New Zealand’s formerly strict liquor-licensing laws made hotel proprietors do all they could to hold on to their licences. When the Pahiatua Commercial Hotel burned down one Sunday in 1962, the proprietor had 24 hours to erect a temporary bar, or the liquor licence would lapse. Sunday was traditionally a day of rest, but locals rose to the challenge. A storeroom standing at the back of the property was swiftly converted into a bar. Neighbouring hotelkeepers and a Palmerston North brewery donated alcohol. The ‘hotel’ was open for business at 9 a.m. on Monday morning, licence intact.
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