NEW OWNER FOR ICONIC PUB?
YOU’D be hard pressed to find a happier pub goer than Bernie O’Brien at Calliope.
The retired truck driver and former postie boy has lived at the Calliope Caravan Park for 31 years.
Every morning, he is the first customer in the door at the Diggers Arms Hotel for his four pints.
“It’s always been a good pub,” he said.
“There wouldn’t be a pub around in Gladstone older than this.”
The Diggers Arms was the first pub in Calliope and has remained at the same site for more than 150 years.
It has spent the past six months in receivership but made headlines this week when news broke new owners are expected to take over in two weeks time.
Pub cook Karen Stoddart has lived in the town for 45 years and said the best part about working at the pub was seeing familiar friendly faces. “Everyone sticks their head in and waves to you and chats away and gives you a bit of cheek,” she said.
“I like this sort of environment.”
The late Calliope resident, Wally Wright, was a well-known daily pub visitor more than 20 years ago.
A bust created in his memory sits behind the counter at Diggers Arms.
Mr Wright was a former cleaner – back when Billy Green owned the pub – and was known for his saying: “You Know I.”
Samuel Evans opened the hotel south of the main Calliope Township in 1864. However, he did not stay long. Mr Evans sold the hotel to Alfred Simmons, of Rockhampton, by the end of 1865.
The new owner only lasted 18 months and sold the property to Francis ‘Frank’ Pujolas in 1867.
Mr Pujolas lived at the premises with this wife Agnes Hales and their three sons, Thomas, Frank and Harry.
The original pub was renamed Diggers Arms in the same year.
❝been It’s always a good pub. There wouldn’t be a pub around in Gladstone older than this.
— Bernie O’Brien
Friday, December 8, 2017 gladstoneobserver.com.au OLD TIMER: Bernie O'Brien is a regular at the Diggers Arms in Calliope. New owners are expected to start in two weeks. The late Wally Wright (inset) was known at the pub for his famous saying: “You Know I". A bust created in his memory sits behind the counter.