Evandale's Prince of Wales raises a glass to the fallen

COMMEMORATION: Pub co-owner Tamara Frankcombe with the memorial wall. Picture: Stefan Boscia
COMMEMORATION: Pub co-owner Tamara Frankcombe with the memorial wall. Picture: Stefan Boscia

Regulars at the Prince of Wales Hotel stay long after leaving the earth.

Pub owners Scotty and Tamara Frankcombe created a memorial for regular attendees at the Evandale establishment, and other community members, who have recently died. 

The poignant commemoration has grown over the past 18 months and is a reminder of beloved local personalities. 

The faces of those who once came for a drink and a yarn greet newcomers and barflies alike.

“They all drank here, they were all friends, that’s how it all evolved,” Mr Frankcombe said.

“They’ve passed on and they touch us in some ways and I suppose that’s how it’s all evolved.

“It touches our heart I suppose.”

Some of those memorialised at the Prince of Wales would come into the pub two or three times a week. 

Mr Frankcombe said a lot of the older regulars saw the Prince of Wales as a second home, providing company and companionship in their senior years.

“Old Bill Reilly had been in the war and he’d been everywhere and he would come in once or twice a week to have a chat, have a meal,” he said.

“Iris [Johnstone] used to come in three times a week to have a flathead.

“I suppose that’s when they’re home alone or if they come in with their partners and you sit and talk.

“It’s an outing for them.”

The memorial is an example of a community spirit and solidarity that is evaporating in other parts of the state, Mr Frankcombe said.

He has lived in Evandale for all but two years of his life and holds the village close to his heart.

He said the pub was central in the lives of many locals. 

“That community feel is probably is getting a little bit lost and it’s sad to see, but that’s just how we’ve evolved and it’s the cost of everything,” he said. 

“We try and keep a nice and tight community here and that’s part of it.

“It’s got that country feel, basically.”

However, new developments may soon alter the village’s feel and aesthetic, Mr Frankcombe said. 

A proposal for a new town development adjacent to Evandale is a part of that change.

“You know the town, you know most of the people, but it changes – it’s changing all the time,” he said.

“There’s a few developments they’re talking about around the town, but who knows?

“It’s a village and that’s why you want to keep it.”

In the meantime, Mr Frankcombe said he hoped the commemorative wall would have no new additions any time soon.