Clunes residents Gloria Francis (rear left) and Doris Armstrong watch as Connie Millett practises on the hall piano ahead of Saturday’s centenary celebrations for the village’s Coronation Hall.
Clunes residents Gloria Francis (rear left) and Doris Armstrong watch as Connie Millett practises on the hall piano ahead of Saturday’s centenary celebrations for the village’s Coronation Hall.

Building's crowning glory

CLUNES' Coronation Hall is 100 years old and the good citizens of the historic village will be whooping it up this Saturday and plan to “party 'til the police arrive”.

“I hope I look this good when I'm 100 – useful, presentable and not leaking,” quipped a grinning hall president Ian “Horrie” Francis.

Festivities will be kicked off at 11am by Lismore City Mayor Jenny Dowell and Lismore MP Thomas George, followed by a “monster” sausage sizzle, a classic motorcycle and vintage car display and a multitude of singers, musicians and dancers.

Locals have been hard at work for the past few months digging up old photos, stories and memorabilia, much of which will be on display in the hall on Saturday.

It also will be available in an impressive glossy booklet written and produced by life-long local – “except for 17 years in Lismore” – and rumour-mill operator, Rod Gibson.

The book chronicles a century of parties and celebrations in the village renowned for its community spirit and ability to have a good time, and best exemplifies the changing times on its back page with comparable photos of the village elders in 1909 and 2009.

The 1909 photo shows a group of moustachioed men in suits and ceremonial attire, while the 2009 shot shows at least a dozen of Clunes' finest blokes stark naked around the piano for a charity calendar shoot.

Village matriarch and hall booking officer for 40 years, Doris Armstrong, 90, still giggles at such memories and admits she too struggles to act her age.

“Yes, I am 90, but gosh I had to think for a minute. I certainly don't feel 90,” she said, laughing.



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