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Friday, 12 December 2008

the innkeepers

To close off this chapter on cooktown, i have to relate the story of the innkeepers.
when we checked in at the inn where we were staying, at the start of our sojourn here in the warm wet tropics of far north queensland, we were greeted very warmly by Sayah the owner.
She had a few guests that first week which kept her busy especially as she told us that her husband Peter travels quite a bit.
I rarely saw her husband, but one weekend i saw him collecting litter around the inn's premises and doing general housekeeping around the place. Around mid-morning on a Sunday he went around the rooms (about 16) cleaning up, vacuuming, changing linens and sheets and everything a motel cleaner would do. He even tidied up my room and apologised that he could not do it the day before.
A week later there was a bunch of kids (ages abt 7-15) and their parents having a pool party around the swimming pool of the inn. They were having an end-of-year awards for their football (rugby league) teams. Peter was obviously the coach of Cooktown's junior rugby league teams, and he was handing out awards and imparting words of congratulations and encouragement and the requisite pep talk for next year.
The next time i saw Peter, he was pulling litter bins out to the side road for collection.
I did not see Peter again before we left town, but i left a half a bottle of scotch with Sayah that i could not finish on the last night there. Sayah said Peter will enjoy it.

Back in Brisbane a few days later, i googled Cooktown to check on some local government data.
I discovered that Peter Scott, the innkeeper, junior football coach, cleaner extraordinaire, and husband of Sayah, just happens to be the Mayor of Cook Shire.