Bandon Grove hall project takes shape

The push is on for the upgrade of the Bandon Grove School of Arts Hall with a series of events planned to generate funds to improve the hall – and bring the community together.

The Building on a Bygone Bandon Grove afternoon on Saturday, March 3 has been hailed a great success.

In his speech Bruce Read, President of the Committee, thanked Charlie Barnes for giving the Welcome to Country.

 “Charles has Aboriginal heritage so it is fitting that he does the introduction,” he said.

“He looked back on this place, it's past, and he represents it future.

“Today we are here to deal with the present.”

Bruce continued by describing the fundraising for the replacement of the hall’s support piers and thanked the Dungog Rotary Club for their $2500 donation.

 “There are 100 piers under the hall. We need a kitty to apply for grants and we'd like you to help out with that.,” he said.

“Each pier represents $200. Donations will be tax deductible and can be left at Addisons with Jean Watts or contact Kathy MacDonald on 49953288.

“By buying a pier you will know that you made a difference, and are committed to ensuring the future of the hall and what it stands for in country life. We have a grand vision for the hall. Today we’ve turned to tradition, the celebrated cooking for Bandon Grove events, trestles creaking with calorific indulgences.”

A pizza oven is being built, and there are plans for a new kitchen and disabled toilet.

An Autumn Family Dance is the next School of Arts event planned for the April 28 with the Gloucester country, blue grass and folk band, The Grasscutters.

Rex Kingston, who was four years old when the hall was being constructed  and was at his dad’s side to see the original piers being laid out, made presentations to the following families who have been supporters of the Hall for decades: Robert and Jennifer Chant; Brian and Norma Pearce; Elenor and Ian Watson; Patti and Garry Middlebrook; with a special award for Rhonda and Grafton Shelton

Bruce said “We are building on the legacy of these families. So we ask you to join in, we've created a series of events, that should bring us together, be fun and generate funds to improve the hall.”

He also made a special thanks to Garry Middlebrook for his vintage tractor and machine display; Marie Neilson for help with the historical materials; Rex and Maureen Kingston for their ongoing support; the wonderful cooks of Bandon Grove and the community elders for making the effort to come.

The raffles were won by Norma Kingston, Kaye Hopson, Paul Middlebrook and Robert Pollock.