HomeHistoryHistory of Booyal Memorial Hall

History of Booyal Memorial Hall

Booyal Memorial Hall
Booyal Memorial Hall opened in 1918 with a large community celebration.

Booyal Memorial Hall, located on Causeway Road, Booyal, has served as a focal point for community celebration and gathering for over 100 years, and is on Bundaberg Regional Council's Local Heritage Places.

Growth and settlement in the Booyal district were first stimulated by the extension of the railway from Childers to Cordalba in 1896 and encouraged further by a direct connection between Booyal and the Cordalba branch line in 1913.

A range of public buildings servicing the growing community were developed in the following years, including Booyal Hall which opened in 1918.

Residents of the community had identified the need for a larger gathering place and formed a hall committee to erect a suitable structure.

The committee purchased the Farmers’ Hall in Woongarra, which was then pulled down and moved to Booyal by Mr F Eales.

The Booyal Hall, as it was then known, officially opened on Saturday 19 October 1918 with a grand march, sporting events and a dance.

A soldier’s memorial stage was added to the hall in 1921 and the hall became known as Booyal Memorial Hall from that time.

The memorial was unveiled by Lieutenant-Colonel C. Corser from Maryborough on Armistice Day, 11 November.

An arch over the stage included the words ‘Erected by the Returned Soldiers in memory of their Fallen Comrades’ and an honour roll and marble memorial tablet were installed on either side.

The polished oak Roll of Honour contains the names of 39 men who fought in World War I, with the number of repeated last names evidence of the effect the conflict had on families in the district.

The marble Fallen Comrades Honour Roll is inscribed with the names of 10 men who died during both World War I and three who died during World War II.

The hall became the meeting place of the Booyal branch of the Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA), which formed in the district and held its first meeting in August 1927.

The Booyal branch QCWA were active from the start and worked on a number of important public projects while also raising money with the hall committee to fund extensions and clear debt associated with the hall.

The QCWA lobbied to improve the causeway across the Burnett River in the area, worked to establish a swimming club and petitioned to have the Booyal burial ground gazetted as a cemetery by the State Government, which they achieved in 1929.

Heritage characteristics of Booyal Memorial Hall

Booyal Memorial Hall
Booyal Memorial Hall is surrounded by farm land and bordered by mature trees.

The hall is set on a cleared, level one acre block with mature trees that delineate the grounds from surrounding farmland.

The rectangular weatherboard structure sits high on timber stumps, with a gable corrugated iron roof, Dutch gable style front and decorative elements on both ridge ends.

The front stairs lead to a landing with a door into an enclosed verandah with a separate roof that wraps around to the northern side.

Sliding windows frame the entrance, and a further three sliding windows are found on the northern side, one protected with a window hood.

The northeastern corner of the building and verandah are bricked-in on the ground level with access provided through three doors.

Attached to the rear of the hall is an annex with skillion roof and walls clad in weatherboard which sits slightly higher than the main structure on tall timber stumps.

The southern side of the hall features five triple awning windows.

The construction of Booyal Hall is characteristic of the style of building of community halls in the region during the early 20th century.

The large indoor space is typical of the time when public halls were used for holding dances and large community events and is a reflection of the prosperity and growth of the district’s population.

Recent history of the Booyal Memorial Hall shows it has continued to be used by the community for gatherings and local fundraising.

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