Hall gets a makeover
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.