Mary Ann Law, President of Gheerulla Hall and Lesa Bell, Festival Coordinator say to come along to an event near you – Images Victoria McGuin
Small halls across the region will take centre stage at the 50th Anniversary of the Naming of the Sunshine Coast celebrations, as part of the Festival of Community Halls.
Supported by Sunshine Coast Council, there are 27 events across 20-plus halls.
Community halls are owned and operated by their communities. It is not an easy task to maintain these aging wooden buildings, engage the community and pay the bills.
Festival Coordinator, Lesa Bell said, “Whether a hall prospers or not depends on the community. A lot of halls were placed in regional localities, not town centres like Maleny and Mapleton. In smaller farming areas, they may not do so well as people are working away each day.
“It is surprising what is going on in small halls. Volunteers are trying to have regular events for people to have things to do – tai chi, dance or yoga, often next to tennis courts encouraging people for physical activity.
“They host events in order to pique interest and engage the community – but may not be able to make a profit to maintain the hall. I think that is quite a big problem.”
The 28 halls across the Coast are often built by locals families, built on donated land, built with volunteer labour or donated materials (such as locally felled timber) and many around are looking at 100 years old.
Frith Duggan, Sue Delany and Jocelyn Barrister serve up tea at Montville VIllage Hall – Images Victoria McGuin
Continued Lesa, “They were built for a purpose, that was to get people together – our biggest hindrance is social media and online entertainment.
“Rather than just a whole festival of events – Sunshine Coast Community Halls website is a platform of history and information on regular events that our halls run,” said Lesa.
Age is no barrier. There’s something for everyone, from photographic displays, movies and fairs, to retro dances and live music. You can visit a Tramstop Festival, High Tea, rodeos or sing-a-long to the Sound of Music!
There are seven weekends of events happening , so visit http://sunshinecoastcommunityhalls.com/ and have fun at your local hall!