‘Ma’ bred publicans
HERE’S a woman we don’t know much about. but suspect we should. It started yesterday when Phil rang and asked if we could find out more about a relation of his named Ellen “Ma” Ryan.
Ellen ran the pub in Ivanhoe, we believe from around the 1920s until her death at the age of 98. Phil believes she was then the oldest publican in Australia.
“She had 11 kids, with nine boys who all became publicans.”
The pub, known as Ryan’s Hotel, was in Upper Heidelberg Rd, and was built in the early 1920s by Ellen’s husband, John. It became one of Melbourne’s most successful hotels.
Ellen made the newspapers in 1957 when the horse pulling her jinker slipped and fell.
Ellen, carrying her infant daughter, was flung out, and in trying to save her baby, Ellen landed on her head and sustained serious injuries and spent a long time in hospital.
The baby was unharmed and Ellen was celebrated for her bravery.