lees hotel ingham
Now a pub with plenty of beer and 20 renovated hotel rooms. Image: Charles John Ryman, Wikimedia Commons
  • The Ingham Hotel in Queensland was sold on 4th February
  • Purchased by two private investors from New South Wales
  • 20-room motel included with several retail shops

Two private investors from New South Wales have snapped the rare opportunity to purchase the namesake of Slim Dusty’s most famous – or rather infamous – song.

The Lees Hotel in Ingham, Queensland was officially sold last Thursday, 4th February, for an undisclosed amount.

According to Tourism Brokers who managed the sale, the freehold hotel comes with retail shops, 20 renovated rooms, Bistro, TAB and a new covered beer garden.

Based on current tenancy arrangements, the return is 9.21 per cent per annum.

Along with this high yield, the new owners also get to own a piece of Australian history.

The story, rather amusingly, goes that en route to Port Moresby in 1943, American servicemen passed through the rural Queensland pub – then called the Day Dawn Hotel.

The servicemen drank all the beer, which was also rationed at the time as a result of the Second World War, therefore running the place dry.

An Irish local, Dan Sheahan, visited the pub the following day and wrote a poem about this experience after having to resort to a glass of wine instead of his preferred amber nectar.

Subsequently, Gordon Parsons adapted the poem which was recorded and released by Slim Dusty in 1957. It went on to become a gold record and the first Australian single to chart in the UK reaching number three.

The legacy lived on as the Queensland Government erected a commemorative plaque at the hotel in 1986 acknowledging the hotel’s history and a ‘Pub with No Beer’ Festival occurred in 2013 on the seventieth anniversary of Dan Sheahan drinking wine.

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