When the Gundy Pub, a country hotel known to locals as the Gundy Pub, was hit by a flash flood in January, the beers nearly stopped flowing forever.
Despite the devastation, a popular watering hole in Gundiah, near Gympie and Maryborough, is reopening just 36 days after the unexpected flood. It came down to a coin flip, according to publican Dan Hourigan.
During the January floods that destroyed wide portions of the Wide Bay region, Mr Hourigan’s bar and caravan park were both flooded.
The choice to close shop would have meant the end of all commerce in Gundiah, as they were the only two firms in the small town. “People in the wilderness just want the pub to open,” he remarked.
In the Fraser Coast region, the Prince Alfred Hotel has a lengthy history.
Its first location was in Gootchie, a neighbouring township, in 1883, before moving to Gundiah in 1895.
The bar, which is located next to a 100-year-old town hall, has narrowly avoided various floods over the years, leading Mr Hourigan to assume that the recent floods were the worst to impact the region.
“Since 2010, I’ve been here. It didn’t come into the hotel in 2011 or 2013, but this time it was terrible “he stated
“Inside, there was most likely a foot and a half of water, which is devastating for any pub. “It fried all of the compressors and air conditioning units beneath the pub. By a good metre, it had gotten into all of the cabins toward the back. All of the caravans sank. Energex had no choice except to turn off the power.
“On our compressor, we’ve only done a bandaid job to get it functioning for this weekend, just to have some cool beer.”
Mates assisting other mates
Mr Hourigan said the local fire department, neighbors, and relatives all helped get the bar ready for customers. “There are a few folks I’d like to thank around here,” he remarked, “but I’ll thank them all on Sunday and scream them a drink.”
The floods did not just affect local businesses; many Fraser Coast farmers are still counting the cost of the January calamity.
Chris Dale, president of the Tiaro Chamber of Commerce, said it was a trying period. “It’s quite painful when you see people lose livestock, fences, infrastructure, assets, family and friends,” he said.
Mr Dale keeps in touch with farming friends who have been heavily damaged by the floods on a daily basis.
“There is assistance available. It’s one step at a time, and some of the livestock that went missing are finally being found.”