Legends of the Jump

Mayse Young (1913 – 2006)

Mayse Young née Dowling was born in North Queensland in 1913. Her father was a ganger on the railways who worked extensively throughout North Queensland.

In 1927 at the age of 14, Mayse arrived in Pine Creek with her parents and siblings where they had taken over the Pine Creek Hotel. The family had travelled extensively throughout Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Mayse learned the hotel business from an early age. She often helped out in the pub performing all duties, everything from bed making to being the barmaid. Mayse married Joe (Bogger) Young in 1933 and they moved to the Spring Hill mine.

With the advent of war, the family was evacuated in December of 1941 and went to Adelaide. After the war they returned to Pine Creek where the hotel had been used as a recreation hall. Though damaged the family worked hard to make the hotel operational.

Mayse Young’s success behind the bar was matched by her astute business sense, which from 1950 onwards saw her own and operate pubs in Darwin and Katherine in addition to Pine Creek, all the while raising her 8 children.

Mayse Young’s determine to succeed in the hospitality industry and her resilience saw her overcome many tragic circumstances including losing her home during the Bombing of Darwin in 1942 and rebuilding her pub, The Seabreeze in Nightcliff, after it was destroyed in Cyclone Tracy in 1974.

Mayse became the President of the Red Cross Society and worked as a volunteer with many other organisations. In 1963, when elected as the President of the Pine Creek Race Club, Mayse became the first female to ever be elected as President of a Race Club. Mayse received the Order of Australia in 1994 for service to the community.

At the 2013 Hospitality NT Awards for Excellence, Mayse Young was announced as the inaugural inductee of the Mayse Young Hall of Fame, which was accepted by her son Glenn Young, alongside other members of her extended family.

Her inspirational story can be found in the 1998 autobiography No place for a woman : the autobiography of outback publican; Mayse Young which was written by Mayse with assistance from Gabrielle Dalton.

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