History: Looking Back

Looking Back history feature: Corrimal’s celebrated barmaid

Looking Back

Corrimal Hotel Corrimal Family Hotel C1905

By MICK ROBERTS ©.

ABOUT the same time as the Corrimal Hotel opened for business over 110 years ago, quite a lot of excitement was being created by “a small coterie of feminine busybodies” to abolish the barmaid, according to the Australian Brewers Journal of 1902.

Barmaids have been an institution in Australian pubs since the early days of colonisation with publicans always eager to employ good-looking women behind their bars for various reasons. Some were engaged simply for their ability to arouse more than a thirst, but the ones that lasted were hard working down to earth women, that could handle most treatment dished out by fouled-mouthed drunken customers. These women were (and continue to be) special people, whom often were under-appreciated, underestimated, underpaid and overworked.

A year after the Corrimal Family Hotel was licensed on the corner of Railway Street and Princes…

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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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