The man who convinced Strop to build the Beach Hotel dies
BYRON Bay character and former manager of the Beach Hotel, John Murray, died on Sunday night.
He was a lifelong friend of John Cornell and helped him transform the iconic pub from a tiny beachside watering hole in 1990 into one of the country's most successful pubs.
"Johnny Murray was one of my closest friends. We met at the age of six in Bunbury, Western Australia. He was an excellent publican and one of the main reasons we built the Beach Hotel," Mr Cornell said.
"I can't remember a single day when he didn't make me laugh.
"I've been lucky to have spent my life with mates who have a great sense of humour and JM (that's what we called him) was one of the funniest, most engaging people you could ever meet. I'll miss him enormously."
Many people regard the development of the Beach Hotel as the moment a new era of tourism began in Byron Bay.
John's friends and family are invited to a celebration of his life at the Byron Bay Golf Club on Friday from 2pm.