After an early knock-off from work, Townsville man Clyde Barber has been forced to bag and take-away his usual five long-necks of XXXX Bitter from the local pub – Instead of drinking them there.

Mr Barber says he did not feel welcome in the Kennedy Hotel’s public bar this afternoon, after being met with a hostile reception when a patron pointed out the fact that he was wearing closed-in shoes.

“They didn’t like that too much,” Barber explains.

“I came straight from work and I didn’t have time to kick ’em off”

Known for its relaxed vibe, Townsville city in Queensland’s Far North has for many years been a hub for construction, shipping, military, and more recently NRL premierships.

However, due to the climate and anti-Southern sentiment, it is very uncommon that residents would wear closed-in shoes to a licensed venue. Local publican, Tex Keneally explains.

“Mate most of ’em a barefoot in my joint… And we aren’t even that rough. Pair of thongs maybe, but never lace-ups. Never”

“The boys in there thought he was a copper. Mate I just wanted to sink a few before the prelim”

After a brief encounter with a suspicious patron in front of the More Chillis electronic poker machine, Barber got the message that he was not welcome in the hotel, which he lives three houses down from.

“Yeah not a good vibe in there, aye”

“I thought I was gonna have to blue on, not a good way to start the weekend, aye.

“Woulda had most of ’em aye. But, just not worth it”

Richie Webcke is another Kennedy Hotel regular, he has known Clyde “since they was kids” and says it doesn’t surprise him that Clyde nearly copped a hiding.

“There’s two things going through a blokes head when he sees somethin’ like that,” Richie explained.

“Either he’s a copper or he’s a flash c**t. We don’t want neither of ’em here,”

“I’ve known Clyde since we was young fullas so it surprised me a bit, I didn’t think he’d joined the coppers but ya never know. The shoes were confusing me,”

Clyde Barber (left) pictured with Richie Webcke (right) and their respective missuses in happier times
Clyde Barber (left) pictured with Richie Webcke (right) and their respective missuses in happier times

Now sitting on the back veranda of his eight-bedroom Queenslander-style stilted timber house, Clyde says he’s “gonna give ’em a bit of time to cool off” – meaning, he won’t be back to visit his favourite pub until round one of the 2018 NRL season.

“They’ll know I’m not a copper then. Coppers don’t drink like I do on round one.




  1. Where is the Kennedy Hotel? it’s not in Townsville, probably in Bob Katters’ electorate out west. Those photo’s were taken before the Cowboys were ever thought of. Photo shopped cowboys singlet, of which there probably is no such thing. Not that I have seen anyway. Checkout the mo’s and the shot’s on the Cowboy’s supporter. More like ‘Surfies’ these mob, from the early days of the Gold Coast. The story and attitudes written of rings correct for about 1969, but not now.


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