The District Hall in South Canterbury, N.Z.

It has and will take decades of volunteer work, working bees, fund raising and enjoyment to maintain the halls, the centre of the communities.

Community halls are found throughout South Canterbury rural farming districts. The halls are all still in use but they are not used nearly as much as they have been in the past. All do have occasional functions and are available for hire but their use is minimal, certainly when compared to 30-40 years ago. Many reasons I guess: greater mobility of the residents, a greater number of out of district activities and in some cases the demographic makeup of a district might be a reason. Many districts have turned to dairy farming and the sharemilkers stay a couple of years then move on. We don't have the same stability of second and third generations staying in the districts. There has been a declining interest in organised activities for a long time all of which is reflected in the low usage of the halls. Some are still going strong but others have been sold and remodelled as residences, e.g. the Allandale Hall or museums, moved or idle. Many started off as the local school that also where the church services were held one Sunday a month. Waimate community halls in 2019

A  homemade Pavlova with fresh fruit salad and passionfruit. Feb. 2013.

When the schools amalgamated just before the beginning of World War Two the locals in the districts formed committees - hall committees and recreational committees. Most of the schools were single rooms. It takes upkeep to maintain the halls and funds for insurance, maintenance, ground keeping, electricity, heating and piano tuning etc. so the district residents bond together with fund raising, working bees, firewood, flowers, functions e.g. wedding dance, and give their time freely to be on the committees. In 2012 it costs around $2000 a year to maintain a hall and have insurance coverage and that is a lot of money for a community to raise and most halls are aging. Some communities apply for grants while other districts the resident ratepayers agreed to be levied. A tenfold increase in its post-earthquake insurance excess has insurance becoming more and more unaffordable for country halls, and homeowners in general, with higher excesses and higher premiums. Some halls have extended over decades, amenities improved and frequently used e.g. The Sherwood Downs Community Hall started off as a dual purpose building- rifle range / dance venue and was used for a recreational centre with indoor bowls, badminton, padderminton (similar to badminton but played with a wooden bat slightly bigger than a table tennis bat), table tennis, darts, quoits, indoor rifle shooting, community farewells, 21st birthdays, wedding receptions, polling place, meeting room, CWI monthly meetings, regional events. The kitchens were basic but very clean and had a stove, a sink and countertop, a zip for hot water, crockery in the cupboards, teapot, folding tables, brooms, etc. We can only remember the ladies of the district in the kitchen. The ladies took their plates in and chatted. No one was in charge unless it was a function for an organization. Somebody close to the hall always offered to wash the tea towels.  

Still used for private functions.
The Orari Coronation Hall, opened June 1912, is located on Macdonald Street, first turn left over railway line on Orari Station Road to Geraldine. On the west side of the railway line and the SH One. It is only about 60 yards west of the Main Road, on the road going to the racecourse. George V. and Mary's coronation was 12 Dec. 1911. sketch

 Orari Coronation Hall Honour Board Orari Coronation Hall Honour Board The Orari Domain. 1883-1983 1893-1993 This wall was erected with stone from the Orari River to mark the centennial of the Orari Domain.

Memorial Halls in South Canterbury & North Otago
Many halls have honour boards inside or war memorials in the grounds or on memorial gateways for WW1 and WW2 returned servicemen and those that never returned
. Many honour rolls from the old halls and schools that have been demolished have been moved to community centres. E.g. Fairlie, Geraldine. WW1 a welcome home at the Ashwick School. During WW2 send offs and welcome home dances were the norm. Hugh Morrison, from Albury.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, the Hon. G.W. Russell, has lent a circular to all local bodies stating that in view of doubts having arisen as to the powers of local authorities to expend moneys out of their funds on permanent Peace Memorials, the Government has decided to introduce legislation —Authorising local authorities to expend moneys on permanent peace memorials. Enabling local authorities to borrow moneys for the purposes of peace memorials, subject to a poll of the ratepayers. I may add that the following are considered objects on which moneys may be expended by local authorities : Town halls, Libraries, Swimming baths, Fountains, Avenues of trees, Band rotundas, Parks, Recreation grounds and Statues.

Arno Soldiers’ Memorial Hall, 1920
Beaconsfield Memorial Hall 1939-45
Geraldine Victory Memorial Community Centre, 1963. No longer exists.
Hook Soldiers Memorial Hall, 1922. WW2 additions in 1954.
Ikawai Memorial Hall, 1956
Kurow Memorial Hall (North Otago)
Milford Memorial Hall, 1919
Omarama Memorial Hall (North Otago)
Pleasant Point Town Hall Memorial Lounge, 1954
Rangitata Soldiers' Memorial Hall, 1918
TBHS Memorial Library, 1924

 Built as a war memorial. Lest we forget. Photo taken 5 July 2011 not 2012.
Rangitata Soldiers' Memorial Hall, State Hwy 1, is a country hall which is an asset for the district but which is not used very much now. Built in 1918.  There are two honour boards on the wall, one for 1914-18 war and one for 1939-45 war.  Every Tuesday evening a dance group meets.  The group is the main user of this facility. The floor is very good for dancing on. Other halls also hold dances. Powder is still sprinkled on the dance floors on occasions if necessary, more likely if the floor has been wet or dampened and has become a little sticky It is not used nearly as much as it used to be.

