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SA community desperate to see Sedan Hotel continue to support locals in need

By Samantha Dawes, Thursday July 2, 2020 - 11:04 EST
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Publicans Sue and David Pinnington say the Sedan Hotel is a place for everyone to relax and have a laugh. - ABC

A drought-stricken farming community is desperate to keep its local pub alive once its longstanding owners retire.

The small farming town of Sedan lies east of the world-famous Barossa Valley.

But unlike its neighbour, Sedan has suffered through several years of drought.

The town's local watering hole has been a place for farmers to escape their dusty paddocks and share a pint.

But after 14 years of working seven days a week, publicans Sue and David Pinnington are looking to sell the hotel.

"I really don't want to leave it — I feel like I love the walls," Ms Pinnington said.

"But unfortunately, we can't keep working.

"We're getting older and we need to stop … but I adore this hotel."

Oasis in the dust

Hotel patron John Kain said the venue "was more than just a pub" to his fellow locals.

"At the top of Stott Highway is what we call Sedan Hill," he said.

"For the past 12 months, when you drive over that hill, all you can see is dust in the air," he said.

"But this pub is a place for that local farmer — who's travelling over that hill and sees his dusty paddock blowing away — to come and talk to his mates and pour his heart out to publican Dave."

Mr Pinnington said he understood the impact the closure could have.

"If there was no pub for them, it would be very tough on the community," he said.

"There's nothing else around for 30 kilometres.

"They want their own little country pub."

Hopes business will continue

Mr Kain said the loss of the pub would have a "drastic" impact on the community.

"The pub closed for about six months around sixteen years ago," he said.

"To lose the pub, it feels like part of your town has died."

Ms Pinnington said she understood how important the pub could be.

"We've had a few people who have suicided, which has been tragic," she said.

"Sadly, a lot of farmers still don't talk about the nitty gritty of what they're suffering, but at least they can come here and are not alone."

Ms Pinnington said she hoped the business would remain a hotel after it is sold.

"We need it to stay open as a hotel — we just can't keep doing it ourselves," Ms Pinnginton said.

"The community is sad.

"They don't want us to go … but they can't wait for the big party when we do sell it as a pub."


© ABC 2020

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