Assembly Hotel, Sydney


Assembly Hotel corner of Phillip and Hunter Streest Sydney 1949 ANU

Assembly Hotel, Sydney 1949, once home of ‘Smith’ the religious cockatoo. Photo: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.


cocky assembly hotel sydney 1946YOU can see Sydney’s only religious cockatoo any time in the saloon bar of the Assembly Hotel, Phillip-street. The cockatoo, called Smith, lives there, but he:

  • Refuses alcohol of any kind, and cannot be tricked. He is shown turning his head away from a glass of beer.
  • Has a vast but pure vocabulary.
  • Bows his head to the hymn “Lead Kindly Light” (from an old-timer’s repertoire)

“Smith” is 11 years old, but has frequented bars only since Mrs. V. Smith, the licensee’s wife, got him six months ago.

Amazing to drinkers is the way Smith can preen his snowy feathers with supercilious calm amid the hubbub in the bar.

Old hands remember the Saturday-regular who struggled into the bar the day Smith arrived and ordered a middie. While lifting the glass, he became aware of beady eyes intently surveying him.

“Struth, how like the missus,” he muttered, despairingly.

– Sydney Sun Sunday 25 August 1946.

  • The Assembly Hotel was located at the corner of Phillip and Hunter Streets Sydney. It closed in April 1961, and was later demolished.

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Categories: animals, NSW hotels, Sydney hotels

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3 replies

  1. Great Post 🙂 🙂 Mate 🙂 🙂

  2. Priceless! Reblogging to my sister site Timeless Wisdoms


  1. Assembly Hotel, Sydney – Timeless Wisdoms

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