Ikawai Memorial Hall on the Hakataramea Hwy, passed it when travelling from Waimate to Kurow. The country hall was built in 1956 with an adjacent domain/sports field, photo taken April 2016.

Auster aircraft ZK-AWS outside the Omarama Memorial Hall with Harry Wigley between two unidentified men, July 1951.  The runway is near the hall. Whites Aviation Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library WA-29057-F & WA-29090-F

The community raised $750,000 to modernise Omarama’s Memorial hall and transform it into the multifunctional community centre which opened in 2013. The sale of the old medical centre building gave the seed capital needed. It cost the ratepayer nothing – it all came from fundraising. The team behind the project organised five major fundraisers each building on the one before. The team was very focused yet flexible, to get what they wanted. Since then more projects have followed which have funded new curtains, stage lighting and new heating. The original hall had become “virtually unusable” with no running water and an outdated kitchen. It is now used many times a week. The library opened there a year in 2016. It is used regularly by the playgroup, the school, sports groups and for functions, concerts, weddings and other events. The school holds its Anzac concerts there.

Ohinemuri Gazette, 23 May 1919, Page 2 WAR MEMORIALS. WHAT NOT TO DO.
It is happening alas! Queer designs are being stuck up here and there as memorials of the war. The memorial history of the Boer War is repeating itself sadly. The worst perpetration to date is the figure of Nurse Cavell, which gives shudders to people who see the front of St. Mary's Hospital, Auckland. The writer does not blame the people of Auckland; they know better; the statue is one of those blunders that will happen even in the best regulated cities. Speeding through Canterbury Plains one can see from the train a brick Memorial Hall at Rangitata. It is a memorial as grim as the scythe of death; a stodgy little porch gives one an impression that the hall, conscious of its squatness, has tried to turn its face away from passers-by. However, this memorial hall has one merit; it is good honest brick, not spludged with stucco, which makes so many buildings in New Zealand, hideous. At Timaru there is a typical white marble monument of the South African War —the figure of a trooper, with the correct lines of a draper's dummy. Behind him is the barrel of a big gun, with the muzzle just high enough for a seat—the reminder of the change in artillery since the Boer War. The whole thing is pathetic. Timaru and New Zealand deserve something better than such misuses of marble. All sorts of folk, who have been agitating in vain for various local improvements, such as swimming baths, libraries, halls, and the like, are hoping to win through by naming their schemes "War Memorial." The East Oxford County Council (Canterbury) hoped thus to score a, Municipal Chamber. As an excuse for such a utilitarian memorial, it was stated that space would be provided in that building-for an Oxford Roll of Honour. However, relatives of the soldiers blocked progress with a declaration that they would not agree to this kind of memorial.—"Quick March."

photo by B. C. 
The Kingsdown Hall, at the intersection of Daniels Road and S.H. 1. 2011 photo by B.C. The honour board is hanging outside on the brick wall just inside the porch. I suspect that this memorial was once at a location (original) where there was a church. The memorial has two holes in it which would not have been needed in its present location.

Press, 25 September 1919, Page 10
Regarding the action of the chairman of Clandeboye Hall Committee in insulting the local roll of honour by placing it outside the building, a public apology had been made by the person concerned, and it was decided to take no further action in the matter.

Jan. 2013. There are heaps more local halls e.g. Kingsdown, Fairview, Claremont, Otipua, Taiko, Milford, Seadown, Otaio and Rangitata are some off the top of my head. Some of these are brick. Orari Bridge was pulled down and a house is there now. I think Makikihi has one too.   

Pleasant Valley
Pleasant Valley still has an active hall and Gapes Valley, and Orari Community Hall.  A Day in The Valley on the weekend March 9th & 10th 2013 marked St Anne's Church 150th celebration and it also happen to be the Pleasant Valley hall's 90th.
St Anne's Church, built in 1863. The event went well except that the whole country almost had blue skies and drought in the north and we had coastal drizzle for both days and people were freezing!

Cake for the Pleasant Valley hall's 90th Birthday.

Photos of the Pleasant Valley Hall were taken by M.T. during a tiki tour early March 2013 of Te Moana (up the gorge - very rough!) Pleasant Valley district (over a ford with quite a bit of water), and back to Waihi gorge. Some of those roads I haven't travelled since a child. Pleasant Valley is immaculate, getting ready for the centennial of the church and the Bishop's visit. The cemetery has been spruced up and lawns mown low, the school is very tidy. The old Pleasant Valley School is still now used as a playcentre. The hall is as I remember it, a grey corrugated iron building on the Pleasant Valley Road. The day was overcast and the sun came out on my way home! Road kills were sparse, only saw two dead hedgehogs. M.T. Owing to safety regulation note the halls have two double exit doors.

tiki tour (New Zealand slang)
1. a sight-seeing journey with no particular destination in mind.
2. taking the scenic route to a destination.
3. to wander aimlessly.

Inside the Pleasant Valley Hall, 10 March 2013. Note the faded NZ flag at the back of the stage above the honour boards for  WW1 & II servicemen and the servicemen photos around the hall.

March 2013. Road sign Pleasant Valley hall corner. Look at all that native bush in the background and a white faced hereford. Photo taken by Margaret Todd. Pleasant Valley Hall, March 2013, 90 years old. Photo taken by Margaret Todd.
Pleasant Valley Hall, March 2013, 90 years old. Photo taken by Margaret Todd.

