Celebrating our region's halls of fame

PROUD: Bonalbo Hall and three members of its hall committee, Marion Conrow, Lawrence McCarthy and Velia De Tozza.
PROUD: Bonalbo Hall and three members of its hall committee, Marion Conrow, Lawrence McCarthy and Velia De Tozza. Jules Ober

BONALBO HALL: Marion Conrow nominated the Bonalbo District Memorial Hall and said the huge building with the sprung dance floor is so retro it's like going back to the 1960s.

"Bonalbo is small community of 500 and the whole community would fit in there," she said.

One story of Bonalbo Hall that captured the imagination of the selection panel was the giant cave of quartz crystals that was accidentally discovered in the 1900s, then mined to make projector lenses.

BROADWATER AND RILEY'S HILL: Broadwater-Riley's Hill Hall was built in 1998 to replace the previous Mill Hall of the Sunshine Sugar Co-operative sugar mill, which was condemned in the early 90s. Clarissa Henderson, a resident of 27 years, said from the day the new hall was built, "it had a feeling that it was community owned."

EATONSVILLE HALL: Eatonsville Hall has a long and significant history in the Clarence Valley.

From its perch atop a grassy hill overlooking the majestic Clarence River, Eatonsville hall was once the centre of transport in the early days and has since seen weddings, war send offs, survived being blown down and being gutted by a fire.

EUREKA HALL: Marisa Snow, who nominated Eureka Hall, said it has been the "heartbeat and meeting place in the community for more than 100 years".

"It's timeless and iconic and is still managed by descendants of Eureka's pioneering settlers, its role virtually unchanged since it was built in 1906," she said.

THE CHANNON HALL: For more than 100 years The Channon Hall has been the social hub of the village, from the days of logging and agriculture, to the first successful anti-logging campaign in the 1970s, which led to the landmark decision to end all rainforest logging in NSW.

TUMBULGUM HALL: Tumbulgum will celebrate 150 years this year with Tumbulgum Hall being the main focus during the celebrations. Historian Brian Breckenridge said: "There is amazing history contained within its walls."

MEERSCHAUM VALE: Josephine Saunders, who nominated Meerschaum Vale Hall, called it the "the beating heart of our community".

"It is the place where newcomers are welcomed, the departed are farewelled and everything in between. It houses the memories of our past and guides our future," she said.

HALL PROFILES: A profile on each of the halls will feature in The Northern Star each day next week.

Topics:  lismore northern rivers

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