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Four Generations In One Pub

By Daniel Hutton on July 10, 2013 in News

Photo: The Matson Family Album

Photo: The Matson Family Album

It may or may not be the first time that four generations of women from the same family have sat down together for lunch at the Coogee Bay Hotel, but regardless, the female quartet that dined at the popular pub in early June has a far greater connection to the place than that of your average family.

Last month, when Joyce Matson celebrated her 91st birthday, her family thought it would be a good idea to do so at the place she grew up – the Coogee Bay Hotel.

Joyce’s father, Ernest Edgar Harten (known as ‘Ern’), was the publican at the Coogee Bay Hotel from 1940 to 1955, where he lived with his wife Mabel Harten (nee Regan). It was during this time that Joyce (born Marion Joyce Harten), their only child, was born at the hospital nearby.

Joyce went on to marry Keith Stevenson Matson (at St Jude’s, Randwick) and together they had a daughter, Carolyn Ellis (nee Matson), who also spent her first few years living at the busy beachside hotel.

Joining Joyce and Carolyn for the birthday lunch at the Coogee Bay Hotel were Carolyn’s daughter Ashleigh Ellis McFarlane and her granddaughter Edie Ellis McFarlane.

Given that this year marks the 140th anniversary of the Coogee Bay Hotel, the owner the beachside pub, Chris Chung, was excited to host this little piece of local history.

“The CBH has such a rich 140-year history and in that time it has been an integral part of the community and it will continue be for many years to come,” Mr Chung told The Beast. “And isn’t it wonderful that Joyce Matson and her family reflect a piece of that history.”

To find out more about the 140th anniversary celebrations, visit