Halls bring back many memories
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.