Timaru Courier Thursday, February 24, 2011 The Otaio Community Hall
Co•operation built community hall by Rachael Comer

The Otaio Community Hall  2011 

A small building on State Highway 1 has been a huge part of the Otaio community. The Otaio Community Hall was opened on August 10, 1957, by the chairman of the Waimate County, Major N. Rattray. The building is situated between Timaru and Waimate, on SH1. The district’s residents raised funds in various ways to pay for the community hall. The hall was modelled on the Waianakarua Hall in North Otago. During the building, contractors were assisted in the construction by locals working on a roster system. The actual building work was overseen by local builders Alan and Jack Day. The stone for the building was obtained from an Oamaru quarry and delivered to the site by Otaio farmers who owned large trucks. As well as labour, some residents gave money to ensure the hall had no ongoing debt. The war memorial, commemorating residents who served in World War 1, was moved to the hall grounds after the closure of Otaio School about 1998. The community hall is the last remaining community structure in the district and is used weekly by the Waimate Mobile Kindergarten and for social occasions. The hall is small, which means there is no excuse not to mingle. On November 4, 2007 Otaio Hall celebrated its 50th birthday with speeches, a cutting of the cake, afternoon tea and much reminiscing. The grounds, which include a planting of ornamental trees, are carefully maintained to this day. For 50 years the hall has been financed and supported by Otaio residents and now receives the major part of its funding from the Waimate District Council.   

Photos taken Oct. 2012 by M.T.
The Peel Forest Hall built in 1927. Photo taken Oct. 2012. 

Historic Orari Bridge Hall was sold
Orari Bridge Hall, Main North Rd about 4k n. of Geraldine, was on land owned by the council. The original hall building appeared to have been built in 1922 by locals. Sold Dec 2010 for$2850. pg5.  7th June 2011 - I saw some men wrecking the Orari Bridge hall as I went past. I remember those happy Saturday nights when we danced there. Mum used to go there to play bowls and, in the latter years, she played crib there. M.T. 7 June 2011

The Timaru Herald 10/07/2009 & 07/07/2008 02/02//2008
The hall had a long history and it had been host to weddings, dances and 21st birthday parties. The closure of the nearby school had had an impact. The hall was built through the efforts of the local community; however the hall committee did not receive the certificate of title for the property. The Geraldine County Council obtained the certificate of title five years after the hall was built. The Orari Bridge Hall, at the centre of the Orari Bridge community since 1922, is up for sale. The Timaru District Council has called for tenders on behalf of the Orari Bridge Hall Committee. Committee member Jack Ellery said there was not enough interest from the local community for keeping the hall. "It's outgrown its usefulness. It's simply not used and we just don't get enough rental to keep it going. Rather than just see it fall to bits we wanted to see it used." Mr Ellery said he was sad to see the hall go. He had many fond memories of the building. "I grew up in the days when the hall was in full cry as a local event centre. My earliest memory of the hall was of send-offs and welcomes for soldiers leaving for World War II." Photos of locals who left for the war had been kept in the hall until it was put up for tender. They have been moved to the local RSA. Mr Ellery said 22 people left for World War II. Two did not return. He said the hall had been used for many local events such as wedding dances and twenty-firsts birthday parties. It had also hosted the miniature rifle club and an indoor sports club where many games were played. "We had many hilarious times there. We had a local version of basketball that we used to play. There weren't many rules." The hall acre cost the local community 20 pounds to buy from to buy the one-acre property in 1922 from Bill Ford. Mr Scarff supervised the building of the hall. The hall was built in three months. Fred South was on the original hall committee. Today, the land is valued at $145,000. Mr Ellery said there had been some expressions of interest. Tenders close at the end of the month. He said it would be nice to see the hall go to a local or to be used by local people. However, the committee just wanted to see the hall used. md  


Timaru Herald, 30 November 1917, Page 5
Last week a social and dance was held as far afield as Lake Tekapo, with the object of augmenting the funds of the Red Cross. Mr Walter Black's spacious woolshed, tastefully decorated with flags and foliage, was transformed into an ideal ballroom, and the attendance of the public was all that could be desired, many Fairlie people journeying by motor, and all stations for miles around were represented. During the evening Mr C. J. Talbot, M.P., made reference in a neat speech to, the manner in which Mr and Mrs Black had worked to make the function a success, and briefly outlined the services rendered to the Empire in the present war by the Red Cross. The organisers of the social desire to specially thank Mr and Mrs V. LeCren, Tekapo Station, and Mrs G. Smith, Lake Tekapo, for their material assistance. Songs were sung by Miss Pickering, and Messrs E. Leonard and G. Sherwin, and excellent dance music was rendered by Mrs Wright and Mr S. Smith. The proceeds of the function will amount to about £35.

"I waved farewell on the gorse-clad hill
To the lover that rode away.
He danced with me oft, and he danced so well,
That night at the woolshed ball.
And oft he would whisper and fondly tell
How he loved me the best of all."

by Marie R. Randle (Wych Elm) - 1893
Lilts and Lyrics of New Zealand - Page 35

Sherwood Downs - has always had a strong community spirit.

