History – Opening Ceremony

Newspaper Clipping from the Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, Tuesday 18 August 1925, page 2


Official Opening

The opening of the above Memorial Hall on Wednesday 5 August was a remarkable success in every feature. The splendid weather conditions enabled the residents to make their arrangements with confidence and a great gathering fully justified the elaborate preparations that had been made.

The “Day” comprised a varied programme. The usual picnic sports were carried out and a large and useful variety of gifts were disposed of at auction. Mr J B Bulley, auctioneer of Lansdowne kindly assisting in that respect.

The opening ceremony was performed at 3.30 pm by Mr Roy S Vincent MLA and appropriate remarks were also made by Canon Ritchie. Mr Harry Hammond (a visitor) and Messrs W McLaughlin and W Fennings.

Various stalls were arranged under the management of the ladies’ committee. A jumble stall displayed the fine needlework of the district and contributed its quota to the financial success. A fruit and cordial stall attracted a host of festive patrons, while the ever popular tea stall was truly a “Hall of Justice”.

A number of visitors attended during the afternoon, but many of them left before nightfall. Our primitive looking highways accounted for this fact.

The day represented a great gather of the local community, and was follows by a night that can easily be classed as a memorable occasion. Well over 400 people had gathered quite early in the evening. Visitors attended from almost every centre on the river. “Scarcely any so poor as not to be represented”.

A splendid concert was staged under the presidency of Mr Fennings. A Taree visitor Miss Enid Wright kindly assisted with a couple of solos and the rest of the programme was a triumph for local talent.

The first item on the programme was a floral march by a large number of girls, who displayed with beautiful effect the words “Welcome to the Memorial Hall”.

The programme comprised:

Solo, Miss Enid Wright; Solo, Mrs Jasper Schubert; Violin Selection, Mrs Bert Schubert; Solo, Mrs Horace Cicolini; Solo, Miss Wright; Violin Selection, Mrs Bert Schubert and Miss Eveline Fritz; Solo, Mrs Jasper Schubert; Duet, Mrs Fennings and Mrs Horace Cicolini.

Mrs Fennings accompanied on the piano and the large audience freely expressed its appreciation of each item; the general comment being that such talent is all too rarely heard.

An action song “The Long Long Trail” by the schoolboys was a “big hit” getting quite a delirious recall.

A farce “A Brave Woman” by the younger set also accounted for much merriment.

The subsequent ball was indescribable – or rather the dancing was – until the crowd began to settle down or the more sedate had had enough. Notwithstanding the crush in the early stages, the event was a most enjoyable one and a complete success in every respect.

The door takings for the night exceeded £40.

A “juvenile night” was held on Friday, August 7, when social mirth held away and a gay company vowed that the “opening” night had not exceeded them for fun.

The youngsters had a glorious time, which was assured by the fact of a great surplus of choice edibles.

One outstanding feature about the function was the generous catering by the ladies. The quality was grand, but the quantity was immense. During the day the tables were kept available to the lunchers as they choose. At night the good things were kept well up to the festive multitude. On the second night another houseful returned to the attack, yet despite these eager recruits – the juvenile dreadnoughts – the tables withstood the shock and over £2 worth of cakes passed under the hammer later on in the night.

The Committee of the Institution are highly grateful for the fine achievement by the ladies who had an extremely busy time, both in cooking and waiting on the tables for such a while.

The Memorial Hall benefited by the effort to the extent of nearly £100 when all the items were totalled.

The gross takings were over the 100 and represented about 90 per cent profit.