A dog tri­al­ist’s best friend

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

It might only be open for two days a year, but when Low­burn’s only bar does open, ev­ery man and his dog turns up for a drink. The bar – called Char­lie’s af­ter lo­cal iden­tity and the bar’s founder Char­lie Per­riam – is lo­cated next to the Low­burn Col­lie Dog Club head­quar­ters and was opened on Fri­day and Satur­day dur­ing the club’s an­nual sheep dog tri­als. The bar’s head waiter Bob Per­riam said his late fa­ther set up the bar in the mid 1950s af­ter he got sick of the dog tri­al­ists head­ing to the Low­burn Ho­tel for a drink at lunch time and not re­turn­ing for the af­ter­noon com­pe­ti­tion. ‘‘So he set it up and it solved the prob­lem,’’ Mr Per­riam said. It’s the sec­ond Char­lie’s bar to be built, af­ter the orig­i­nal one be­came a vic­tim of the con­struc­tion of the Clyde dam. So a big­ger and bet­ter one was built by the club and was made big enough to ac­com­mo­date the large crowds which flock to Low­burn when it hosts the na­tional cham­pi­onships. The bar also turned out to be a god­send for the club, as it helped fill its cof­fers each year. Mr Per­riam said he could re­mem­ber help­ing his dad in the bar when he was only 6 years old, and he has been help­ing run it ever since, even­tu­ally be­com­ing head bar­man. His daugh­ter, Sarah, has con­tin­ued the Per­riam legacy and now helps him run it as well as or­gan­is­ing the bar man­ager’s li­cence. Mr Per­riam said ev­ery­one took a re­spon­si­ble at­ti­tude to­wards drink­ing and driv­ing, with lots of wives be­ing phoned to come and col­lect their hus­bands. And it’s not just dog tri­al­ists who use the bar . In 2009 it played host to 200 peo­ple at­tend­ing Char­lie Per­riam’s wake, Mr Per­riam said. ‘‘We had Dad there in his cas­ket and we had an open floor for peo­ple to talk about Dad. ‘‘It was just a hi­lar­i­ous time with lots of sto­ries. Charlies’ bar had never been more alive.’’

Photo: EMMADAWE

Fam­ily af­fair: Con­tin­u­ing the legacy of run­ning Char­lie’s bar are Char­lie Per­riam’s son Bob, and Bob’s daugh­ter Sarah. On the wall is a photo of the late Char­lie.

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