THE best example of community spirit and good fellowship is in a little Queensland township named Gin Gin.
There are three hotels, and three nights per week the drinking section of the community visited each one of these hotels in turn (the other two closing on that night) and played dominoes, rope quoits, darts or what have you, until closing time – 10 o’clock, when all drinking stopped and everyone trooped into the dining-room where a “spread” of sandwiches and cakes and the inevitable “cuppa” was served.
The rival publicans always made it a point of attending as a mark of good will and courtesy. Even the “limb of the law” had a place provided for him at the table. Although everyone was in a merry mood, I never saw any drinking to excess.
I noticed the town was electrically lit, and as there was no shire sup-ply, I was mystified. In answer to my queries, I found that all the business houses had their own generating plants and, by mutual agreement, each place agreed to erect and maintain an electric light in front of it, thus lighting up the town more efficiently than if there had been a council supply and with no cost to the ordinary ratepayer. I said “all” the business places, but I was assured that “all but one and (meaningly) he wouldn’t be very long before he fell into line”.
No wonder Queensland is recognised as the State of goodfellowship.
– Age (NSW).
– World’s News, Saturday 11 September 1954.
By John Larkins*
TWO brothers, Bert and Laurie, drink at the pub at Gin Gin, and it is their habit to transport themselves to the hotel in a sulky drawn by a mare.
But one night some humorists ran off with the mare, a fact disovered by the brothers when they came weaving into the night after closing time.
Bert said: “Well, Laurie, looks like you’ll have to pull the cart ‘ome.”
So Laurie, somewhat sulkily, got between the shafts and began the drunken tow home. Bert, of course, rode in the sulky but had enough good taste not to use the whip on his dear brother.
Anyhow, it happened that a constable in a car saw their drunken progress and came alongside them.
“Oi,” he called to the panting Laurie, “what do you mean by weaving all over the road?”
“Don’t blame me, constable,” said Laurie, “I’m only the bloody horse!”
*IN the early 1970s, writer, John Larkins and photographer, Bruce Howard went on a 40,000km pub crawl around Australia, telling their wives, “Don’t wait up!” With Larkins wonderful words, and Howards’ fabulous photos, they chronicled an amazing snap shot of Australian pub culture – many, both people and pubs, which have now gone. From that expedition they had published “Australian Pubs”. This is an excerpt from the now out of print book.
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Categories: Queensland hotels