FRESH START: Denis Reynolds will have a final farewell at Maryvale Crown Hotel on Saturday.
FRESH START: Denis Reynolds will have a final farewell at Maryvale Crown Hotel on Saturday. Elyse Wurm

Kind-hearted publican waves goodbye but won't be forgotten

AT JUST four years old, Denis Reynolds stood outside the Maryvale Crown Hotel with his family and declared he would own it one day.

His grand decision was met with a fit of laughter, but it did nothing to soften his resolve.

Nine-and-a-half years ago he followed through on his word, buying up the pub that his family has been drinking at for the past 100 years.

"I'm one of the lucky ones, a lot of people don't get to live their dream and I did,” Mr Reynolds said.

Alongside his wife Josephine, Mr Reynolds turned the pub into a community hub where old-fashioned values of lending a hand to neighbours was championed.

Twenty years in Papua New Guinea had opened his eyes to people who had nothing, but were still extremely generous and happy.

On one occasion, Mr Reynolds was invited for meal by a family after his grandfather had passed away.

Aside from sending him home with a ute full of fresh produce, the family had hidden coins in bilum bags.

"They didn't have anything, if they can do it everyone can help someone,” Mr Reynolds said.

Fundraising and supporting those in need became a part of life at the Maryvale Crown Hotel.

Mr Reynolds kicked off fundraising to send Angus Bowles, a young boy with Pallister-Hall syndrome, to America for life-changing surgery.

He also helped Tracey Young, a woman who was fighting a rare blood disease.

"If you can help someone you help them,” he said.

"It's not about the kudos, it's about the heart.”

But what he gave he got in return, as everyone was willing to lend a hand in times of need.

"If people knew I was flat out and heard a whole lot of bikes come in, they'd help out. It's community,” he said.

Maryvale Progress Association president Joan Bean said Mr Reynolds was one-of-a-kind and would be missed.

"He's sort of like a larger-than-life personality, so it will be very odd not to have him there,” Mrs Bean said.

"It's uplifting if you're doing something and you know you've got their support, that's a great encouragement.”

Working seven days a week became difficult for Mr Reynolds, so he said the time was right to leave.

He's not sure what lies ahead, but is looking forward to having time off and a holiday.

A farewell will be held at Maryvale Crown Hotel, 47 Taylor St, on Saturday night .

Live music will be played from 4pm and tickets cost $15 each including meats, salads and dessert.