Moresby Steamships Trading Company, which began its commercial life in Port Moresby early last century, will spend K100 million on an 11-storey building in the central business district of Port Moresby. The Mary Street serviced apartments will accommodate 150 tenants and will be located between the St John Anglican Church (where I was married for the first time) and land now vacant but once occupied by the Papuan Hotel (in whose Snakepit I consumed the occasional ale). Tenants will occupy one, two or three bedroom serviced apartments and there will also be a restaurant, coffee lounge, pool and bar.


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Keith Jackson

Right again, Richard. The snakepit was indeed a brutally ugly bar (with rhapsodically cold beer) in the Moresby Hotel, more commonly known as the 'Bottom Pub'.

Richard E. Jones

FAMOUS old boozer the Moresby Hotel, or 'Bottom Pub'. More atmospheric, I dare to say, than the Papuan Hotel, or 'Top Pub'.
Keithy as a frequent denizen of both establishments in the heady days of the 60s and early 70s, my recollection is that the Snakepit was part of the Moresby Hotel --- the 'Bottom Pub'.
Indeed, the Snakepit was immortalised by a legendary 1930s brawl between soon-to-be Hollywood star Errol Flynn, a Tasmanian by birth, and perhaps the most famous kiap of all time, Jack Hides.
I understand the said fisticuffs spilled out onto Champion Parade or other adjoining thoroughfare, so fierce was the rivalry between these 2 warriors.
The "Top Pub' was famous for the show-and-tell of one Keith Tetley, a Gulf District parliamentarian.
Keith had a special butterfly tattoo emblazoned on an, ahem, portion of his anatomy. Urged on by a famous 'Top Pub' barmaid, Keith would unleash this courful creature from time to time, but we never saw the butterfly in full regalia.
We understood the full impact of the tattooist's art would only be revealed to the viewer when the particular portion of Keith's anatomy became, shall we say, expanded!

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