A look back in time at the Criterion Hotel
CATHERINE Gower and Genevieve Condon were guests of honour at the Criterion Hotel as the institution rang in 100 years of service on Saturday.
Mrs Gower is the only grandchild of Catherine Allman, mother of long-time hotel owners Mick and Jeremiah Allman.
Trained by Mrs Allman herself, Minnie Baker was a long-serving staff member and resident of the Palmerin St pub and mother of Mrs Condon.
The pair joined current owner Tony Prentice and his cousin Vicki Brown, the author of the historical book release for the Criterion's 100th anniversary celebrations, at Saturday's celebrations.
"My father had died and mum worked at the hotel to support us while we were living on Guy St," Mrs Condon said.
"We had left for Ireland during the Second World War and when we returned we lived at the Criterion.
"I lived at the hotel for more than 20 years, from when I was about 11.
"I knew all the ins and outs of that place - I remember it very fondly."
Mrs Brown said she had spent about two years researching the Criterion's history for the book.
"I'm a bit of a history buff and had done other research projects for churches and other building around the area," she said.
"Tony wanted some history on the hotel so I started researching in about 2003 and finished the basis for the book in 2005.
"It was a lot of travelling back and forth from Toowoomba to search through records in the library."
Mr Prentice said it was great to have so many people invested in the history of the hotel.
"It's great to see so many people coming out to celebrate 100 years," he said.
"It's not something I thought would happen when I bought the hotel 17 years ago."
Costumed patrons came in droves to check out the vintage markets in the Three Bullet Bar ahead of the unveiling of a plaque to mark 100 years on Saturday afternoon.
Town crier Bob Townshend announced the event ahead of a Gaelic blessing from Val Gray and address from Mayor Tracy Dobie.
The Victorian-inspired merriment finished up with an afternoon tea on the West Wing Veranda overlooking Palmerin St.
Mr Prentice's daughter Valerie said she was thrilled to see the enthusiasm of attendees at the afternoon's celebrations.
"It's really what the hotel is all about is coming together as equals," Ms Prentice said.