The grand old lady of Clarence Town is looking pretty spiffy these days with chandeliers hanging from her ceiling.
The Clarence Town School of Arts hall, who celebrated its centenary nearly 12 months ago, has been given a lighting upgrade.
And most of it didn’t cost Dungog Council or the hall committee a cent.
Enter local electrician Dave Watson who was tasked to a job to fix a fan.
Committee president Colleen Duffy said Dave had been doing work for the hall for the last few years.
“I rang him as the hall had been booked for a wedding and one of the fans wasn’t working,” she said.
“It was the middle of summer and the heat was pretty stifling, but he turned up at 5.30 on the morning of the wedding to get the job done.
“We were thrilled and since then he has been our number one electrician.
“Last October we asked him about how he could improve the lighting in the hall.
“We wanted to get rid of the fluoro lights but he said that wouldn’t really be practical so he suggested LED downlights.
“They are very unobtrusive and didn’t look out of place in the hall at all.
“But low and behold when we came to have a look there were two beautiful glass chandeliers hanging from the ceiling as well.
“It wasn’t part of the quote he gave us – they were a gift.
“And he also donated and installed American theatre lights near the steps to the toilets and two coach lights out the front of the building.”
Mr Watson was very humble when asked why he donated his time and the lights –believed to be valued around $3000 – but he just said he loved the old building.
“I really enjoy lighting jobs,” he said.
“I think about the job and what would look nice.
“When I saw the two rosettes on the ceiling I knew chandeliers would look lovely hanging from them.
“I knew the committee had a budget and couldn’t afford them, but sometimes isn’t always about the money.
“It’s not good business sense but I had the idea in my head and decided to go through with it.
“A lot of people have done things for me and I just wanted to give back.
“It was a surprise for Colleen and her reaction was wonderful so I am happy.”
While there are events on at the hall most days, Colleen would like to increase the number of weddings held there.
Last year there were four and the majority of local organisations hold their fundraisers there as well.
“There are exercise classes, Tai Chi, gymnastics and a theatre company who use it throughout the week,” she said.
“Over the last year it has certainly picked up and the commercial kitchen installed a few years ago has been a big drawcard.
“Now with our new chandeliers, I’m sure it will attract other events too.”