BY JILL GREENHILL, WYNNUM MANLY HISTORICAL SOCIETY INC.
The late Wynnum Hotel was on the corner of Fox and Glenora Streets, Wynnum.
In the late 1870s, Joel Wilde and Matthew Adam, both hailing from England, built a hotel in the main street of the proposed Wynnum settlement. The timber building consisted of two storeys with verandahs. This was known as the Hastings Hotel, with Mary McGunn as licensee. In 1885, the name of the hotel changed to Southern Cross by licensee Pat J Byrne.
Henry George Fox purchased the hotel in May 1887. His father was a publican in Kent, England. Henry had arrived in Australia in 1874 on the Alexandra. He was a blacksmith and farrier before being a hotel keeper in German Station (Nundah).
The advertisement for the auction sale of the Wynnum Hotel, in the Brisbane Courier of Monday April 15 1887, states: “The Purchaser to take license, goodwill, stock, furniture, book debts and other effects. The hotel contains 19 rooms with detached buildings of stables, coach house, fowl house and bathing house – the whole of the buildings being in good repair. A splendid opportunity for a small capitalist to drop into a Good Business at a cheap figure”.
On 6th June 1887 the hotel was officially re-named as the Wynnum Hotel. Henry Fox approached Kianawah Divisional Board to have a roadway formed in front of his hotel from King (Glenora) Street to the foot bridge over Wynnum Creek. This is Fox Street today.
Henry married Jane Fisher Williams in 1873 before leaving England. Henry died on 20 March 1899, aged 57 years and the following year, his widow Jane Fisher Fox, married Johann “John” Friedrich Andreas Claus Kluver. Mr Kluver was a member of the Wynnum Shire Council from 1907 until his death in 1911, and Chair in 1909.
In 1910 the wooden hotel was demolished and re-built in brick by Mrs Jane (Fisher Fox) Kluver. She then leased the new hotel to Mr Forfar.
Jack Goopy, an Indian, was a chef on the SS Koopa. He heard that the hotel was for sale and his sister, Sarah, was married to James Maxwell Fisher. Goopy and Fisher took over the lease in 1912. In 1914, with the help of Bulimba Breweries, they purchased the freehold of the hotel from Mrs Kluver, who had moved to Cleveland. Jim Fisher bought out his brother-in-law, Jack Goopy, to become the sole owner of the hotel. The hotel remained within the Fisher family until 1989.
In 1921 the bar was enlarged. However major renovations were carried out in 1938. The new building won a prestigious building awards for the exterior and the interior.
James Maxwell Fisher retired in 1940 and handed the business to his son Edwin Maxwell Fisher.
In 1958 Max Fisher added an open-air beer garden and the expanded the public bar. In 1967 open-air beer garden was demolished, a new wing added and a drive-in bottle shop opened. Five cold rooms were constructed with a new state-of-the-art reticulation system that allowed beer to be drawn from taps within the bars, linked by stainless steel pipes.
The decline of hotels being the only outlet for selling drinks began in the 1970s. Sunday trading began on Easter Sunday 1970. Wynnum Manly now had 27 outlets with atmosphere, food and liquor, instead of the former three hotels.
Max Fisher died in 1982 and his two sons, John and Anthony took over the license. John was a silent partner as he was a practicing dentist. Tony ran the hotel until its sale in 1989. A new lick of paint, a new management team, a new TAB area, new café, bar and grill and new faces were to hopefully transform the Oakes Hotel as a venue for younger people.
However, new owners again took over, re-naming the building Wynnum Point Hotel.
The historic Wynnum (Point) Hotel had become a member of a consortium of the Sydney-based National Leisure and Gaming, which operated 30 pubs across New South Wales and five pubs in Queensland. The Queensland pubs went into voluntary administration in October 2011. In March 2012 developers were seeking backing for a five-storey complex to be built on the site.