Neerim Junction celebrates its hall
More than 100 people gathered at Neerim Junction recently to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the rebuilding of the hall.
The hall burnt down in 1972 and after six years of fundraising in the community, was finally rebuilt in 1978.
Buses for the gourmet deli trail, funerals, weddings, community markets and barbecues were some of many events held in the 1970s to fundraise for a new hall. Members of the community got it going, signing on as guarantors for a loan to see the new hall built in 1978.
Many locals who have made use of the hall over the years attended the event to pack the hall, its foyer and car park with some travelling from as afar as interstate.
With the hall formerly a Mechanics Institute, a commemorative plaque was unveiled. The Mechanics Institute of Victoria is in the process of compiling a record of its halls, with Neerim Junction hall allocated hall number 63.
The hall committee also used the event to award certificates of appreciation to those who have volunteered for several years. Beth Fawcett and May Lockett formed part of the catering team for many years, while Les Christian had provided his land at Nayook for the Blue Light Police Ride, which was a major fundraiser for the hall for about 30 years.
Attendees also paused to observe Remembrance Day, with Baw Baw Shire mayor Mikaela Power and Shirley Gorman laying a wreath at the flagpole.
Today the hall is still well-utilised with Thai Chi and craft groups among many in the community putting the hall to use.
The hall committee also coordinate transport for the Gardivalia Festival of Gardens, and hope the Function at the Junction event may soon make a return.
Joan Gleeson of Neerim South, Liz Rechsteiner of Warragul, Kath Fusinato of Neerim South and Graham Bransgrove of Paynesville reflect on fond memories of the Neerim Junction hall.