Banana Shire Historical Society vice-president Don Longbottom with a fence post from the old Rainbow Hotel yard, the cleared section in the background is where the remains of the hotel used to sit. Photo Cameron McCrohon / Central Telegraph
Banana Shire Historical Society vice-president Don Longbottom with a fence post from the old Rainbow Hotel yard, the cleared section in the background is where the remains of the hotel used to sit. Photo Cameron McCrohon / Central Telegraph Cameron Mccrohon

Pipeline work impacts on site of historic Callide Valley pub

THE historic site of the Callide Valley's first pub has been bulldozed by gas pipeline workers.

Up until last week, all that remained of the old Rainbow Hotel on Coal Rd, built in 1874, were its stumps and a skeleton of its stockyard.

But now even that has been levelled, with nothing left but a smoothed-over pile of dirt.

Fortunately, a small adjacent graveyard bearing the headstones of original tenant Catherine O'Reilly and her son Thomas and a bottle dump containing century-old broken glass bottles are unscathed.

A trench for the QGC's pipeline was dug about 60m from the hotel site, with the dirt from the trench placed on top of the hotel site.

When the trench was filled in, the dozer pushed the dirt and the remaining stumps and timber fences into the hole.

Banana Shire Historical Society vice-president Don Longbottom said it was disappointing that the site had been damaged.

"It is history to us and only rubbish to them (pipeline workers)," Mr Longbottom said.

"There may not have been much left of the original hotel, but it still held a special place in the history of the shire."

In 2001 the historical society, with the assistance of the Banana Shire Council, restored the graves near the hotel, and Mr Longbottom said he was thankful they had not been desecrated.

A QGC spokeswoman said that QGC identified the location of the former Rainbow Hotel as a potential local historical site in its Environmental Impact Statement.

"Little of the former hotel site remains," she said.

"Guided by independent cultural heritage experts' studies, pipeline works avoided sites such as graves, a bottle dump and a small quarry.

"During works several fallen wooden posts, which were identified by the experts as being in poor condition, were moved to a safe location.

"The posts remain in that location while a QGC archaeologist completes a final assessment of the site to ensure potential historical values are retained."


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