Plenty of cheers for new community hub

Plenty of cheers for new Nyabing community hub


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 Publican Pepe Dart and Vicki Jolley pour the first beers at the new Nyabing Community Hub.

Publican Pepe Dart and Vicki Jolley pour the first beers at the new Nyabing Community Hub.

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More than 250 people gathered in the main street of Nyabing on March 7 for the grand opening of the Nyabing Community Hub - a $2.2 million facility that has a licenced tavern, café, conference rooms, office space and short-term accommodation.

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MORE than 250 people gathered in the main street of Nyabing on March 7 for the grand opening of the Nyabing Community Hub - a $2.2 million facility that has a licenced tavern, café, conference rooms, office space and short-term accommodation.

Nearly half the funds raised for the project came from the local community through a share-cropping program.

"It's simply somewhere nice to come to," said Nyabing Progress Association committee member and former president Scott Crosby.

"To build a $2m facility in a small town and do it commercially is not viable, so you've got to have community involvement otherwise you don't get it."

Kate Johnson, one of the many committee members who was feeling the emotion of the big day, said it was a building that would keep Nyabing alive for future generations.

Bruce Manning (left), Great Southern Development Commission and Rick Wilson, Federal Member for O'Connor, unveiling the Nyabing Community Hub plaque. Photographs by Kingsley Flett.

Bruce Manning (left), Great Southern Development Commission and Rick Wilson, Federal Member for O'Connor, unveiling the Nyabing Community Hub plaque. Photographs by Kingsley Flett.

"I cried - when the builders told us we had practical completion I was so emotional," Ms Johnson said.

"It's been our heart and soul for seven years and now it's here."

Fellow resident Fiona Hobley said it didn't mean the work was over for the community now that the building was complete.

"Now that the building is done, we'll be organising the events to draw the people in," Ms Hobley said.

"This is a step-up for us.

"It means we aren't a dying town.

"Losing our sport was the hardest thing for our town and that was the key driver for us to get a meeting place back."

It was the loss of the town's hockey, netball and football teams early this decade that gave the Nyabing Progress Association, which up until then had been involved in co-ordinating social events and small-scale infrastructure projects, the drive to raise the daunting amount of funds needed.

Ursula Harrison stood behind the original bar 50 years ago.

Ursula Harrison stood behind the original bar 50 years ago.

The group purchased the Nyabing Hotel, which had been on the market for some time, in 2014.

The intention was to refurbish the building but the old pub had seen better days and it was demolished last year to make way for the new community hub.

"You've just got to have a crack," Mr Crosby said when asked what advice he has for other communities who might be thinking of doing something similar.

"Don't be too daunted by the size of the task, just get in and have a go."

The final word on the facility went to local identity Ursula Harrison, who, with husband Cliff, were the longest serving publicans in the old hotel.

"I stood behind this bar 50 years ago," Ms Harrison said.

"To see it just now is wonderful, just wonderful."

Nyabing Primary school kids celebrating the opening of the new facility.

Nyabing Primary school kids celebrating the opening of the new facility.

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