T-shirt captures the infamous ‘Cri’

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Lawyer ROY REEKIE, who recently returned to live in his home town of Warrnambool, tells us about an item that is dear to his heart in this week’s Treasures:


roy reekie
Roy Reekie with his treasured Cri t-shirt (and matching sunglasses!) outside where the Criterion Hotel stood for more than 140 years before being demolished last year.



[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #0A0A0A;”] I [/dropcap] treasure this t-shirt because it incites memories of the (in)famous, dear-departed Criterion Hotel in Kepler Street, Warrnambool.

The Cri was one of three pubs that my high school friends and I would visit, despite being under-age…

Pat Farrell holding court in the front bar with the Wooden Eye joke is one vivid memory – most likely burned in by repetition.

Cri gigs by Psycho Sloth, the Bondi Cigars and Rollerball all figured highly in the development of my musical appreciation, with loud, raucous, guitar-driven rock a common thread.

My 21st birthday downstairs in Bungs also comes to mind: teacher and singer/guitarist Don Cowling played all night – a happy troubadour until he smashed his back windshield packing his amps away.


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After a fire, the shell of the Criterion Hotel was all that remained until its demolition.


[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #0A0A0A;”] T [/dropcap]he guys on this t-shirt – the Cri Pigs – hold a special place in my memories. They were ex-clients; brothers who dabbled in minor, sometimes violent, but always thoughtless crime. They could play pool like demons and held those two Cri tables with an iron grip.

I went in there one night, with my sister Kathy, for a few celebratory beers for some reason.  The two brothers held both tables, having played and intimidated everyone else out of challenging them.

Given that I knew them, I bowled up, chatted a while, shouted them some beers and got shouted back, before putting it to them – the best of 3 games; doubles; my sister and I against them. They scoffed but didn’t factor in Kathy’s consummate pools skills and my misspent youth and determination.

Three-nil later, Kathy and I held the tables, and kept them all night with the Cri Pgs doing their snarling utmost to win them back.

A t-shirt of memories – and well-earned, I’d say.”

[box] Do you have a treasure? It might be sentimental, it might be valuable, it might be part of a collection, or it might be something you just can’t live without. If you have a treasure that we can feature here, let us know! Email us at editor@bluestonemagazine.com.au [/box]

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