Of all the interesting jobs our forebears may have taken, running a pub would surely be right up there in the interest stakes. There’s something quite romantic about walking down a street and spotting a glorious old pub, wondering what it was like back in the early days of the city, what tales there are to tell about the people who frequented the establishment, and wondering who actually ran the joint. No doubt, the romance would die a very rapid death if we were transported back in time, but it is fun to imagine.
The Occidental (aka the Ox) in Auckland’s Vulcan Lane is such a pub. It was built in 1870 by an American sailor, Edward Perkins. He was said to have married a Maori princess (although the marriage didn't survive) and every fourth of July, he would hoist the Stars and Stripes from the hotel and invite all Americans living in Auckland to dinner. In subsequent years the Ox boasted several female publicans, among them Nora Lynch (who ran the pub from 1912-1927) and Mary Frances Nation (1943-1951).
|The Occidental Hotel in Vulcan Lane, Auckland|
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 435-B5-157A
|The Ox, 1986|
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1052-B10-35A