Globe Hotel, Bundaberg

Young couple re-open historic pub

By Jocelyn Watts

PICKING tomatoes all day under a hot Queensland sun is more bearable for backpackers when they know there’ll be cold beer on tap close to their bedroom door by night.

Emma Hurley, 21, and Hayden Rimmington, 22, are providing just that for backpackers and locals alike in their new venture as publicans of the Globe Hotel in Bundaberg

Arguably the youngest couple ever to run a pub in Australia, they initially wanted to run only the adjacent backpacker hostel but to do that, they also needed to be licensed publicans.

So now they are! They quickly learnt how to pour beer and opened for business on September 1, 2019.

“I always wanted a pub but never knew we’d do it so young,” Hayden said.

“If anyone had asked us three years ago where we thought we’d be now, we couldn’t have imagined this, Emma having been in retail and me a farmhand.

“The most nerve-wracking thing was being of a younger age and thinking people wouldn’t take us seriously for the venture we’ve undertaken.

“It was quite overwhelming at first but having the locals and new people coming in encouraging us made things easier.”

Great spot for backpackers

The Bundaberg-born couple said the Globe was an excellent spot for backpackers, many of whom come here for their required 88 days of regional work.

“We have just 16 beds; we know everyone by name and can have a yarn and a laugh with them. They can even meet our beautiful pub dog Bessie.”

Emma said backpackers could find jobs all year round, picking small crops and packing fruit sheds.

“Early each morning, Hayden drives the backpackers to the farms and greets them again at the end of the day,” she said.

“At the Globe, backpackers have access to facilities such as kitchen, bath, showers and washing machine as well as a common room and big outdoor area.”

Old world charm in the city centre

Hayden said the Globe was one of only a few country pubs left in the centre of Bundaberg.

“There aren’t many places still around that have kept their heritage atmosphere.

“We want to spruce it up with some fresh paint but keep its old colouring and features such as the old timber-lined cold room; that’s what people like to see.”

What’s next?

Emma and Hayden are yet to decide what new services they’ll introduce at the Globe. 

“We already have a wedding and wake booked in but otherwise it’s about testing the water and seeing what people want,” Hayden said.

“There are no poker machines; no gambling. Please come in for a cold beer and a yarn!”

Young couple re-open the Globe Hotel in Bundaberg

Emma Hurley, 21, and Hayden Rimmington, 22, re-open the historic Globe Hotel in Bundaberg.

Making headlines in the Bundaberg Newsmail

Globe Hotel Bundy NewsMail web

Related Images:

Toogoom & District RSL Hall

Old-but-new Vietnam war shed joins military trail

By Jocelyn Watts

A shed destined for the Vietnam war is now basking in the Queensland sun after 45 years in storage at the Wallangarra Army base on the New South Wales border.

The shed that was to be used as a soldiers’ mess hall on the battlefields of Vietnam now stands proudly at the beach-side town of Toogoom located 16km from Hervey Bay.

Toogoom and District RSL Sub Branch president Ken Higgins said the shed was among hundreds manufactured for the Australian Army during the Vietnam conflict that ran between 1962 and 1972.

“These sheds were widely used as food and recreation halls,” the Vietnam veteran said.

“At Nui Dat  we had one the same as this with a veranda at each end. We played darts at one end and at the other, the corporal ran the bar.

“By 1971, Australia was starting to pull out of Vietnam. These sheds were still being manufactured and stockpiled at Wallangarra. Many became surplus.

“We got onto this one through military contacts and just before last Anzac Day (2014) the army built it as an exercise, sending a dozen soldiers, an engineer and a cook up here.”

The Toogoom Community Hall became a small army base where the soldiers showered and ate while camping nearby during the construction period.

Local volunteers painted the building and lined it with the hardwood tongue and groove packing cases in which it came.

“The hardwood timber we put in added to the bracing. It’s so strong that it’s cyclone proof and authorities want to use it as an emergency centre,” Mr Higgins said.

“It’s self-contained and wired for a generator. If the power goes out we just turn the generator on and everything runs as normal.

“So if we do have a disaster such as a flood or a cyclone, people can at least come here, get a meal and be comfortable out of the weather.”

Officially opened on Sunday, June 14, 2015, the old-but-new shed is a tribute to the Vietnam War.

“The Toogoom sub-branch is proud of its new home,” Mr Higgins said.

“It is expected to be on the proposed Fraser Coast Military Trail from Maryborough to Hervey Bay and Toogoom.

“This is not about talking war; there’s nothing glorious about war. We want to make this a pleasant, enjoyable place to come to and be used by all and sundry.

“Cadets will use it and we plan to run community health programs and have speakers come here to talk about such things as rural fire fighting and first aid.

“Since we got our shed, men’s shelters, sporting clubs and Scouts have been putting them up in other places across Australia.

