Hall gets a makeover

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

THE Moss­man Shire Hall is get­ting a makeover ready for its 75th birth­day with re­pairs, a new roof and a fresh coat of paint.

Re­pairs will be made to dam­age on the ex­ter­nal walls and will be com­pleted in time for the an­niver­sary in June.

Ac­cord­ing to the his­tory books, the hall opened its doors on June 9, 1937, and had an of­fi­cial open­ing with a ball on June 25.

The idea for a new shire hall was con­ceived by then-coun­cil chair­man RD Rex and put to ten­der in 1934 and was awarded to builders in 1935, but Dou­glas Shire His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety pres­i­dent Pam Wil­lis Bur­den said there were de­lays build­ing the hall.

“The foun­da­tion stone was put down on Fe­bru­ary 22, 1936, and then it took them al­most 18 months to open the hall,” she said.

“I don’t know what hap­pened, dur­ing that time Moss­man was boom­ing, there was so much build­ing go­ing on it wasn’t funny.

“It was a very big time for Moss­man be­cause of the mill, there had been a cy­clone in 1934 so they re­built the Ex­change Ho­tel and built the old na­tional bank build­ing.”

It was the “in­ter­war” pe­riod and the new shire hall was built with ad­join­ing com­mer­cial prop­er­ties, to be­come the chemist and a café and above the hall was the Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil cham­bers.

The de­vel­op­ment es­tab­lished Moss­man as the com­mer­cial and ad­min­is­tra­tive cen­tre of the re­gion and in 2008 was recog­nised as an iconic place un­der the iconic Queens­land Places Act 2008 and in 2010 was listed on the Queens­land Her­itage reg­is­ter.

“It was a meet­ing place for ev­ery­one, they have dances ev­ery week - you need a hall in the com­mu­nity, for the com­mu­nity to get to­gether and it’s got a very good sprung floor for danc­ing,” Ms Wil­lis Bur­den said.

“Dur­ing World War II the hall was used by troops as a dance­hall.”

The re­pairs to the iconic hall will be com­pleted in time for the 75th birth­day in July and will give a chance for the com­mu­nity to cel­e­brate and rem­i­nisce about the role the hall had in Moss­man and the re­gion’s his­tory.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.