Now here are some famous old names in Queensland crime.
This is a company search conducted in 2011 on a pub named the White Bull in Roma, the capital of the coal seam gas fields in South-Western Queensland.
The owner of the pub is neither of the men named in the search details above, or perhaps maybe it is, but because we are dealing with lifelong crooks who know full well that loose lips sink ships we are never likely to know.
So we will just accept that 67% of the pub is owned by a woman named Joan Margaret Garde, even though we know that it is not, and that she is just running a blind for the real owner of the shares, her husband John Henry Garde.
Now old hands will know the name John Henry Garde, for he was at one time the accountant for a bloke named Jack Rooklyn, a famous sailor who was also famous for being the Australian representative of the Bally Corporation, the Australian arm of the Las Vegas based poker machine mafia.
Garde confessed at the Fitzgerald Inquiry that he paid ‘The Bagman’ Jack Herbert $2000 a month – $6000 in today’s money, or $1250 a week – to ensure that his mafia connected boss didn’t have his illegal pokie operations interrupted.
Garde also admitted that he authorised a payment of 25 grand – $75k in 2016 cash – so that corrupt police commissioner ‘Sir’ Terrence Lewis would write a report to parliament aimed at ensuring that the mafia’s tidy little earner wouldn’t be interrupted.
This is the 80 something year old rogue who was until recently the company secretary of company that owned the most profitable pub in the west.
The advertised owner though was actually a a bloke named John Hannay.
The name John Hannay is very well known in Queensland crime circles, and for very good reason, and the the man himself is the much older sibling of the nominal owner Ross Hannay, who has long been a front man for his big brother’s criminal activities.
Roma Liquor of course went broke.
But at least it didn’t burn to the ground.
Or get robbed.
Most things that John Hannay are involved with do either one or the other
The Orient Hotel in Mackay for example.
Or Alices, a cafe/bar/nightclub Hannay ran in Brisbane in the 1980’s.
Of course he is most famous for his starring role at Fortitude Valley’s Whiskey Au Go Go, the nightclub that was burned to cinders by two blokes who didn’t burn it, and in the process 15 poor innocent drinkers and dancers died.
Thanks to the crooked work of corrupt journos like Ron Richards and Brian ‘The Eagle’ Bolton it has become urban myth that Hannay was simply the manager of the Whiskey, and had been sacked after a dispute with the nightclub’s owners, the brothers Brian and Ken Little.
It wasn’t true, not for a second, as displayed by of all people the corrupt copper turned Valley MP Don ‘Shady’ Lane when he put the following question, and got the following answer, to Parliament in 1977.
A dud pub manager who had been bashed in an alleyway 4 years before now owned 3 pubs, and was being connected by a former Licencing Branch policeman turned politician to fifteen more?
One of which’s name was the White Horse in Toowoomba, and another a six o’clock swill joint named the Australian Hotel in Roma, that later became the White Bull.
You know what?
Whether it’s comes out of the arse of a bull or a stallion, it’s all just sh*t.
Old crims never die, they just move to Roma.
Or wherever the gas is pumping.