Riverine Herald

Don’t let the taps run dry at Lockington Hotel

By James Arbuthnott

FIVE blokes walk into the Lockington Hotel. The owner has known them for years and pours each a beer.

But this isn't a joke. They're not just here for a drink. They're here to save the pub. 

Al Macdermid has owned the Lockington Hotel for more than a decade and he needs to retire.

These five men recently bought the place to save it going under. And they're looking to the community of Lockington for expressions of interest to keep its doors open.

Because while they feel the drought, they know a town becomes stricken when the taps of the local run dry.

"It's important for the community to have a meeting place," says Terry Malone, one of the five buyers. 

"The town can have a sense of ownership of the place and the more money we raise, the more we can do with it."

Plans for renovations and re-opening the hotel's 13-room accommodation facilities are also on the cards if the money is good.

"The Lockington community fear for the future of this classic hotel which is, and has been, a vital social hub and meeting place for locals and beyond.

"So a group of us put our heads together in the plight to keep it open. We're looking for expressions of interest in being a community partner by buying a share for the ownership of the Lockington Community Hotel Co-op.

Terry Malone, Neville Sims, Jeremy Rourke, Des Penreath and Paul Weller will hold a public meeting at Lockington Recreation Reserve on Wednesday 4 September at 7.30pm.

They hope to follow the trend of the Lockington Business Centre, library, Men's Shed, car wash, fuel station and op-shop, among others, where the community has dug deep to keep local businesses running.

"It's not about individual buyers, it's about the whole town," Terry said.

The Lockington Hotel has been in town since 1947 and has closed in the past due to similar circumstances.

The men hope to renovate the hotel and make use of its two-and-a-half hectare property, as well as include local businesses and clubs as partners.

For more information on how you can help save the Locky Hotel, call Terry Malone on 0428 814 790 or Sue Eade on 0428 868 327.

There will be a public meeting held at Lockington Recreation Reserve on Wednesday, September 4 at 7.30pm.