Why I Write About Pubs

The Aussie bush pub is not just a hotel. It is a place where the community gathers. It is where marriages and births are celebrated and mates are farewelled. Where thirsts are slaked and sorrows drowned. Whether the industry is cane or cows, sorghum or sheep the locals meet at the pub. Walls are decorated with trophies and photos and faded advertisements for tractors. Rooms are occupied by insurance agents and miners who drank too late and couldn’t risk the drive home because of the ‘roos on the road. If you notice money on the ceiling it means that the drinkers have pinned donations up there for a charity or a school or the Flying Doctor or something else that means everything to life out here. Then there are the wide verandahs which are for dogs to lay about in the sun just waiting.So when grey nomads pop into a pub for a cold drink they are really there to learn about the town that they are visiting, because on the walls there will be pictures of drays laden with wool and bogged up to the axles, or the bushfire when it came over that ridge, over there, and tree stumps so large that a dance can be held on them. There will marks on the walls where floodwaters reached and bullet holes from some affray. And publicans up for a chat about how things are in these parts, the crops are bad, there’s not enough rain, the mine has closed or like the bloke we spoke to last week who complained that the patrons drank too much! Now that’s a first.

Kevington Hotel, Upper Goulburn Valley, Vic
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12 thoughts on “Why I Write About Pubs

  1. One of the best things I’ve seen in a pub was a shearer’s bike complete with the little hessian bags he’d sewn to hold his shears etc. It was in a pub called, “Shindy’s Inn” at Louth which is probably south west of Bourke. There’s a link here if you’re interested http://wp.me/p1vAK9-Gy
    I enjoy your posts very much.

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      1. Definitely is and you often stumble on little places which are never mentioned in the tourist brochures. Shindy’s Inn was a great place where we sat and chatted with the staff about the wild goats. Very enlightening.

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      2. I had absolutely no idea those feral goats existed. The lady at the Inn was very happy to have them about they had some land and gave the goats access to water then periodically trapped some. A nice income without having to do any “farming”.

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