Hotel Norville publican John Anderson has passed away.
Hotel Norville publican John Anderson has passed away.

Toowoomba farewells publican: 'He was an icon'

ONE of the stalwarts of Toowoomba's live music scene and night life, John Anderson has been remembered as a dedicated community member who gave anyone a fair go.

The former owner of three Toowoomba pubs, including the Hotel Norville, passed away last Monday after a 16-month battle with illness. He was 73.

Mr Anderson, whose family has lived in Toowoomba since 1864, ran the Norville, the Settler's Inn and Delacy's Hotel for several decades before the latter two closed late last year.

Bronwyn Herbertson said her uncle's pubs had served hundreds of thousands of people and were responsible for helping to keep live music alive in Toowoomba.

"The Norville and the Settler's Inn never had pokies machines, so they were two of the few pubs that kept the band scene going," she said.

"He really supported local music, so he wasn't up for putting on huge out-of-town acts.

"Most musicians in the past 40 years in Toowoomba would've played at one of John's pubs."

New venture continues Amigo's name: Amigo's Bar and Grill owner Barry Hodges and Toowoomba hotelier John Anderson join forces to carry on the Amigo's name at three locations in Toowoomba after the devastating CBD fire.

Before working in hospitality, Mr Anderson was a regional manager for the Endeavour Foundation and helped improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Mrs Herbertson said he was willing to give anyone a chance, even those who everyone else overlooked.

"He was really a champion of the downtrodden, in that he gave so many people opportunities when no one else would offer," she said.

"Some of the people that he let stay in the pub, some of the people he employed - he gave everyone a fair go, which you don't see as often."

His sons Robert and Lachlan said they would remember their father as a hard-working publican who loved his family and Toowoomba.

"Dad had a work ethic like no other; he worked every day, running between his businesses morning until evening," Lachlan said.

"He was a very hard worker, extremely generous to the community.

"He was quite an icon of Toowoomba - everyone knew him."

Mr Anderson's funeral will be held at HumeRidge Church on Friday from noon.