The hotel Peninsula was originally built in 1899 as a six bedroom holiday cottage for George Brookman, a Gold miner from Kalgoorlie. In 1907 the homestead was sold to Walter Bramwell, a gentleman of Mandurah. Charles Slee, a Lawyer, purchased the property in 1910 for the price of three thousand eight hundred pounds and in 1911 the first licence was issued and recorded as Wayside House Licence.
Hobart Tuckey and his brother Clarence held the licence in 1925 and in 1929 sold the property to Thomas Blakeley with the funds his son Harold gave him who was not of legal age to hold a Publicans General Licence. Harold Blakeley Senior owned and operated the “Pen” for 62 years. The Peninsula Hotel stayed in the hands of the Blakeley family until 1991. It traded under new ownership until Australia Day, 26th January 2003 the hotel was then closed along with an era of history.
The “Pen” was the first hotel in WA to use a hand gun to pour beer, 55 x 18 gallon kegs were emptied in a day. Customers lined up for Sunday Sessions waiting for 11am opening, along with several inspectors from the Licensing Board. Harold also erected “Meet you at the Pen” signs in Kalgoorlie which made his holiday trade boom and the saying “Meet you at the Pen” became his own very successful trademark. During World War II the Hotel was taken over by the Australian Military Forces and the American Navy to be used as an R&R base for Officers only. However, Harold often let enlisted men stay over whenever he could.
The Moreton Bay Fig tree was planted around 1930 on Stingray Point said to be by the customers of Harold Blakeley Snr. Harold through his hard work, loyalty and his own personal goals achieved in making the Hotel Peninsula a much loved venue for all to enjoy in Mandurah. So let us toast to the “Pen” for giving us wonderful memories of fun and laughter.
Written by Moya Mulvay. Daughter of Harold Blakeley Snr.