Continue your journey along the Hinchinbrook Way Historical Walk, follow the links at the bottom of the page for more nearby locations or keep an eye out for QR codes!
Irish born Edmond Mullins, from Barnajore, Limerick, Ireland, arrived in north Queensland on the steamer “Waipara” on the 22 July 1909. He tried a number of occupations such as mining, tramway construction and small cane farming before he settled as a publican at the Royal and later Day Dawn hotels, Ingham. Five years after his arrival, war broke out in Europe and at age 30, he enlisted to serve his country. From 1916, Mullins spent nearly two years in Etaples, France before he took a shrapnel hit to his leg and was discharged and sent home to Queensland. On arrival in 1918, he headed north to Ingham to resume his life there. Three years later he met and married Teresa Lynch and by 1923 had welcomed the first of their three daughters.
In 1925, Edmond Mullins purchased a large allotment of land in Lannercost Street at the western end of the street. Bidding was brisk and he paid a high purchase price of £925 or $75,746.58 in today’s terms. Having secured the land he engaged Architect and Builders J. G. Rooney and Sons of Townsville and they constructed a handsome double storied hotel. Upon completion in 1926, it was opened as the Hotel Hinchinbrook with Teresa Mullins as the first licenced victualler. She held this licence until the untimely death of her husband in 1933 at age 44 years. His funeral was befitting for any Returned Serviceman of the Great War. The long procession was accompanied by the strains of the Last Post which was solemnly played right up to the gravesite. After his death, Teresa left the hotel and moved to the Royal Hotel. She remained as publican there for many years.
Vincenzo Mor migrated from Italy in 1927 from the small district of Calvisano, Brescia, in Lombardy province, Italy. He spent the best part of 12 years in the Ingham district working around farms when he met and married Eda Ferrando in 1938. A year later they took out a five year sublease of the Hotel Hinchinbrook and Eda became the licenced victualler. However, neither could anticipate what happened next. In March 1942, Vincenzo was “captured” by Police Sgt. Monk and interned as an “Alien enemy”, despite being naturalised as a British Subject. He left Ingham with just one port in his hand and did not arrive back until he was released in January 1944. He was interned first at Greythorn in southern Queensland, then Loveday in South Australia.
In his absence, Eda was left to manage the hotel. Even though she was Italian, she was still expected to carry out essential services while her husband was detained. Not only did she serve the usual clientele of cane cutters, railway workers and general farm hands, but she also served both Australian and American servicemen. This was a difficult time for the Mor family. Upon his return Vincenzo and Eda left the Hotel Hinchinbrook and the publican’s licence transferred to fellow Italian migrant, Camillo Zavatorre.
Handsome in its façade, and grand in nature, the Hotel Hinchinbrook remains an enduring reminder of publican families and the effects of war upon the small community of Ingham.
Images provided by the Ingham Family History Association and HSC Local History Photographic Collection.