Dunedin didn’t have the plethora of drinking options available today when I was a student there in the mid 70s. The Cook, The Bowling Green or the relatively new Gardies were the three most popular.
We weren’t supposed to be on licensed premises until we were 20 back then. although policing of the purchase age was far less strict than it is now and financial limitations probably had a greater impact than legal ones on our ability to buy booze.
In those days before student loans, when tertiary education was “free” we had only the money earned in holidays to see us through the year and, at least in my circle of friends and flatmates, there wasn’t enough over for much alcohol.
I have vague memories of a few trips to the Gardies but nothing of note so wasn’t planning to join the hordes expected there over the weekend to mark its closure.
Those who had planned a last drink at the pub which has been sold to the University of Otago, had their plans foiled when the Gardies served its last drink and closed its doors at midnight on Friday.
The early closure was to avoid any trouble. I understand why but it’s a sad indictment on society that the publican couldn’t trust the patrons to mark the closure without causing trouble.