West Street Hall is a quaint building nestled back from the main street of Childers that boasts a remarkable 67-year history and a strong sense of community, even today.
Opening its doors on Saturday as part of Childers Heritage Weekend the story behind what was once the Childers and District Ladies Bowling Club was shared.
The organisation was formed in 1949 by a group of women who wanted to create a space of their own after being turned away from the men's clubs.
The land had previously been part of Pizzey’s Sawmill and cane farming land of Dudley Gee.
By 1955 they had constructed a five-lane bowling green with a club house.
Four years later the organisation had the honour of hosting a luncheon for Princess Alexandra when she visited Childers.
In 1992, the club disbanded when the women were encouraged to join in with the men at the Isis Bowling Club.
Nowadays, West Street Hall’s caretakers are the Isis Multicultural Group and president Robert Maisey said he was excited to take the community through the building’s past.
“This used to be the ladies bowling club, it was the first ladies club in Queensland and they built the greens themselves – it has gone now of course,” he said.
“The hall has an intriguing history, it was built in 1955 and even once had a visit from Princess Alexandra in 1959 when she stopped here and had morning tea with a large crowd.
“It is now used for the multicultural group and is quite charming and taken care of after it was improved by the groups who rent the hall.”
Hall opens doors for Childers Heritage Weekend
Childers Heritage Weekend is an initiative of the newly formed Childers tourism group Experience Childers, with members active in developing strategies to promote tourism in the local district.
Travelling from Bundaberg to take part in the Childers Heritage Weekend Barbara Waltke said she had always been an avid history buff.
“I really like Childers because it is full of history and showing the heritage this weekend is really wonderful – I wouldn’t miss it,” she said.
“I’ve been to a few of the open houses, including the Masonic Hall and the church.
“I did the historical walk with Scott from Experience Childers this morning too, and now I’m here at the West Street Hall. It’s all been very good.”