REUBEN Pelerman, to become one of Queensland’s richest men, was a main contributor to the rise of Southport as a football power. When Pelerman bought the Pacific Hotel on Marine Parade, the club was already operating the Down Under Bar – but was struggling financially.
With Pelerman’s help, the drinking hole was transformed into a profit-sharing business that made money. Even when Southport set up their own clubhouse at Owen Park, Pelerman stayed on as one of the club’s main financial backers and at one stage had agreed to partner Wally Fankhauser in covering costs of setting up new headquarters at Musgrave Hill.
Pelerman had been a regular at Sunday afternoon matches at Owen Park, but when the Brisbane Bears fell into strife with the collapse of Christopher Skase’s Qintex empire, he ended up taking over ownership of the AFL club.
During his association with Southport, Pelerman provided employment to some of the club’s interstate recruits through his hotels/hospitals and flower growing interests.