Many a good night at district halls

Goodnight Scrub Hall
The Goodnight Scrub Hall was officially opened during the Easter period in 1934 .

Community halls have been focal points for meetings and social occasions across the Bundaberg Region for decades and the Goodnight Scrub Hall is no different.

Today, many of these halls are reminders of the pioneers who toiled in testing circumstances and opened huge tracts of land to build homes and establish agricultural pursuits.

It was this endeavour which laid the foundation for the prosperity of the Bundaberg Region.

The hall at Goodnight Scrub is one of the more rustic constructions still in existence and bearing a strong similarity to the hall officially opened during the Easter period in 1934.

Reports from the era state that 60 couples attended the opening which was marked with a night of dancing with music supplied by Nielson’s Orchestra.

The dance in the evening was preceded by sporting events which attracted residents from throughout the district including the local Member, Mr W.A. Brand MLA.

A piano with strong ties to the hall’s history, while no longer in working order, can still be found within the hall today.

Myra Cullen, a relative of Divisional Council representative Cr Wayne Honor, played the piano at the hall opening and at many dances held there.

The construction of the hall was an exercise in community unity. People pulling together to create a location where they could meet at a common point and in a social atmosphere.

A place where the workday weariness was forgotten as they indulged in catch-ups with neighbours from near and far.

The seven acres (2.8ha) of land on which the hall was built was donated by a prominent district pastoralist Mr H Innes with willing community hands doing the rest to raise up the weatherboard and corrugated iron structure.

The hall, according to notes penned by local woman Shirley Walker, was used for weddings, as a picture theatre, old time dances and sporting events.

“Every Sunday we had a church service led by a Lutheran minister.”

Shirley said that Christmas at the Goodnight Scrub Hall was a much-anticipated event with the hall packed to hear local children recite the Christmas story and then receive a book and a packet of sweets for their efforts.

The last dance at the hall was held in 1980 and unfortunately, according to Shirley, the event was “disrupted by a group of drunken footballers”.

Another event of significance was the official turning on of power to the hall. This was held on Saturday, 23 November 1996.

The land and building were held in trust until soaring insurance costs of $2000 per year resulted in the property being handed to Kolan Shire Council in 2002.

Following amalgamation, the Goodnight Scrub Hall now rests with Bundaberg Regional Council.


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