His­toric ho­tel cel­e­brates 140 lively years

Pilbara News - - News - Louise Alling­ham

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.”

Pic­ture: Louise Alling­ham

Frank and Tony De­bono, Terry and Elsie Keenan, and Bron­wyn and Paul Martin at the Whim Creek Ho­tel.

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