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Local History

Reflecting back in time

Well-known Whitianga local, Peter Grant, has fond memories of The Whitanga Hotel.
 |  The Informer  | 

The photo above was taken just last week and the photo below is of the early Whitianga Hotel.

He has been frequenting the hotel since the 1970s. He remembers the days when Whitianga was pretty much a holiday town and you could always find The Whitianga Hotel packed to the rafters on New Year’s Eve, with holiday makers singing along with guitars and enjoying a good time. Even the local constabulary standing outside the door, amicably keeping an eye on things, enjoyed the festivities.

Those days were remembered for having a few drinks at the pub, buying a few roadies from the wholesale next door and walking home, calling into the houses of a few mates all the way home. “When the garden bar was too busy, some guys were known to buy crates from the wholesale and throw them over the fence to save waiting in the queue,” says Peter.

Peter remembers the older patrons of The Whitianga Hotel who claimed their regular Friday evening corner spot over the years, a piece of bar real estate that was out of bounds for all others. Those who trespassed were soon moved on.

There was also a corner outside which was favoured among a group of older regulars. The corner was nicknamed “Twentymans Corner,” after the highly-regarded Coromandel funeral business. It was later renamed the “Departure Lounge” and a sign was erected. The sign was eventually taken town after the passing of one of those regulars, who probably would have appreciated the irony.

The Whitianga Hotel is closed at this present time, undergoing quite major renovation work. The Informer had prepared an updated report on what is happening, which cannot be published yet but will be in the near future.