The Nethercote Community Hall is available for hire. For rates of hire, bond and conditions please see the following documents:
For availability, please see the Nethercote Community Hall booking calendar HERE.
History of the Nethercote Hall
The original Hall
The Nethercote Community Hall was originally built by the Nethercote Progress Association in 1910 from funds raised by the local community. The hall and served as a wonderful gathering place for the community for many years and was the popular venue for Community meetings, Dances, Christmas functions, children’s parties, whatever.
During the 1950s and 60s, the population of Nethercote declined as dairy farming in the area wound down. The Nethercote Public School closed and community activity in Nethercote gradually diminished. In 1969 the Nethercote Progress Association ceased to operate. The Community Hall began to fall into disrepair.By the 1980s it was almost derelict.
In the 1990’s the population of the area began to grow again as properties and farms were subdivided and young familiea started moving into the area.
A battle with the local council over the operation of a gravel pit and quarry, led to the creation of the Nethercote Residents’ Association. A revitalized spirit of community involvement and activity emerged. Social functions such as community BBQs and Christmas parties began again.
Because the only public buildings venues in Nethercote were the old dilapidated community hall and the very Spartan local Fire Brigade shed (a tin shed with a concrete slab floor with no heating or running water – served by only a single portaloo), the fire shed and the hall grounds became the venue for most community events. Comment was often made that the community hall should be rebuilt
By the time of the 1996 Christmas there was a lot of interest in seeing the hall restored for use by the community. A public meeting was called and the advice sought from a local builder and the local council.
A decision was made to rebuild the hall, retaining as much as possible of the original building and its style.
Fundraising began in earnest.
Over the following 12 years more than $60,000 was raised by community events such as trail horse rides, open gardens, auctions, markets, bush dances, trivia nights, raffles and even a “womanless” beauty pageant.
Once the re-building project began, the Bega Valley Shire Council General Hall Committee, provided funds of about $1,200 each year for the repair and maintenance of the Hall.
In 2008, when starting to “run out of steam” after so many hectic fundraising years, the community applied for and was most grateful to receive $38,000 funding from the federal government.
Nearly all the work and effort involved in restoring the Hall was carried out by volunteers. There were lots of weekend working bees as well as lots of lots of very generous individual efforts.
For example, a local qualified & licensed electrician generously donated large amounts of his time-off in totally re-wiring the Hall and installing all the electrical fittings. A local qualified & licensed plumber donated the time and effort involved in all the plumbing. A local builder donated hundreds of hours of his between-jobs in providing carpentry & building tasks.
Weekend working bees achieved wonderful results not just in restoring the Hall but also in community involvement.
Several working bee regulars were long time members of the community who not only did a mountain of work but also shared many stories and told fabulous yarns of the old days in Nethercote. As children, many of them went to school at the now defunct one-room Nethercote Public School schoolhouse and in their youth went to many dances in the hall.
The restoration project bought the community together in a way that no one could have imagined. So many of the local residents helped out at fundraisers and events and at the working bees and the attitude was always one of “we can do it!”
Fundraisers were (and still are) are fun, well known and supported both from within the local area and beyond. On occasions, three generations of the each of four families have helping at working bees and fundraisers! The community now has an incredible feeling of ownership of “our” hall due to the immense efforts involved and the friendships and camaraderie received in return. There was no incidence of vandalism or theft from the site during building works, and none since.
When the then Federal member, Gary Nairn and State Member, Andrew Constance attended a grant announcement ceremony they were in awe at the “before and after” photos in our working bee photo album.
The rebuilding project
Rebuilding of the Hall began in 2004.
Of the original building, the only parts in a condition good enough to reuse were a brick fireplace, the wall framing (but none of the cladding, and with a fair bit of re-inforcing), the roof trusses (after re-bracing, but with none of the original roofing) and much of the timber from the floor (but none of the original joists, bearers, or stumps).
The rebuilt Hall has;
- steel floor bearers and stumps under the re-laid original flooring, complete electrical re-wiring, wonderful fans & lighting, new timber and plaster lining throughout, a properly lined ceiling, and weatherboard profile “Colorbond” steel external wall cladding.
- a fully equipped commercial quality kitchen,
- a beautiful amenities block containing 3 separate toilet sections, a shower, with hot and cold running water and real flushing toilets.
A grand opening day was held on 24th October 2009 – the 99th anniversary of the original hall opening.
The opening was attended by well over one hundred locals as well as local dignitaries and past residents. There was an official opening with an official ribbon cutting by our longest standing member of the community, as well as speeches, music, amusements, a “Cinderella” dance for the kids and dancing into the evening for everyone.
The event was widely reported in the local & rural press. Extracts from those press articles can seen by clicking on the following links:
- “Grand re-opening of grand old hall Extract, “Magnet”, 22nd October, 2009,
- “Derelict hall has new life”, “Town & Country”, 26th October 2009.
- “Nethercote community greets new “heart and soul”, by Amanda Stroud, “The Magnet, Thursday, October 29, 2009 .”
- Re-opening of the “best hall in the Bega Valley Shire”, extract from “The Magnet, October 29, 2009
- “Sun shines on opening”, “Town & Country”, 2nd November, 2009.
Two weeks later, on 7th November, a Gala Ball was held at the hall; as another celebration of the successful restoration and rebuilding of a community.
An article taken from the Magnet can be seen by clicking on the following link.
Here are some of the photos taken at the Ball