Vic Ho­tel

Pub looks to past for fu­ture suc­cess

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

Roe­bourne’s Vic­to­ria Ho­tel won’t hide from its che­quered past as a new dawn rises on the life of the in­fa­mous wa­ter­ing hole.

The pub, the old­est in the North West, was closed in 2005 when so­cial prob­lems largely at­trib­uted to al­co­hol con­sump­tion among in­dige­nous peo­ple in Roe­bourne spi­ralled out of con­trol.

Of note was the 1983 death of John Pat after a scuf­fle with po­lice out­side the Vic, which sparked the royal com­mis­sion into Abo­rig­i­nal deaths in cus­tody.

The Yind­jibarndi Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion bought the con­demned build­ing in 2013 and, after se­cur­ing State and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment fund­ing a year ago, put in mo­tion a plan to re­build the prom­i­nent cor­ner block as a business ven­ture.

YAC chief executive Michael Wood­ley said a development ap­pli­ca­tion had been lodged last week and the cor­po­ra­tion hoped to put out ten­ders in the next two months, with first ground bro­ken on what is ex­pected to be a 12-month project mooted for April.

“The idea of the rede­vel­op­ment of the ho­tel is to have an of­fice space on the en­tire top floor and cafe and re­tail space on the bot­tom floor to sup­port the lo­cal in­dus­try,” he said.

“There is a lot of pos­i­tive stuff hap­pen­ing on the main street in Roe­bourne and I think the pub could be the cen­tre­piece to all of of that.”

Mr Wood­ley said the re­build would em­brace the of­ten-maligned pub’s his­tory.

“(Doc­u­men­tary) Ex­ile and the King­dom talks about that and we got a lot of old pho­tos as well from way back in the 1800s, so we might have some­thing in­side the pub which has an on­go­ing reel to show that sort of stuff as peo­ple come in to have a meal,” he said.

“Even hav­ing some of the peo­ple come in and tell sto­ries about it, that would be good.

“At the end of the day, a lot of the peo­ple know what the pub used to rep­re­sent and what it did to families but look, it’s not some­thing we should hide from and be ashamed of, be­cause it is some­thing which has be­come part of his­tory.”

Pil­bara Development Com­mis­sion chief executive Terry Hill said the restora­tion of the Vic­to­ria Ho­tel was more than bricks and mor­tar to the Roe­bourne com­mu­nity.

“This is a great ex­am­ple of col­lab­o­ra­tion across gov­ern­ment and com­mu­nity to achieve a shared vi­sion,” he said.

“Once com­plete, the fa­cil­ity will aim to be­come a fi­nan­cially self-sus­tain­ing en­ter­prise pro­vid­ing lo­cal em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for res­i­dents. Build­ing vi­brant and live­able towns with strong com­mu­ni­ties sup­ports the vi­sion of the Pil­bara Re­gional In­vest­ment Blue­print.”

The project has re­ceived equal fund­ing from the YAC and the tate and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ments.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

The Vic­to­ria Ho­tel rede­vel­op­ment in Roe­bourne is set to be­gin.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.