The Chinese Are Sweeter

Maryvale Crown Hotel, Qld
Maryvale Crown Hotel, Qld

There is a sign on the Cunningham Highway in Queensland and it points to the “Historic Maryvale Crown Hotel”. It’s a great old pub, two storey, rusted iron roof, a bit crooked, lots of wrought iron lacework and there are a couple of characters out the front drinking in the sun. They wave us in and how can we not stop, when there is a sign out front declaring that it is ‘un Australian’ to pass a pub without stopping for a beer.  Around the yard there is an axe and wood waiting to be chopped, rusted wheels and inside there are pressed metal ceilings. Mine host is a jolly rotund publican by the name of Dennis. He tells us that he is happy to have caravanners free camp out the back just as long as they join him for a beer. A fair deal I’d say. I ask if I can photograph the bar and both Dennis and a young guy on crutches bolt for the door saying “yeah, ok but not if we’re in it”. We chat to one of the old characters out front and he tells us that he is from up Charters Towers way and how in the old days up north in the Palmer Valley, gold miners used to eat the Aboriginals and the Chinese, but they preferred the Chinese, because of their rice diet they were sweeter! “Used to hang ‘em up by their pigtails, they did”. Whether it’s fair dinkum or not, I guess it no longer matters, but you certainly meet some funny buggers out here though.

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