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Tallygaroopna loses its social hub

Tallygaroopna residents are devastated following news there are no plans to rebuild their town's hotel, which was destroyed by fire last year.

DARREN LINTON February 6, 2013 4:53am

Tallygaroopna residents Lyn Currie, John Mullane, Pat Davidson, Jock O’Neill, Adrian Davidson, Gary Murphy and Reg Burchall are upset there are no plans for the town’s hotel to be rebuilt.


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When the 125-year-old Tallygaroopna hotel burned down in April last year, the small community pinned its hopes on a quick rebuild.

But the vacant land is up for sale.

Agent Patrick Maher of LJ Hooker Shepparton said the owner had decided not to rebuild the hotel.

‘‘It is a real shame,’’ Mr Maher said.

This was a sentiment echoed by Tallygaroopna residents, who felt their town had changed since the pub was destroyed.

Jock O’Neill, 87, is the oldest resident in the town and had been a regular at the pub for more than 50 years.

‘‘It’s terrible I reckon,’’ he said as he surveyed the empty lot where the only remnant of the hotel is a severed pole that once held aloft the illuminated Carlton Draught sign.

The frame remains, but the signs have been taken away.

‘‘It has changed a lot,’’ he said of the town.

‘‘When the old pub was here, we met everyone there.’’

Lyn Currie, who was born at Tallygaroopna, agreed the loss of the hotel had increased social isolation, particularly for elderly residents.

‘‘It is horrible for the town,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m the same as everyone else. It is just so devastating that we’ve lost it and nothing is going to be rebuilt.’’

John Mullane, who could only legally have raspberry drink when his father first took him to the hotel 55 years ago, said the loss of the pub was still keenly felt in the community and there was no doubt residents would support a new venture.

‘‘The town does feel a lot different, you could stroll down here and stroll into the pub, it was very shattering when it burnt down,’’ he said.

The football and cricket clubs have been offering Friday night meals and drinks, which Mrs Currie said was to keep spirit alive in the town.

But residents have just a slim hope someone else will buy the land and use the existing use-rights to build a new hotel.

‘‘It might be, you never know,’’ Mr O’Neill said.

Mr Maher said the 4000sqm allotment was being offered as a commercial or residential opportunity.

There had been some inquiry since it was placed on the market about Christmas time, but none had involved plans for a hotel, he said.

Clarification: The freehold of Mooroopna’s Royal Mail Hotel is for sale, not the leasehold, as reported in yesterday’s News. Joint agent Les Young from Youngs & Co Real Estate said there had been good interest in the property, which has a long-term tenant and good rental income.

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