Saturday, 28 June 2014 00:00
Doing a drive to the farmland territory in Western Australia (WA), we passed through several small towns with the minimum facilities for those live in these areas. The areas are dominated by very large wheat farms alongside livestock.
Our drive was along the Pioneers’ Pathway, a route that takes you through the wheat-belt, following the well-known trail many pioneers took on their way to the famous Kalgoorlie goldfields.
The rigged fireplace - a rare sight with logs stacked on the left
The route is a more interesting and adventurous one running parallel to the Great Eastern Highway direct route covering 44 km.
We stopped at Toodyay (pronounced Toojay), one of the towns of the early era with a number of old buildings housing the Anglican Church (1862), a few cafes, the post office and a few shops. Being Sunday, the streets were deserted (this was a common sight throughout our journey) except a few tourists and those who have come to enjoy Sunday lunch at one of the restaurants.
We selected ‘Freemasons Feast’ for lunch. The imposing building maintains the old touch. It is a ‘pub’ where liquor can be bought and consumed as against a ‘tavern’ where one can buy liquor but cannot consume in the premises.
Rules relating to alcohol
What I found interesting was the array of notices along the wall of the bar referring to the consumption of alcohol. They all clearly spell out rules relating to alcohol. The accent, of course, is the prohibition of selling to juveniles.
“It is against the law to allow the possession or consumption of liquor by a juvenile on the premises’, one notice said. Another said: ‘It is against the law for anyone to sell or supply alcohol to a person under 18 years of age’.
The penalties are also displayed. These range from A$200 to A$ 10,000 for each offence. If anyone is caught selling alcohol to those under 18, the penalties are more severe. While the licensee or manager will be fined anything between A$ 1,000 and $ 10,000, the minimum fine for an employee is $ 400 and the maximum $ 4,000.
While it is an offence to sell or supply alcohol to a drunken person, entry into licensed premises may be refused for reasons such as drunkenness, disorderly behaviour, unacceptable dress, false or insufficient photo identification, or being under-age. Persons of any age are not allowed to drink in public, such as on the street, park or beach.
People are quite conscious of the need to adhere to these rules and regulations lest they get caught and face the consequences as stipulated in The Liquor Control Act 1988, which is administered by the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor. The purpose of the Liquor Act is primarily to regulate the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol and to minimise harm or ill-health caused to people due to the use of alcohol.
Getting back to Toodyay, it has been described as an area where the pioneers moving into Western Australia’s interior were offered “an encouraging sight with rich soils lining the valley floors, timber and water”.
It was founded in October 1861, the name Toodyay is derived from the Aboriginal word ‘duigee’ meaning ‘place of plenty’. The name relates to the richness and fertility of the area and the reliability of water from the Avon River.