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This is what an Aussie pub should be. So rare now to find one these days not sterilized by yuppydom into what I call a "Woolworths Tavern", since Woolworths started buying up pubs and become the largest liquor supplier in the country. Old traditional pubs like "the Billi" have been homogenised out of existence into these bland sterile places with 19 televisions and you wouldn't know where you were once inside - no character and disinterested staff working for a corporate giant. The Billi is how pubs used to be in Australia.
This old pub used to be run by an old lady known as Ma Ring for many decades and she was over a hundred when she died. Ma took up the licence in 1929, arriving from Barcaldine where she had been a partner in a Hotel. For many years later all the stock arrived by Rail. Almost every parcel was addresed simply with initials M.A.R. The name stuck and most people in town had forgotten that her real name was Margaret Alice Ring. It was something of a tradition at the New Brighton that Mar took up her position in the quaint little Saloon Bar around 5 and the locals would vie for the honour of buying her a glass of beer.
An ardent card player, Mar gave her unique style to the watering hole which still bears her name. Her MBE, awarded in 1971 was recognition of her support for the Ambulance, Red Cross and School of Arts Hall. Mar continued as licensee until her death in 1983 aged 101!When Bob hawke was president of the ACTU he visited the Pub and Mar gave him a twenty minute lecture on how to serve a good beer. Short pull and clean pipes.
It is truly a classic older style Aussie Pub, just as it has been for who know how long, across the railway tracks at the tiney village of Billinudgel, just past Brunswick Heads off the Pacific Highway if you are heading north.
A one horse town!