8 October 2021

Cobargo butchery reopens after fires with rugby league star at the helm

| Albert McKnight
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David Boyle

Former Canberra Raider David Boyle has reopened Bennys Butchery in Cobargo, the same store where he started his apprenticeship. Photo: Supplied.

Rugby league star David Boyle has gone full circle, reopening the same small town butchery where he started his apprenticeship after the store had been damaged by bushfires.

He is serving customers again at Bennys Butchery in Cobargo, about 18 months after the 2019-2020 bushfires destroyed parts of the town and region.

While the flames devastated the town’s main street where the butchery is located, they didn’t destroy the store however, it was badly damaged and needed repairs over the last six months with Mr Boyle saying it was now a “reasonably new shop”.

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The building is a piece of Cobargo’s history having been built in the late 1880s, and so is Mr Boyle having started his apprenticeship at the store in 1988 before running with the Canberra Raiders for eight years in the 1990s.

When the butchery’s previous owner decided to sell he took it over, but its name will stay the same.

“It’s been here for over 100 years, so why change it?”

He said he bought the shop because he enjoyed the job and he liked the social side of the operation.

“You’re talking to people every day,” he said.

“It’s not a pub, but it’s a bit of a local meeting place where people come for a bit of a yarn and a catch up.”

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When the shop reopened, he said the locals were very gracious and told him how great it was to have a butcher back in town.

It has also been a family operation as one of his daughters has been helping get the shop started, with him saying it was great to have family involved.

“It’s just nice to be back in town and looking after the locals,” he said.

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