BROKEN HILL GOES UNDER

In Changing Times by Clyde Mooney

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Perth sees another majestic “old girl” gone, with Nick Duncan closing the doors of labour-of-love the Broken Hill Hotel.

Duncan began ownership in the pub’s operation in 2003 as a silent partner, taking over a “run down old bikie pub” that had not seen love in years. His other business occupied the upstairs office.

The new leasehold owners underwent a renovation of the majestic multi-level building at their own expense, capitalising on its street appeal, prominent on main drag the Albany Highway.

After what he describes as a “wonderful” first eight years, the State’s mining boom arrived – and went – and the Broken Hill suffered at the hands of poor management.

In late 2016 Duncan took over the running of the Hotel, and says he hasn’t had a payday since, amid a brutal economic downturn, with ‘for lease’ and ‘for sale’ signs common on the Highway strip.

Eventually concluding he had no choice but to walk away, earlier this week Duncan posted a solemn farewell to customers and regulars, and staff, and his “Grand Old Lady”.

“You are in a much better state than when I found you old girl. I hope the town of Victoria Park Council never let you get developed into anything than a beautiful public house for the people of Victoria Park and Perth to enjoy for 121 years more.

“So goodbye Grand Old Lady of the east.

“I have left you in a better state. I don’t think you have left me in a better state, but it really wasn’t your fault. Love you.” – Broken Hill Hotel Publican Duncan on the move.

It is understood the pub will likely reopen in course under a new operator, and potentially a new moniker.