Timaru Herald, 27 August 1914, Page 2 BALL AT SHERWOOD.
A SUCCESSFUL FUNCTION their second annual ball in Mr C. S. Forbes's woolshed on Friday, August 21st. It was a perfect night for dancing without being too cold for those driving long distances. The settlers had lined the walls of the big shed with hessian sheets, kindly lent by Mr Cooke, of Fairlie, and then nailed up large branches of fir and spruce. These again were thickly interspersed with laurel, holly and different native trees and shrubs. The graceful ti-palm was also freely used, and added greatly to the general effect. Chains composed of twigs of various shades of green were strung from wall to wall and the New Zealand Ensign and some smaller flags gave a touch of colour to the decorations. Other patriotic decorations, including pictures of their Majesties King George and Queen Mary, kindly lent by Mr Bussel, were also used. The success of the work was largely clue to Mrs C. S. Forbes and Miss Knight, who superintended it. Upwards of two hundred people were present. Captain Heckler referred to the terrible war being waged in Europe, and expressed the hope that there would he no thought or care or strife there that night, and that all would enjoy themselves. Never was hope more fully realised. Mr and Mrs C. S. Forbes led the Grand March. Mr Hoskings made a most efficient Master of Ceremonies. Excellent music was provided by three Fairlie gentlemen, Messrs Chapman (piano), Braddick (violin), and Ormandy (cornet). Songs were rendered during the evening by Messrs Crawford, McBride and Chapman, encores in each case being called for. Mrs C. S. Forbes also sang, and was heartily encored. Admirable refreshments were supplied by Mr Budd, of Timaru. After supper, Mr S. P. Bray expressed the pleasure, the settlers felt at seeing so many friends present, and .also expressed the hope that they were all enjoying themselves, and would come back again next year. Mrs Bray also thanked Messrs Bussel, Cooke. Clarke, the C.F.C.A.. And Fairlie and Ashwick Flat School Committee for assistance in various ways, as well as Mr Forbes, for the use of the woolshed, and Mrs Forbes for kindly lending her piano. Dancing was soon recommenced, and was kept up with spirit until well towards daylight. Patriotic songs and choruses, as well as the "Marseillaise," were sung between the dances, all joining in. After the singing of "Auld Lang Syne,"' Mr Hoskings thanked the settlers on behalf of the visitors for their hospitality, and three hearty cheers were also given. Mr Bray replied for the settlers, and one of the most successful dances held in the district came to a close. During the evening Miss Nellie Wade and Mr Giddens played extras. Special mention must be made of the efficient way in which the committee worked, and had all arrangements in hand. Mr K. Anderson, chairman of the dance committee, and Mr J. Dore, secretary, giving specially useful services. The thanks of the Committee are also due to Mesdames Anderson, Baker, Bray, and others, for the way in which they worked.

April 2014

The Sherwood Downs hall / rifle range was built by the local farmers in 1953. Ron Neil supervised the work for laying the floor for the Sherwood hall.  It was a great district project, men were doing the building, the wives and children were there with lots of food, and this happened most weekends. It was a good floor, used for indoor bowls during winter months. The hall was also used for rifle shooting. Mum was not a good shot, she put a bullet into the ceiling and it is probably still there. I remember when the Sherwood Downs hall and the school were two separate buildings. We would go down there for church services in the old two room school (cloakroom and classroom), the fire would be lit by one of the men, fresh flowers on the table provided by one of the ladies. There was also a woodshed /playshed and a copper. Years later I was there when the old school, built in 1917 by Timaru builders Spavin and Thyne, which was used as the supper room, was moved closer to the hall in May 1971, and later connected. It was located in front of the hall and closer to the road. John Wade, a farmer at "Hillcrest", on Sherwood, was also a builder, and with other local farmers including my Dad, jacked the building up with hydraulic jacks and two large Oregon logs that had been connected, running parallel about 20' apart, were pulled underneath the old school and the school lowered down on them and with John Rayne on his D8 skidded the old school to the required position, 12 feet away from the hall. It took a lot of work. The open fire was taken out and replaced with a diesel heater.

                    The Sherwood Downs Hall. A gentleman opening the car door in 1981.   The sold Sherwood Downs School to the right, in 1981. 
A gentleman opening a car door for a lady.

I was only 8, 1940, when we left Sherwood so don't remember too much. I know my father acted as MC at a lot of the dances so I did learn to dance early. My mother and father met at a dance in area as she was visiting. My mother came to NZ in 1928 as she had met a soldier in England but she did not get on so well but remained friends and he and his wife did sometimes visit us. I am the Institute baby, 1st baby born after it was formed. [so Mabel attended CWI meetings too in the old school]. Wrote Mabel May 2013.

 "Ladies a plate." Women always took a plate when they went out. Mum always took a sponge cake or two decorated with whipped cream and strawberries or kiwifruit. Mrs Ron Neill sponges were marvellous- decorated with sprinkled icing sugar. Connie R. was a very good cook so was Jennifer R. I still remember Jennifer's fantastic coffee ice cream. There was always a good spread. An English woman, Peg, wife of the rabbiter Cyril Smith, was invited to the Sherwood school to her first C.W.I. meeting and asked to take a plate. She said she spent considerable time choosing her prettiest plate. She took along an empty plate. It is a true story. Admission at dos was reduced for women with a plate of food or often no admission fee.

1981. Sherwood Downs Hall, grounds.
Sherwood Downs CWI Jubilee 1931-1941 members. Back row: Enid Hutt, M. Gibson, I McSweeny, F. Goulding, Gladys Bray
Second row: Elizabeth Williams, Marjorir Cooper, Patricia Gibson, Edith Rayne, L. Laird, Rheady Ibbetson (with the dark glasses)
Front row: Gertrude Anniss, Gladys Riddle, Dorothea Galwey, Annie Lundie.

