Five Days, Five Photos, Five Stories: Day 1 Goondiwindi

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

Thank you to Norah Colvin who nominated me this challenge. Norah’s passion is childhood education and even if you don’t have children, there is always thought-provoking insightful writing that keeps those grey cells working.

The Victoria Hotel in Goondiwindi was named after Queen Victoria – Australians in those days loved their Queen and their drinking. It didn’t start life looking like a cross between Victorian Architecture and the grand designs of art decco and the jazz age but rather a single story shingle shack, with hitching rails and horse troughs, that appeared soon after the founding of the town.

The town, close to the NSW border in the central south-west of Qld, sits on the edge of the MacIntyre River. The various lagoons are a haven for much bird life, which gives it the aboriginal name of Goonawinna meaning  the resting place of many birds. It was the place where three large unfenced grazing properties met and became a campsite for the bullock teams from NSW which brought up food and mail for them. Eventually a petition asking the lands department of the day for land to be released for purchase. In 1860 an auction for around 35 1 acre blocks and 56 town blocks was held with all but two selling and a town was born.

Over the years various owners have added to the Victoria Hotel with its present appearance created by Bill Bell somewhere in the 1920 and 30s. He added the tower which displays a tower of Pisa type of lean. Not only is it a visual beauty but the characters that frequent it have created their own history. Cow cockies would ride into the bar and lassoo the drinks they wanted and during the 1956 flood a customer took his boat into the bar.

The other claim to fame of Goondiwindi is that this is the origin of the famous racehorse Gunsynd who is also memorialised in the hotel with one  of the bars named after him.

The blogger I am nominating today (with no pressure to join in ) is Judy Dykstra -Brown who has a great attitude to life, writes poetry and short stories and currently lives in Mexico.If you wish to participate it is 1 photo a day for five days add a story fiction or non-fiction or poetry, link to the person that nominated you and nominate 1 person each day.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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13 Responses to Five Days, Five Photos, Five Stories: Day 1 Goondiwindi

  1. TanGental says:

    What a fabulous place! The Australian hotel always brings to mind Neville Shute’s novels. Happy reading days back in the 80s for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Norah says:

    Thank you for your lovely comment, Irene. What a beautiful hotel. I’m sure I’ve been through Goondiwindi, but a long time ago, and I don’t recognise the hotel. Thank you for making me aware of the history of the town as well as the hotel. There’s much to learn about our wonderful country.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Five Days, Five Photos, Five stories, Day 1 | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

  4. I love the Aborigine names – they’re so meaningful. Your story tells about Australian history I know little of, so it’s fascinating to me. Would like to see the guy boating up to the bar!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Charli Mills says:

    A beautiful place and striking paint job.

    Liked by 1 person

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