LANDMARKS OF LENNOX: COMMUNITY SOCIAL CENTRES
Words by Robyn Hargrave
On 1 January 1925, the Lennox Public Hall Committee (LPHC) formed ‘with a view to obtaining funds for the purpose of erecting the said Hall.’ Mr W Forster’s gifted a quarter acre of land where the Lennox Head Medical complex now stands.
Meetings and social events were held on private premises with Meaney’s Hall, a ‘big shed built on Meaney’s farm …. used by the community for all social functions at North Creek’ in the 1920s and meetings at Fred Hutley’s shop in Rayner Lane. From the 1940s, Mrs Mac’s (later Beggs’) Hall in Ross Park and Rutherford Street Uniting Church Hall hosted gatherings. Williams Reserve tennis club became the Recreation and Community Hall in the 1960s. The CWA Hall stood at the corner of Ross Street and Pacific Parade.
By 1930 the enterprising LPHC had raised £70/8/7 (Seventy pounds Eight shillings and seven pence) towards the new hall. With little progress by the start of WW II, in 1941 £70 was loaned to the Crown to assist the war effort by purchase of a war bond.
In 1957 no record of the gift of land or allocation for a hall was found in official records. Nevertheless, in March 1981 BSC proposed to resume a ‘Hall site – vacant land’ in Ballina Street to widen Park Lane.
Undaunted, from July 1979 a representative committee continued to negotiate for a Community Hall. In 2005 BSC announced plans for a Community Centre which exceeded the wildest dreams of those early pioneers with the 1925 can-do attitude.
Sources: Lennox Public Hall Committee 1925, Minutes from 1.1.1925, Lennox Head Heritage Committee (LHHC); SL Noble, date unknown, interview with Zena Greenhalgh (nee McKinnon) LHHC; D Campbell, Lennox Head Progresses with the Aid of its Progress Associations, LHHC, Lismore 2008, Ballina Shire Council, 1984, letter from Shire Clerk 1.2.1984, LHHC. Photos: LHHC
Readers with information on this or other Landmarks of Lennox, please contact Robyn Hargrave by phone 0412 660 994 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.