1977. Mesdames Anniss, Rayne, Lundie, Hutt.
Miss Riddle, Mrs Mackenzie, Mrs Galwey.

Press, 5 March 1935, Page 4 WOMEN'S INSTITUTES
SHERWOOD DOWNS Mrs Alister Mackenzie presided at the February meeting of the Women's Institute. Before the business session, members stood in silence as a mark of  sympathy with Mrs Caskey and Mrs Harper in their bereavements. Visitors from Fairlie and Kimbell were wel-1 corned and several new members were elected. Reports were given of the group meeting held at Fairlie, when the president and executive of the South Canterbury Federation had been present, and of the Mount Nessing Institute meeting, when Miss Jerome Spencer had given an address. It was decided to enter a team for the drama festival in May and for the choir competition. Mrs G. Gallagher and Miss Enid Bray were appointed delegates to the annual council meeting to be held at Geraldine in April. "Should Women Enter Parliament" was the subject of a debate held during the afternoon. Miss Cooper gave details of the proposed historical pageant, and several members said that they were willing to take part. A practical talk on growing bulbs in fibre was given by Miss Cooper. Mrs Mackenzie exhibited various kinds of bottled fruit and described the bottling process. Home competitions resulted.—Three best hen eggs: Mrs S. P. Bray 1, Mrs Lundie 2, Mrs Ross 3. Specimen bloom: Miss Cooper 1, Mrs Lundie 2. Mrs Galwey 3.

Sherwood Downs CWI Jubilee 1941-1950 members. Back row: Tui Wreford, Edith Trumper, Bessie Bray, Dorothy Beattie, E. Carter, M. Kennedy
Front row: M. Clarkson, Phyllis Hay, ____

I grew up going to many events at the Sherwood Downs Hall. "Send offs" and welcome dos were held there, but no funerals as they were done in town, in Fairlie. Supper was unforgettable. Dance music was supplied by locals, e.g. on the piano and a couple of piano accordions on the stage with a master of ceremonies and sometimes a caller for square dancers. George Jones played the piano accordion. He wasn't very good to start with but he certainly improved. The young ones didn't play much. There was never any shortage of musicians. The Sherwood Hall is not small, 2,250 sq.' dance floor, and there were always enough adults and children to make a huge circle all the way around the edge of the dance floor, and with joined hands go in and out and meet in the middle, while singing Old Lang Syne followed by three cheers to end an evening. Mum remembers the school before the hall was built. She was new to the district, a city girl from Wellington, had a tin kettling in 1948 (as a means of welcoming newly-weds to a district) at the school and at the homestead and she found it scary. There were a lot of people on the lawn. Ernie Butters was one of them riding around on horses. OB. Jan. 2013 

Enid and Jack outside the Sherwood Downs School in 1981. April 2014

The do at the Sherwood Hall on Sunday 21st April 2013 was a pot luck meal at lunch time then a mix and mingle for the Sherwood Downs Centennial. There was plenty of food, too much, nearly everyone brought along a plate. The plaque was unveiled that listed the farms and runs and original settlers.

Local ladies a basket.

Homemade by an Aussie - "Vanilla Slice" in New Zealand we call it Custard Square. Feb. 2013. I loved them too but in later years didn't make them because we were told about the high bacteria content if they weren't cooled  properly, especially in summer.  
 The mother's kitchen it the girl's best cooking school.

Custard Squares
175gm flakey pastry. Cut in half, roll each piece thinly, prick well. Place on greaseproof paper on oven tray and bake 7 minutes at 215 C (425F (check to see its not burning). Cool.
¼  breakfast cups milk                                 50gm butter
½ tablesp. cornflour                                     3 tablesp. icing sugar
1 egg                                                             vanilla essence
Heat 1 cup of milk and butter in double boiler. Mix cornflour and sugar to a smooth paste with rest of milk and beaten egg. Pour in hot milk and butter and return to top of double boiler. Cook till it thickens and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring all the time. Add vanilla to taste ( about 1tsp). Leave to cool. Put between pastry. Ice top.

Evening Post, 7 December 1944, Page 10 Custards Squares
Take ½lb Puff Pastry, divide in two and bake pale brown. When cold put custard filling between and dust top with icing sugar. For the filling you need 2 breakfast cup milk, 12 level tablespoons flour, same of sugar, yolk of 1 egg, 1 tablespoon butter, and essence of vanilla. Mix flour smoothly in milk, put in double saucepan; add sugar, butter, egg yolk. Cook until thick. When cold add two tablespoons whipped cream.

Homemade Anzac bickies, Feb. 2013.

Anzac Biscuits
115g butter
1 Tbs golden syrup
1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 2 Tbs boiling water
1 cup sugar
1 cup coconut
1 cup wheatmeal
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup flour
1 Melt butter with the golden syrup.
2 Add baking powder. Add all other ingredients.
3 Take small teaspoonfuls and roll into balls.
4 Place on a cold oven sheet, leaving space between each.
5 Cook for 30 minutes in a slow oven (120C).

If you have difficulty in getting a cake out of a tin in which it has been cooked while still hot place the tin on wet cloth for a few minutes. 


