Obituary: Denis William Dolan

The late Denis William Dolan who many would remember as licensee of the Globe.

The late Denis William Dolan who many would remember as licensee of the Globe.

Denis was born in Broken Hill on April 18, 2043, the son of William and Phyllis Dolan. Denis was their only child.

Denis spent his childhood years on his parents' piggery, before he and his parents moved to Forbes in 1964.

This is where Denis's life as a publican began.

The family bought the Globe Hotel and Denis, aged 21, was the youngest publican in NSW to hold a liquor licence.

In 1974 the floods hit Forbes. the police came in to shut the town down, however could not get to Denis's pub due to the flood waters, so he carried on trading in knee-deep water for three days.

At that time Sunday trading was illegal for pubs, so Denis would take a nine-gallon and an 18-gallon keg, plus the temprite, out to the Dog and Duck. He hid the generator in a hollow tree to stop the noise and started a mobile pub!

His customers would fish for their lunch, another customer would make the damper and Denis would supply the beer.

Denis had a love of cricket and started a cricket team for teh Globe Hotel which played in the local competition.

Denis met Roma Barton in 1969 at a local cricket match - Roma played women's cricket for teh Forbes charity cricket club.

They were married in 1972 at the Uniting Church in Forbes and in 1973 they welcomed their first child, Andrew.

After getting restless feet, they sold the Globe and moved to Wagga Wagga where Denis worked for Finemore's transport.

Roma stayed home to look after Andrew and in 1976 their daughter Michelle was born.

Once again they got restless feet and decided to move to the coast where they bought the Swansea Motel near Newcastle in 1978.

The Swansea Motel had a variety of guests - those who booked a room for a couple of hours, those who were genuine travellers, and then on Saturday nights the motel was used for the overflow of the one-cell police station at Swansea.

Denis's love of being a publican drew him to purchase The George Harcourt Inn in Canebrra in 1984. The recession hit Australia, but seemed to miss Canberra, where the trade was mostly public servants.

During his time at The George Harcourt Denis endured a drug raid and the threat of a biker takeover, but Denis wasn't having bikers coming into his pub and trashing it so when he heard the bikers were coming he stood at the front door and gave the bikers a "what for".

The bikers told Denis that if they weren't allowed in his pub, they were going back to get their pump action shotguns. Denis politely told then that would be okay, but they never returned.

We now roll on to 1985 and the family again moved to the Central Coast of NSW where Roma and Denis bought the Colonial Pancake Shop in the Stockland Shopping Centre in Gosford. Denis spent his working hours flipping pancakes and making coffee.

His daughter Michelle has a love of horses, so Denis and Roma bought five acres at Matcham. They sold the Colonial Pancake Shop and bought an industrial takeaway food shop at West Gosford. Denis decided to make up a rissole recipe that soon became very popular around the industrial area of West Gosford.

Once again the love of publican life had Denis looking for another pub, so he and the family moved to Tanambit Tavern in Maitland - this would be his last pub.

In 1997 the family moved to the Gold Coast where Denis revived his love for cricket and AFL football. He became a founding member of the Coomera AFL Club and had a coaching role at Coomera and Labrador. He was also the cricket coach at Coomera Hope Island Cricket Club for many years, his under 17s played in the premiership in the 2006/ 2007 season.

Denis's weekends in winter would revolve around AFL and then cricket in summer.

Denis also contributed his time to the Pimpama Men's Shed in its foundation years until he became too ill.

Denis passed away at Robina Hospital on Tuesday, September 24 at the age of 76. Hi funeral was held on Monday September 30 at Nerang, Queensland.