Is the heartbeat of the grand old lady of Tatura fading — that is the question being asked today?
New secretary of the Tatura Civic Halls Inc committee Ian Grant said last week Tatura’s Victory Hall was, first and foremost, a memorial to men who lost their lives in World War I.
He said the idea of a Memorial Hall for Tatura, dedicated to the fallen, was first raised in early 1919 between members of the Tatura Progress Association and Returned Servicemen’s Association.
‘‘In time, a firm proposal developed to build a Memorial Hall alongside the Mechanics Institute, a planning committee was formed and fund raising began,’’ Mr Grant said.
‘‘It was not until early 1925 when, after a generous donation from the Shire of Rodney, the tender to build the Memorial Hall was accepted from F. A. Willoughby.’’
On May 8 1925, Tatura Guardian reported: ‘‘The exterior wall of the hall will be most imposing and, when completed, will be an edifice worthy of the commendable effort made to ensure its construction.
It was decided to name it ‘Victory Hall’ as a tribute to the fallen brave whose sacrifice it commemorated.’’
The foundation stone for the building was laid on September 14, 1925, by Senator Brigadier-General H. E. Elliott.
In commemoration of the great victory gained by the nation in World War 1, the Guardian also noted that it commemorated a ‘‘great victory of the optimists over the pessimists who were numerous when the idea of a hall was first suggested’’.
Victory Hall was opened by the Governor General, Lord Stonehaven on March 9, 1926.
The first occasion that a Governor General had visited the Goulburn Valley, it is well documented in Bill Bossence’s book Tatura.
Through the years, this iconic memorial to Tatura’s fallen has been the hub of the social scene that has created Tatura’s strong community culture.
Mr Grant said Tatura’s ‘‘grand old lady was in urgent need of repairs to show we still care’’.
‘‘Rising damp, has forced the closure of the RSL Sub Branch meeting room, the paint work is in need of renewal and internally the deterioration is evident,’’ he said.
‘‘Victory Hall has a fully operational registered kitchen and hall area that will hold about 150 people. The theatre and stage is ideally set up for small productions.
‘‘If your organisation would like to run a fundraising concert or event, contact the committee or myself on 0427 140 241.’’
Tatura Civic Halls Inc
Tatura Civic Halls Inc held its annual general meeting on July 18, when the new executive and committee were elected after Kim O’Toole took the chair.
The president is Tom Perry, vice-president Graeme Johnston, secretary Ian Grant, treasurer Richard Graves, committee Ruth Johnston, Graeme Johnston, Keith Stewart, John Sweet, Ted McCracken, Mal Watts and Kim O’Toole.
A motion was put to the meeting that the four vacant trustee positions on the board be replaced.
This will be discussed in a letter to existing trustees.
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