Plenty of life left in Aldersyde Hall

Plenty of life left in Aldersyde Hall

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The Aldersyde Agricultural Hall celebrated it's 100th birthday in 2018 and is being renovated.

The Aldersyde Agricultural Hall celebrated it's 100th birthday in 2018 and is being renovated.

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The hall was built in 1918 and it's appearance hasn't changed much since then.

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THE Aldersyde Agricultural Hall is set to be renovated and remodelled so it can continue to serve the vibrant community which calls the small Wheatbelt town home.

The hall was built in 1918 and it's appearance hasn't changed much since then, still featuring a large verandah and vacant space with a few touches of plants growing in an old water trough-now turned flower bed.

Hall committee member Jessie Spark said when most people arrived at the building for the first time or saw it in a photograph, their first impression is that it's just an old hall in the middle of the Wheatbelt, like many halls built in its era.

"One would probably guess after taking a look around at the area's population density, or lack of, that the Aldersyde Hall is past its heyday of large events, community get togethers, fundraisers, CWA meetings and events, dances, wedding receptions, family celebrations and large end of year Christmas celebrations, but you would be very mistaken," Ms Spark said.

"The Aldersyde Ag Hall, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2018, fills its walls with hundreds of people yearly on numerous occasions, fundraisers and community events.

"For example, the quiz night held in July 2019 had more than 100 people attending and at one point, during the musical section of the night, the whole hall was filled with people singing lyrics from The Gambler, it was quite a memorable moment."

The farmers who settled the land in the early 1900s created a legacy and left behind a busy thriving community that has been passed down from generation to generation.

Even though the community's population has contracted over the years, the unity has strengthened with passionate people who want to continue that legacy for future generations.

After several busy event-filled years, the committee members decided that they have outgrown the hall's kitchen and toilet capabilities and in order to fit into the community's goals for the future, the process of a full kitchen renovation and bathroom update began early last year.

Ms Spark said the community's goals were to bring local people together to create a sustainable community centre, look after one another and invite outsiders to visit the hall and surrounding area.

"When we started the renovation last year, it was discovered that the Aldersyde Hall was no longer entitled to the vesting, because procedures were not correctly handed down from the original committee members on the title,"she said.

"The hall had to be handed back to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) by default, but after many hours spent by the committee, DPLH offered the community the ability to purchase the hall back.

"It was a resounding vote of yes by the committee members to purchase the hall and give a sense of ownership and responsibility back to this thriving, strong farming community."

The remodelling is the first step of creating a sustainable community hub.

Ms Spark said the committee was also working on a heritage trail so visitors could walk back into history and learn about the community that once was and still is.

"More events are being planned for inviting non-locals to come and learn and love the little community of Aldersyde," she said.

"There are even plans to host people to stay overnight for spectacular stargazing or for travellers for those who enjoy other locations further east.

"There has already been a great deal of fundraising for the renovations to start, including the Aldersyde Hall receiving a sponsored financial award from Clubs WA and Stoddart Foodservice Equipment."

With the fundraising goal about halfway complete, a GoFundMe page has been set up to secure the rest of the funds needed.

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