The first hall in Fairlie was called Potters Hall, had a sprung floor for dancing, and was up School Road on the right. Later turned into a movie theatre then the New Life Church. The Aorangi Hall was the town's hall on the Main Street for the next fifty years. It was stables until 1926 and converted to a hall. I have been there for flower shows, tug-a-wars, indoor bowls, roller skating, school concerts, school dance and YFC dances. Then there was morning tea after the Anzac Day service, the Easter Show dance, drama productions and meetings. Laurie Siegert was the renowned MC at dances in the Aorangi Hall where he boomed at the reluctant bachelors gathered near the door as though he was working his dogs, to get up and dance with the ladies. The floor was tongue & groove wood and great to dance on, would have been dusted with Ballroom Powder before the dancing started. The supper room down a couple of steps on the left side of the hall. J.S. remember sausage rolls an sandwiches and pikelets with raspberry jam & cream with strong tea milk & sugar or raspberry cordial. When the hall was sold the Gilbert and Sullivan musicals were performed at the Fairlie High School. Early Talky Movies before The Deluxe was built, sat on long forms with no backs and waited between reels for the next one to be loaded in the dark. The Aorangi Hall was right beside St. Columba Church. There were plenty of dances in the Aorangi Hall and tug of wars and indoor bowls. In the 1980s the County Council Chambers had it demolished to make way for the Mackenzie Community Centre and new office for the District Council. The Anglican Church hall was used for Sunday School and Cubs and then Scouts.

1968 – Trial by Jury
1967 – The Mikado
1966 – The Pirates of Penzance
1965 – HMS Pinafore

The Mackenzie Council Chambers with the Aorangi Hall.

John S. remembers standing outside the tiny Pipe Band hall in what is now Talbot St (was the Gorge Rd) to listen to the band practising on a Thursday night and another memory of the Aorangi  hall is the flower shows which it seems were Spring Summer and Autumn again with wonderful afternoon teas in the supper room and rolling skating on Saturdays in the early 1930s. His first movie film was in the Aorangi Hall sitting on benches with no backs and watching one reel at a time and sitting in the dark while the operator changed the reel on the single projector. That continued until the Deluxe Theatre, up School Rd, was built perhaps about 1934. The other endearing memories are of school pageants and Pantomimes with Sandy Edwards the baker doing all sorts of hilarious things as one of the Dames. There was also a drama group who put on plays and were part of an organisation called the Mackenzie Drama Society. Mrs Jeune the wife of the Engineer /Clerk [Jeune, J. F. D. (James Frederick Dudley Jeune), 1897-1949 aged 52] was a prime mover as I recall.. Jan. 2015 J. S.

Timaru Herald, 25 July 1894, Page 2
J. S. Turnbull — Calls tenders for Fairlie Hall. The main hall will measure 30 x 40 feet, with a raised stage 30 x 12 feet, and two convenient anterooms are provided adjoining the stage. Comfortable seating accommodation has been provided for and the stage fitted with a neat proscenium. The important matter of ventilation has been carefully taken into consideration.

Timaru Herald, 4 June 1895, Page 3
The Fairlie Public Hall was opened on Friday last, when a concert was held finishing up with a ball. The hall though not quite completed was sufficiently advanced to show its usefulness for the purposes for which it was designed. The concert was well attended. Mr Milne, president of the Hall Company, occupied the chair, and made a speech in declaring the hall open for use. He sketched the difficulties the promoters had had to contend with, in a plethora of advice and a scarcity of funds. The erection of the hall would supply a long felt want, which itself was an index of the progress of the township and the district. The building itself was a good substantial job, a credit to Mr Foden, the builder, and the debenture-holders were greatly indebted to Mr Turnbull, the architect, for providing plans and amended plans and specifications, free of charge, and to Mr C. H. Tripp for doing the legal work connected with the acquisition of the site, also free of charge. He had great pleasure in proposing a very hearty vote of thanks to these gentlemen. In concluding Mr Milne said:— It only remains for me now to congratulate yourselves on having secured such a substantial and commodious meeting place for so little money, and trust this hall will withstand all the assaults of the nor'- westers, keep out the rain, and last till you are in a position to put up a better, and I beg to wish the hall every success, and now declare it open for business." The concert programme was then gone through, and was evidently appreciated by the audience. The following were the singers Miss McKenna and Mr J. McKenna (Timaru), Miss Shaw, Miss Welsh, Mr G. Hamilton, Mr Flavell, Mr C. Talbot, Mr Needham, and Mr Langridge. Mr D. Mackay danced a sailor's hornpipe in his well known style, and Mr Frank Smith gave a recitation with good effect. The ball in the evening was a most successful one, the floor being in good order for dancing, which was kept up with spirit till a late hour.

Timaru Herald, 28 November 1898, Page 2
A meeting of the Fairlie Hall committee was held on Thursday evening. There was a good attendance, with Mr T. Foden in the chair. The secretary submitted a balance sheet showing £14 9s l0d in hand at date, which was considered satisfactory. The hon. secretary, Mr Dopping, having resigned his office, Mr Foden was elected in his stead, also taking the office of treasurer. The term of the mortgage over the hall having expired, arrangements were made for a fresh mortgage of £150 on favourable terms. Before the meeting terminated the chairman moved a hearty vote of thanks to the late secretary, Mr Dopping, and in doing so referred to the able manner in which he had always worked for the hall since its inception. The motion was carried unanimously. A farewell dinner was given to Mr A. J. Dopping on Friday at Mr Sullivan's Hotel, Fairlie. Mr R. L. Banks presided, and the vice-chair was occupied by Dr Hornibrook. After the usual loyal and patriotic toasts had been duly honoured, the chairman proposed the health of their guest, Mr Dopping, who was leaving this week for England.

