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RIVERS HOTEL

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RIVERS HOTEL

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          THE THREE RIVERS HOTEL IN GREENVALE, QLD, DRAWS TRAVELLERS, WORKERS,
          SLIM DUSry FANS AND ANYONE WANTING TO REVISIT THE GOOD OLD DAYS.
          STORY + PHOTOS CARLY CRUMMEY



          GROWTNG UP on a station in Qreensland's central west, Slim                   rivers.It was here that a wet mess was created as a spot where all
          Dusty's songs were a staple of Lou Fletcher's childhood. So when             the workers could retire after a day of hard slog in the blistering
          she heard that the pub that bears the name of one of his famous              heat, and a makeshift sign above the doorway had it christened
          ballads   -   the Three Rivers Hotel         -   was on the market, she      the "Three Rivers Hote1".
          travelled thousands ofkilometres north to investigate.                         The life of the transportable building was short, so the pub
             "I imagined it to be a falling down two-storey Qieenslander,              in the town itself now carries on the name and tradition and,
          but when      I got here I      was really pleasantly surprised - it's       alongside the lyrics and images, proudly boasts a stone monument
          beautifu1,"   Lou   says   from behind the bar, pausing to greet the laid-   to the writer of the popular workers'anthem.
          back town's new constable. "I only heard about this place through              Greenvale now houses about 150 residents, after being scaled
          a friend and was lucky to get it, being so far away - especially as          down to just 14 once the mine was exhausted. The scant outback
          two days after I signed the contract, someone else put an ofTer in."         town was then snapped up by a Melbourne-based millionaire
            With the help of four other female staff members - Becly,Tiacey            who saved it from demolition.
          and the two Staceys - Lou runs the bar, which is a regular talking             Images of Greenvale's mining history take their place alongside
          point for the constant wave of road workers who can pull-up at the           Slim and Stan in the restaurant, but Lou says she plans to add
          pub for months at a time. "One recent crew stayed for three months,          more history to the pub. "One of the things about Greenvale is
          so we really got to know them and hear all their stories, and now            that there's no one who's really lived here from the very start of
          they are bringing their families back to visit," Lou says.                   the town to now," she says. "That's why it's important to preseffe
            Others that stop by the Three Rivers Hotel are travellers                  what history we do have, remember the railway line fthat has since
          on their way to Cairns or the Undara Lava Tirbes. They have                  been removed] and the stories, and to honour Slim and Stan."
          their photos taken next to the images of country-music legend                  While the pub may be less packed with rowdy dust-covered
          Slim and railway construction worker Stan Coster - the lesser-               railway workers these days, it still has its fair share of stories that
          known identity who fashioned the song's lyrics using his own                 get traded over the bar.
          experience on the Townsville to Greenvale 1ine. Both of their                  Lou is only partly joking when she tells her barmaids to halve
          faces frame the much-loved verses about hard rvork and harder                the truth of the alcohol-fuelled yarns they heaq and then never
          play that decorate the back wa1i.                                            breathe a word to anyone.
            Often described as an "oasis in the outback" for its lushness,               Just as the original Three Rivers Hotel was a lifeline for men from
          Greenvale has a relatively short, but eventful historr'. Nickel              all nations who sweltered in the tropical heat, it's still the pulse of
          deposits were found about 300 kilometres west of Tou-nsville in              the Greenvale community - it's a place to catch up on the news,
          the 1930s, but it wasn't until the early 7970s that Qreensland               get a much-needed haircut by the visiting hairdresseq fundraise for
          Nickel drilled and found that a mining operation rr a. r irble.              sick locals, and a place to let kids burn off some energy while their
            The company needed a site for a town to house hundreds                     parents talk mustering. It's certainly good to know; as Slim sang,
          of workers and enlisted the help of long-time               loirl Henrl        "You can still let down your hair and come out of your shell,
          Atkinson who owned Lucky Downs Station and a 1ot of the                      and do your own thing at Three Rivers Hotel"
          surrounding area at that time.
            Although the land at the station would have been :je .d irs orvnet,           .THREE
          not surprisingly, didnt want it covered in buildin-- ,- - l(uple. so                          RIVERS HOTEL
          Henry presented an alternative three options to the : :::::Lnl and              2O3km north of Charlers Jbwers on the Gregory Developmental
                                                                                          Road, Qld.
          they chose what he determined was the second-bes: .::..
                                                                                          Accommodation: Overnight room 566 single, $77 double.
            Meanwhile, the railway line was progressing '. , '..:-.'. ille and
                                                                                          Mea s: Ranging from $1 1-$23,
          most of the construction workers were based .r: :::-.:: ,li.ng the
                                                                                          Phone (07) 47BB 4222
          three watercourses in the area: the Burdekin. S:=: ':: Clarke


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