The Terminus Hotel, one Darwin's earliest pubs, stood where the City of Darwin building is today. Built in 1885, it was the place where broadcaster and campaigner Charlie King's father once sat, more or less stranded, soon after arriving in Darwin. King's father cyclist from Melbourne who, with his mate Basil, was riding around Australia to promote a new brand of bicycle, the Malvern Star. Basil had brought a pistol, worried about possible trouble with Aboriginal people along the way. But on a bumpy road just south of Katherine, the gun went off in Basil's pocket, shooting him through the leg. He was shipped back home, leaving Charlie's Dad alone in Darwin with two Malvern Star bikes, sitting in front of the Terminus Hotel. He got sunstroke soon after on a labouring job, and while recovering in Darwin Hospital was cared for by an Aboriginal woman, who soon became his wife and Charlie’s mum. This story forms part of a new audio tour of Darwin CBD narrated by Charlie called Darwin: A Tale of Four Cities. More at www.darwinaudiotour.com.
Image: Ted Ryko, Karilyn Brown Collection, Northern Territory Library
Published: 15 July 2018