Halls bring back many mem­o­ries

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCLEAY

Mem­bers of the Mata­mata His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety sup­ported the Rugby World Cup whole­heart­edly by dress­ing in black and white at their an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of coun­try halls last Tues­day.

This year they flocked to Wardville hall to rem­i­nisce about the happy days spent there over the past 90 years.

Colin Kem­plen who played ‘‘ ref­eree’’ for the af­ter­noon, lead the Grey War­blers choir in My Old Man’s an All Black and later joined in as cou­ples re-lived their youth­ful days and waltzed around the hall.

Light hearted ad­vice was given to the women on how to be­have dur­ing the rugby world cup and to leave their hus­bands alone with the re­mote.

The Wardville Hall was built in 1917 and soon be­came the cen­tre of the bustling com­mu­nity.

The small 9m by 6m hall held many school func­tions and so­cial events.

In 1939 it was re­built and en­larged in 1956. By then it was home to balls, con­certs, young farm­ers’ club, flow­ers shows, school ac­tiv­i­ties, sports events, bowls and much more.

Be­ing back in the Wardville Hall brought but­ter­flies to Pat Pol­glase’s stom­ach as the mem­o­ries came flood­ing back.

‘‘The hall just feels so happy – we used to have won­der­ful events here. This brought back so many mem­o­ries with the danc­ing and singing,’’ she said.

She came to Wardville as a bride 60 years ago be­fore mov­ing into Mata­mata.

Many oth­ers also shared their fond mem­o­ries. One re­mem­bers the hall be­ing al­tered, some talked about the lo­cal school events, one en­joyed the ta­ble tennis and dances and oth­ers met their hus­bands in Wardville and had their hens’ party at the hall.

Af­ter an af­ter­noon of singing and danc­ing, the day was rounded off with a cup of tea and a bite to eat.

In cel­e­bra­tion of coun­try halls, Joan Stan­ley has writ­ten a book named Down at the Hall which is full of in­for­ma­tion and his­tory about 26 coun­try halls around the Mata­mata District.

Cou­ples waltzed around Wardville hall at the Mata­mata His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety’s an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of coun­try halls.

Sing-a-long: The Grey War­blers lead the group in a num­ber of old favourites.

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