Colin Bryant Case Study

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George Welsh and Colin Bryant Their time and influence in Far North Queensland As a member of the Australian Diplomatic Service in the UK and later Washington in the 1950 's, George Welsh mingled with other embassy staff, including the English diplomats, Burgess and McLean. Famously, Guy Burgess and Donald McLean disappeared in 1951, to reappear five years later in Moscow, igniting the spy scandal of the century. Henceforth, Commonwealth diplomatic services refused employment to homosexuals, and George found himself recalled to Australia, and unemployed. In Melbourne, he met and fell in love with Colin Bryant, and found employment with the Red Cross, which posted him to Perth where he organised fund-raising balls and cocktail parties. A…show more content…
After an initial move from Perth back to Melbourne, where they worked for the Crippled Children 's Association, the couple subsequently settled in Cairns, managing the Freshwater Caravan Park while planning to open their own business, eager to capitalise on George 's flair for cooking, and his convivial nature. In 1963, they opened THE STOCKYARD INN on Abbott Street, two doors from the Spence Street intersection opposite the then Post Office, now DFO. Colin worked front of house and George supervised the kitchen staff, and in a city starved of quality eating places, they proved a boon. Promoted as a steakhouse, The Stockyard Inn sat 200 people, and soon vied with the two main established restaurants as one of the town 's finest dining establishments. At the time local eateries endeavoured to ape their big city equivalents in the south, and restaurant proprietors regarded favourable comparisons to southern restaurants as the highest possible praise. None of that for George! Embracing the tropics, he opened the doors to the street, and rejected air-conditioning in favour of installing Punkahs to circulate the air, Indian style swinging ceiling fans, traditionally kept in motion by a hard working servant, though George dispensed with the servant and opted for electric appliances — no Punkah Wallas in…show more content…
By coincidence, Diana Bowden, who supplied jewellery to the souvenir shop, owned the Nautilus Restaurant in Port Douglas with her husband Max. Their previous lessees departed in 1968 and to keep it running Diana served Devonshire Teas in the garden, favouring her jewellery business over the idea of working as a full time restaurateur. Taking over the lease, George and Colin transformed the Nautilus, creating a fine dining destination, famed for good food and good service in a lush tropical garden setting, attracting locals, visitors from Cairns, and Australian and international VIPs. The following year George and Colin also took over the lease of the restaurant at the Reef House Palm Cove, owned by Judy and David Thomson, former army Brigadier, and later National Country Party Member for Leichhardt. In 1972 the couple relocated back to Cairns and opened the fine dining Georges’ Bistro in the converted Palace Theatre on Lake Street. Fresh Hibiscus and Frangipani flowers replenished daily by George 's devoted lady friends filled a huge fountain dominating the tropical decor. An instant success, the restaurant benefited from the free publicity occasioned on the 9th August when the wife of the chef’s assistant called in and shot him dead, which rather slowed that night 's dinner service. Neil Millar filled the kitchen vacancy, while Keith Holt took a job at front of house to cater for the increased business. Both Neil and Keith feature prominently in the gay
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