Former member of the now disbanded Kyabram Town Hall Management Group Catherine Bleasdale has written a brief two-part history of the building.January 16, 2013 4:19am
With a consultant having been appointed to assess future uses for Kyabram Town Hall there is revived interest in one of the town’s most iconic landmarks.
Former member of the now disbanded Kyabram Town Hall Management Group Catherine Bleasdale has written a brief two-part history of the building. Part one, published here, covers the first 64 years, from 1890 to 1954, and part two is to follow in next week’s Free Press.
Kyabram Old Town Hall has more than 100 years connection with the people of Kyabram, starting life as a mechanics institute.
In 1890 Kyabram citizens, having decided that Henley Hall was too small for their purposes, formed a small public company to raise money to build a larger hall within the township of Kyabram.
The shares from the company were donated to the Mechanic Institute Committee for the building, which, with other money raised, ensured the institute was built entirely without recourse to government money. The hall was opened in 1891.
‘‘THE KYABRAM MECHANICS INSTITUTE — A SPLENDID BUILDING’’ was the headline of the Tatura Herald on July 24, 1891. In 1908, there were further additions made to the front of the hall, which included a clock tower but, due to a lack of funds, the clock was not installed until 1949 when Mrs James Finlay donated the clock in memory of her husband.
Kyabram became a borough in 1954 and the institute building was renamed the Kyabram Town Hall, continuing in use until the Campaspe Shire Council closed most of the building to the public in 1983.
The hall has had many occupants starting with the trustees, the Progress Association and a local magistrates’ room until 1912, also a small library and billiard room. At one stage the entire building became the local council offices.
An important part of the town hall’s history is the association with the Kyabram Reform Movement of 1902 to 1904. This movement was the work of citizens who were interested in politics, particularly the overspending by Victoria’s parliament after the move of the Federal Government to Canberra from Melbourne. On May 16, 1902 a monster public meeting was held in the Mechanics Hall. Among those attending was a Mr Palmer from Euroa, who had ridden 36 miles on a bicycle to be there. The movement had spread all over Victoria, with articles in local and state newspapers. Punch published many cartoons.
Many names of gentlemen involved in the movement are remembered today by street names in Kyabram including Wilson, Lancaster, Goddard, Bishop and Finlay. John Allan also played a minor part. The latter had some interest in the movement but really made his name well known in Victoria when he was elected to parliament in 1917 and became premier in August 1926. He gave his pre-election speech in the Kyabram Town Hall.
Disability organisation ConnectGV is having its fourth annual gala dinner fundraiser on March 13.
Some of Australia’s best kayakers were in Yarrawonga on Sunday at the annual Yarrawonga-Mulwala Canoe Club’s Murray River Classic kayak race.
Volunteers at St Vincent de Paul in Tatura continue to be dismayed at the amount of unsuitable items dumped at the centre in Francis St.
Despite the cash-strapped Federal Government tightening its belt, Tongala Age Care has bucked the trend and secured $1 million for a significant expansion of its facility.
Vandals have uprooted trees along the Campaspe River, leaving Rochester River Reserve Committee president Paul Poort furious and devastated.
Bianca Chatfield to speak at Kyabram Sportstar of the Year
Alan McLean looks back at Seymour's history of larrikings, louts and bushfires.
New tourism venture, Old Woperana Working Farm and Animal Nursery, is now open to the public.
Warm weather during the Christmas/New Year period saw large crowds enjoy facilities at the region’s major water storages.
Ellen ‘Nell’ Farrell has exactly 100 reasons to celebrate, as today marks her 100th birthday.
The Free family were overwhelmed when stolen fishing equipment was returned to them on Monday night.
SPC Ardmona’s managing director Peter Kelly will end his association with the company when his two-year commitment to the job expires at the end of March.
Salvation Army Benalla Majors Heather and Peter Ellis have relocated to Melbourne.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.