TRIBUTE: Raise a glass to publican who could ‘light up bar’
MORE than two decades ago when Pam and Dennis Corliss were looking to buy a pub, they fell in love with Childers.
For 24 years they have owned the Grand Hotel, forging friendships in the community, enjoying the company of loyal patrons and welcoming backpackers into the town each year.
Mr Corliss died of pancreatic cancer in June and on August 15, those who have enjoyed his business and company will raise a glass to his memory.
Pam said he would be greatly missed.
"He was loved by everybody," she said.
"He would walk in and light up the bar, he was very popular with the blokes and ladies."
Before moving to Childers, Mr Corliss had worked as a butcher and a meat inspector.
When the couple decided to buy a pub, they looked at options throughout New South Wales and Queensland.
In the end, it was Childers that stole their hearts.
"We were looking around for about two years when we found Childers," Pam said.
"We loved the town - it's a good town, no graffiti and no crime to speak of."
Pam said she and Dennis shared many good times in the town.
From the annual Childers Festival, to welcoming travellers, backpackers and grey nomads, there was always new people to meet and something to enjoy, Pam said.
Over the years, the couple invested their money back into the pub, making improvements.
Pam said she would never sell.
"It's a labour of love," she said.
"I have good people around me."
COVID-19 has prevented some from being able to say their final farewells to Dennis, with travel from New South Wales and Victoria currently banned.
For those who are able to attend, the celebration of Dennis' life will start from about 2.30pm on August 15 in the beer garden of the Grand Hotel.
All are welcome.