Timaru Herald, 24 September 1900, Page 2
On Friday evening Bishop Julius gave a most interesting lecture in the Fairlie Hall upon the great cathedrals of Europe, illustrated by excellent limelight views of both exteriors and interiors of most of the notable ones. There was a very good attendance, and the lecture and illustrations were apparently much appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed. His Lordship has good command of his subject, and waxed eloquent in his descriptions of the grand old buildings under notice. He appeared to be well posted up in architectural lore of an ecclesiastical character, and to be well acquainted with the history of the various forms of architecture. Christchurch Cathedral was to the fore, and the Right Reverend lecturer made out a very good case for the completion of the original design. His eloquence produced practical result in the form of a many substantial subscriptions. The Bishop left early on Saturday morning, being due at Ashburton that night.

Wanganui Chronicle, 18 March 1904, Page 5
A social was tendered the Premier at Fairlie last night, when the public hall was crowded to excess, and many could not gain admittance. Mr. Seddon spoke for over two hours, touching on all topics interesting to the public mind at the present time.

Timaru Herald, 27 August 1910, Page 4 Golf Ball at Fairlie
Fairlie Golf Club held their second Annual ball on Friday last. The hall was beautifully decorated with evergreens, and the stage was tastefully designed as a drawing-room. Needless to say the ladies of the Club provided a most sumptuous supper which was appreciated by all. Below is a list of the dresses:—
Mrs Cook, pretty white chiffon taffeta, silver trimmings
Mrs Wigley, pale sea green satin, vieux rose cloak
Mrs Smith, handsome white charmeuse satin, trimmed with silver fringe and sequins, Tokio blue cloak, with Oriental trimmings
Mrs Stronach, pretty pale blue silk, Paisley cloak
Mrs Trotter, champagne voile trimmed insertion
Mrs O'Dowd, black voile touched with cream and pretty blue cloak
Mrs Talbot, black trimmed black lace
Miss Wareing, black sequin robe
Miss Grant, black, white lace bertha
Miss Grey, cream ninon, silver trimmings
Miss N. Wright, cream voile
Miss J. Wright, white muslin, silver trimmings
Miss Rowley, pink voile
Miss Brett, royal blue muslin
Miss O'Rourke, pale blue veiling, cream wrap
Miss A. Caskey, pink crystaline, vieux rose wrap
Miss K. Caskey white muslin
Miss Pilkington, pale green voile, white lace trimmings
Miss Shepherd, pale grey silk and grey wrap
Miss Verity, pink silk. —("Daphne.,)

Auckland Star, 1 April 1914, Page 7 Fairlie
Tuesday. The Prime Minister (Right Hon. W. F. Massey) arrived in Timaru this afternoon, and was accorded a reception by the Mayor of Timaru (Mr. W. Angland). After lunch Mr. Massey left Timaru for Fairlie, and en route started the new clock and chimes at Pleasant Point. He was entertained by the residents and accorded a hearty reception. Mr. McKenzie of the County Council, entertained Mr. Massey at dinner. The health of the Government and the Prime Minister was proposed and enthusiastically honoured. A large meeting was afterwards held in the public hall, when Mr. Massey was accorded an attentive hearing. A motion of thanks and confidence was carried by an overwhelming majority, a "Red Fed" amendment being "howled down."

Sandwiches - white bread. Now days it is brown bread. Big red teapots.

 Pleasant Valley Hall, March 2013. W.G. Egg salad sandwiches and tomato sandwiches. Sandwiches served at the Pleasant Valley Hall March 10 2013.   Morning tea at the Gladstone grand after the Anzac Day Service. The lily is real. 

The table of food is so representative of country 'take a plate' except there was no vegetarian in my day! In years gone by it all would have been home-made - seasoned with chives, curry, cream etc. with additions of salad greens, tomatoes, peppers, peas, whatever is in the home cupboard and garden.  What was served? Hot tea and coffee. The hot savouries and sandwiches. The front plate looks like cream cheese and salmon. Then there appears to be lettuce, egg and tomato ones and to the right just egg and lettuce (an old favourite in years gone by). The savouries aren't home made. They are from Couplands Bakery in Timaru. Very nice bite size and used for most functions as they are cheap and easy to heat. Wholemeal buns buttered. We made bran muffins or gems in the gem iron. Next is tomato and ham sandwiches; brown bread. Hot chips, and surely NOT date sandwiches??? What else would be as dark as that?  After Anzac Day April 2014 morning tea was held at the Gladstone in Fairlie. Included homemade hot delicious savouries, hot chips, grated carrot sandwiches and oysters.  That lily is real. 

Coffee Afghans
6oz (170g) butter, 1 Tablespoon coffee essence ( coffee and chicory essence), 1 teaspoon baking powder, 3oz (85g) sugar, 6oz (170g) flour, 2oz (57g) cornflakes
Cream butter and sugar. Add coffee essence then dry ingredients and cornflakes. Put small spoonfuls onto a greased tray. Bake at 160c for about 25 minutes. Ice with coffee icing topped with a walnut.

