DURING the 1950s, Sydney’s Star Hotel became known for its boozing budgie, Peter.
The long-gone Star was located at the corner of Dalley and George Streets near Circular Quay, in Sydney’s CBD.
The pub, which was tied to Toohey’s brewery, closed for business in 1957 and its license removed to “East Bankstown” enabling the Greenacre Hotel to open.
The Sydney Sun reported on Peter the budgie on June 14, 1953:
A morning pick-me-up
“No, I don’t want a drink this morning yet,” says Peter the budgerigar as he perches on a glass.
“But I’ll take my bath now.”
In a tilted schooner of luke warm water, Peter washes himself.
Peter lives with his owner, Mrs Thelma Smith, in the Star Hotel, George St., city.
Each morning after his bath he is dried with a towel and is ready for a tot of brandy or whisky and soda.
This wasn’t Peter’s first brush with fame. The year before the above story was published, Arthur Polkinghorne featured the Peter in his popular column, Sydney Diary, also in the Sun, on November 21, 1952:
One of the town’s most amiable drinkers is Peter, the budgerigar, down at Glenfield’s Star Hotel, in George St. Peter is no toss-pot. He’s a discriminating tippler who’ll take nothing but a tot of brandy and soda. He does this very elegantly, standing on the edge of the glass. Furthermore, he’s no ruffian. The drink makes him a bit talkative, but he doesn’t go too far and just whispers — sometimes about Thelma, who owns him and for whom he has a deep affection. These days Peter can’t take too much. A couple of pecks, a bit of a talk and he’s likely to go off to sleep on anyone’s shoulder.
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