic position not many miles from Wollongong was on a visit to Bulli on a Sunday, and being somewhat thirsty, he asked a Bulli gentleman in whose company he was knew where he could get a drink.
The Bulli gentleman, who knew his way about pretty well, and who felt that he could do a ‘long sleever’ himself, led the Civic Father into a hotel (we will not say which one). Before entering the hotel, however, our Civic Father cast his eyes up the street and down the street, as if in search of some one, but, as the gentleman supposed, seeing no one whom he could invite in, he made a somewhat hurried rush for the door of the pub.
After quenching their thirsts with a bottle of Lager, the Civic Father and his Bulli friend made as if they intended to leave by the side door. But the Civic Fathert first pulled aside a blind, peeped round the corners, slightly opened the door, pushed his head out, took a quiet survey up and down the street, as if dreading that the police might be about.
This is what the Bulli gentleman thought was the matter with his friend, and knowing that the police are never about when wanted, he attempted to soothe his friend by assuring that there were no policeman about at that hour, as being up late on Saturday night, they generally slept it out on Sunday morning!
The Civic Father upon this unburdened himself to the Bulli friend and informed in the most innocent manner possible that it was not the police he feared. He was a Wesleyan, and as the Wesleyan Church was only on the top of the hill he was afraid he might be seen by some of his co-religionists coming out of a pub on the ‘blessed Sabbath’.
Fortunately for his good name, the Civic Father managed to get clear of the pub without being seen by his brethren, to whom he is well-known as a gentleman of very high principle.
– Letter to the Editor, Illawarra Mercury August 4 1887
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