“It’s amazing that in 2015 as we commemorate 100 years since the Gallipoli landings and 50 years since the middle of the Vietnam war, these sheds built by Lysaght then are now seeing daylight and that company is still one big family.

“It’s a pretty impressive performance. The steel came out of the packing in good nick – there was no rust. Almost everyone who comes in says: ‘Just look how thick that steel is!'”

The Vietnam memorial at Toogoom is expected to be a highlight on the proposed Fraser Coast Military Trail that also takes in Maryborough’s military museum, cenotaph and memorial gates, airport, air raid shelter and Duncan Chapman Memorial as well as the Z Force training ground on Fraser Island.



New Norcia

Discovering the Spanish monastery at New Norcia

By Jocelyn Watts

If tourist brochures suggest staying at Margaret River you can bet hubby will want to book at Yallingup, a stone’s throw up the road.

Doing the tourist thing or mingling with crowds is not his idea of a relaxing holiday so when we visited the south-west corner of Western Australia recently, he went to great lengths to find out-of-the-way places to stay.

There was one he missed, however. New Norcia. When I discovered the ultimate retreat  – a Spanish monastery – was just a mere 132km north-east of Perth, he couldn’t argue that it was the perfect place to stay … peaceful and charming with a fascinating history and unique architecture.

Just because Australia was leading in the fourth day’s play of the second Test with Sri Lanka and the monastery guesthouse was void of radio and television, it wasn’t reason enough (for me) to pass up the opportunity to spend our last night of holidays experiencing the lifestyle of Benedictine monks.

New Norcia

The bells of Abbey Church toll throughout the day.

Besides, hubby could always slip outside to hear the latest scores on our hired car’s radio or hike up the hill to the New Norcia Hotel – a former palace built in 1927 for Queen Isabella of Spain, who never made the intended trip because it was too far.

Dom Christopher Power, head of Friends of New Norcia, said the tiny town was established in 1846 by Spanish monks who came to work with the Aboriginal people.

“With its large extravagant buildings, olive trees and church bells, the town is like a piece of old Spain in the middle of the Australian bush,” he said.

“In addition to 65 buildings, the town also houses a large art and artefact collection, a library of 75,000 books and a comprehensive archive dating back to the monastery’s foundation.

“The current community of 11 monks live a simple, prayerful life following the Rule of St Benedict and make hospitality their special care.”

After booking by phone, checking into the guesthouse was refreshingly easy. No swipe of our credit card, no request for photo identification or car registration details, just a warm welcome from a charming gentleman who showed us where to tick off our name in the register book and took us to our room.

According to hearsay, the rooms were supposed to be “sparse” but we found our twin-share room with ensuite (no doubles available) to be just as comfortable as any average motel room (minus television and radio) and akin to a bed and breakfast with a shared kitchen, dining room, lounge and reading room.

As for security, our host simply said: “This is a monastery and we’re in the country”.

Guests of all faiths were welcome and the $75 per person “donation” for the night included three home-style meals including an impressive banquet lunch the next day which unfortunately we had to pass up as our plans meant being back in Perth by 2 pm.

While under instructions not to speak to unless spoken to, the monks wandered freely through the dining room and kitchen as we soaked up the home-style atmosphere, clearing our tables and washing the dishes after dinner.

Among the 12 guests were a “contemporary Spanish artist” who was looking for inspiration and a university lecturer from Perth who was on her fifth stay.

Every second month the lecturer leaves her family behind to escape the “rat race” and indulge in the peace and tranquillity of New Norcia. On previous visits, she used the time to write her PhD. Without mobile phone coverage in the area, she could not be contacted except for emergencies.

Guests were invited to meet a monk at 10.30am but again our schedule didn’t allow it.

For a spiritual experience guests were also welcome to join the monks for the daily celebration of Mass in the Abbey Church and prayers in the Monastery Chapel.

Only men can eat with the monks but they shouldn’t expect any conversation, other than prayer reading. Hubby passed on that opportunity.

Checking out of the guesthouse was easier than our arrival. After making our beds with freshly supplied linen, we picked up an envelope from the reception desk to seal our cash donation and place in a box.

Dom Power said the Friends of New Norcia received no regular funding from the Catholic Chuch or state and federal governments but with the help of guesthouse donations, in 2003, the 19th Century reading room was restored and furnished for monastery guests.

In 2004 the town’s education centre was refurbished and the following year, the roofs and ceilings of the old St Ildephonsus classroom were replaced to provide space for the expanding library.

Last year, donations contributed to the Aboriginal Mission Cottages Project, which includes the restoration of the last remaining mission cottage on the site.

Our stay at the monastery in Australia’s only monastic town was a wonderfully unique experience … and the other half didn’t feel too disadvantaged by reading books instead of watching cricket on TV. Australia was as good as home and dry anyway.
New Norcia Blog Collage

Portfolio Items