Letter to the editor

May 10, 2018

The former Lake Hotel, as pictured here by an unknown photographer around the 1880s. The hotel which occupied the attractive building on the corner of the Northern Hwy and the Nagambie Rd was first licensed in 1869 and sated the thirsts of locals from Costerfield and the southern end of Heathcote for a remarkable 112 years

Sad to hear of Lake Hotel fire

I RECEIVED a phone call from one of my cousins who lives at Rheola near Bendigo, telling me the Lake Hotel had burnt down.

My daughter and I had intentions of visiting Heathcote a few weeks ago but my health was not the best so we put it off.

My parents owned the hotel from 1947 through to 1955. We had lots of friends in that area. I went to school at the Sacred Heart primary and also to the convent, and was a member of the choir at the church.

You know I’m darned if I can think who bought the pub off Dad (a mental block?), yet I’d often called in on them when I was in the area.

I would spend a lot of time at McCarthy’s, at the top of the hill, also at Ned and Maggie Ellis’s.

Unfortunately, a lot have died over the years — people seem to do that when they get old! I married a farmer. We lived in East Gippsland but I still visited Heathcote, especially the bakery there — best bee sting cake in Victoria bar none — second best is at Bruthen (other side of Bairnsdale).

I wonder if you would please pass on my condolences at the loss of the “Lake”. I hope it was insured and that it will be rebuilt.

I had many happy memories of living there. Pat Ellis and I are still good friends and met when she was 10 and I was nine in 1947, and Anne Curry’s parents had the shop and milk bar opposite about 1951-1952.

Anne and I are still good friends too. Anne is now living in Hastings; Norman went and died. He was head of Coles New World, the grocery department. Pat Ellis wed Jeff Elsbury; 20 years ago he died and she’s living in Preston. My parents too have died. Dad was a competition axe man and travelled for Hytus Axe and Tool Company and Australian Abrasives for Sydney at Easter up the coast to Cairns in July. On the show circuit along the coast — a very good lifestyle.

Please pass my message on. Maybe we will share one of the famed bee sting cakes? The German tea cake always reminded me of the first one I tasted.

Mrs Mary Davies (nee O’Donnell — nickname was M.O.D.)

Wuk Wuk, Victoria.

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