The little hall that could

Thea Ward, Estelle Dean, Vicky Johnston, Barb Ware-Crawford, Trish Dunn. Photo by Susie Cunningham.
Thea Ward, Estelle Dean, Vicky Johnston, Barb Ware-Crawford, Trish Dunn. Photo by Susie Cunningham.

A tight-knit community 10 minutes out of Beaudesert is keeping its country hall alive for generations to come through a thinking outside the box approach.

Workshops, weddings and events have been filling Kerry Memorial Hall, which was built in 1946 by the local farming community and is still considered a hub for the valley.

Secretary Barb Ware-Crawford, Treasurer Trish Dunn, Events Coordinator Thea Ward, President Estelle Dean and Vice President Vicky Johnston SC. Photo by Susie Cunningham.

Renovations take shape

Freshly painted walls, smooth concrete paths and even air conditioning in the supper room are among renovations keeping Kerry Memorial Hall fresh for the future.

If the walls of the 77-year-old hall could talk, they’d tell stories of sweethearts courting at country dances, communities coming together for weddings and wakes, luncheons and meetings and family fun at table tennis, card nights, markets, concerts and birthday parties.

Those walls – and the beautiful crows ash dance floor – would tell stories of a community coming together in 1946 and again today, to create something to be proud of.

To keep raising money for the upkeep of the historic hall, the committee has been working hard at securing grant funding and also putting on workshops for people to come try new things, from making resin boards to Turkish lamps.

Their efforts are paying off and the hall has become a hive of renovation activity as they use their hard-earned funds to engage local tradespeople to give the hall a new lease on life.

The hall has been repainted inside as well as on the building’s slats, doors and steps.

To improve accessibility to the hall’s wheelchair ramps, new concrete paths have been laid alongside the building and there is a new disabled toilet out the back.

There is a flash, shiny new pole standing tall in the front covered area and a timber half fence to define the front courtyard/ outdoor area as separate to the parking.

President Estelle Dean said it was rewarding to see the renovations taking shape.

“We’re trying to go down the path of bringing the community back into the hall and doing different workshops for them. We need funds to maintain the hall because there’s still a lot of work to do,” she said.

She said honouring the hall’s history was a big part of securing its future.

“As we’ve had the walls painted, we’ve been grouping all the photos on the walls together in order as we put them back up, and there is a memorabilia corner where the old bar used to be,” she said.

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About Susie Cunningham 0 Articles
Journalist telling the stories of where I live. I love living and working in Beaudesert and when I'm not working you'll see me walking the dogs with my husband Zac.