Historic hotel celebrates 140 lively years
Karratha and Port Hedland locals flocked to Whim Creek Hotel last Sunday to celebrate the pub’s 140th anniversary.
Dozens made the journey to Whim Creek and there was hardly a free table in sight as patrons enjoyed food, drinks, games and live music from Paul and Sal.
General manager Bob Bongiorno said the pub had a rich history and a relationship with one of the country’s most iconic structures.
“(Whim Creek Hotel) was one of two steel structures built in Australia by the Dorman Long Company from Middlesbrough in England,” he said.
“The two they built in Australia were the Whim Creek Hotel and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.”
The town of Whim Creek was erected in response to the discovery of copper in the area in 1872.
“The original town had a population of about 400 people (and) had a blacksmith, a racecourse, a police station, post office ... and a number of houses, but it didn’t have a pub,” Mr Bongiorno said.
“A building was imported from England by Balla Balla harbour with the intention to erect it in Marble Bar as the courthouse, but they had a couple of cyclones.
“A few people spied the framework and asked the workers to erect it here rather than take it into Marble Bar.”
Mr Bongiorno said the hotel had had many owners and unusual regulars over the years.
“There was a python that lived in the cellar that lived here for years that used to come out and people used to feed it,” he said.
“There was an alcoholic camel that used to scull beer and finally died of cirrhosis of the liver. It’s got a great history, there was just a series of great people here and characters over the years.”
Frank and Tony Debono, Terry and Elsie Keenan, and Bronwyn and Paul Martin at the Whim Creek Hotel.