Temuka Leader 5 July 1924 Page 2  MY CORNER
(By “Jack Horner.”)
"I have never seen such a town for annual balls as Temuka," said Mr G. Clements at the Caledonian Scty. the other night. "They are really big cheap feeds for young people'' who wouldn't think of buying such a supper at a restaurant. Just now there is a plethora of them. - News item -
When Millie and Minna go home to dinner
They sit not at table and dine;
They snatch a wee courser, drink tea from the saucer -
At the Drill Shed they must be by nine.
And Basil and Bertie they'll meet at eight-thirty
Down the road (though Dad doesn't fall)
Like birds of a feather they'll all flock together
To the Polypus Puritans' Ball
Though Millie and Minna are getting much thinner
(For dancing reduces 'dupois)
They trip around lightly on feet lick and sprightly
And turn all the heads of the boys
Maxina and fox-trot, d'Alberts and what not
They'll dance till the "Auld Lang Syne call,
For trifles and salads stir the blood like old balads
At the Polypus Puritans' Ball
Now Millie and Minna are sure on a winner
When yearly ball seasons come round;
They'll fast for a season, and not without reason -
Cheap suppers can't always be found.

Temuka Leader 21 June 1924 Page 3 (By “Jack Horner.”)

An amusing incident occurred at the Temuka Drill Hall on Thursday afternoon. The preparation of the floor for the Oddfellows’ ball was in progress and to provide the necessary weight for the “woolsack” which was being Used for “smoothing” purposes, two ladies (members of the Waitea Rebekah Lodge) who, though not exactly of gigantic proportions, are nevertheless of anything but dwarfine size, agreed to “take the seat.” The number of men on the end of the rope had perforce to be supplemented, and all went well until the inner circle was reached, when a sudden turning to the left sent the ladies as suddenly to the right—and they rolled picturesquely on the floor. And neither of those ladies will admit how many men it took to help them up.

Communities are very aware of their history because families have stayed here and are now fifth and sixth generation.


Hawera & Normanby Star, 26 May 1911, Page 5
A hall burnt down. May 25. A fire yesterday burned down the new Albury Hall. The contents were all destroyed. The insurance amounts, to £250, the cover being held by the State Office.

Sketch 1980s of the Albury Hall by Richard Gunter.  A tidy hall on the corner of Mt Nessing Road and Duke Street.  Girl Guides fetes the local flower show, and even school concerts were held there before the Christmas break up. 2012 photo from gm. Note the former Albury Presbyterian Church in the background on Duke St.

Timaru Herald, 20 November 1917, Page 2 Soldier's Farewell at Albury
A very successful social was held in the Albury Public Hall on Friday last; to say good-bye to Private John Kidd, who was down on final leave. Among the visitors was the local M.P., Mr C.T. Talbot, who presided over the most important part of the function. Mr Talbot complimented Private Kidd. who is a married man, on his offering his for his country voluntarily, and also paid a tribute to the record of the Kidd family. Four of the family, including the present guest, had seen service in South Africa and four were now on active service, and there were also two nephews of Private Kidd at the front in France. Mr Talbot also spoke of the great work which the women of the Empire were doing in the present struggle. In making a presentation of a fountain pen, and a soldier's wallet to Private Kidd, Mr Talbot, on behalf of the Albury residents, wished the soldier God Speed and a safe return home. Mr Findlay, a returned man, also wished Private Good Luck. Supper as usual was provided and handed round by the ladies of the district. The music for the dance was provided by the Albury orchestra, extras being played by Misses G. Bodye, and M. Clark and Mr W. Ross fulfilled the duties of M.C. in his capable and genial manner. The social ended in the small hours by singing "Auld Lang Syne."

As far as a plate to 'Farewells' and such, there were always the home-cooking, none of these small mince pies, or the pinwheel sandwiches but the club sandwich was quite popular. Sav's in tomato sauce were popular. Because the bread was never fresh like it is today, most country people only got their bread once a week and very rarely pre-sliced. Those who made sandwiches and were fussy in the making, they sliced it fine and made a lovely sandwich. Those that were not the nice and tidy type tended to come along with the ploughman's sandwich. There used to be a lot of cupcakes, chocolate cakes, you name it was there and all home-bake. Those kisses that used have a coating of icing sugar, they were yummy. But as for my mother, as far as I can recall she used to take along a basket or tray piled high with a mixture of cakes, never sandwiches, because of the bread thing. Mother was always a pretty good cook; most mothers were in my younger days. Mostly the venue, in her case was the Albury Hall, which is as far as I know is still there and still used. Then there was the Mt Nessing, Cricklewood, Chamberlain, TeNgawai and Cave, to name but a few around the Albury district. TeNgawai has gone; I have an idea that was relocated to a site along the main highway between Fairlie and Kimbell. It was actually the school but used as a hall when the school closed I think around the late 30s. Cave as far as I recall was burnt down. Chamberlain again was the school in the beginning; I never knew what happened to that. Cricklewood, I have a feeling that was demolished, it was originally the school.
    Another true story. This family used to arrive at all the dances and farewells in the district. With them they would bring a large biscuit tin, which everybody thought was full goodies. All the women, which seemed to be the norm, arranged all the supper things and laid out the tables and so forth. Now, this one woman, Mrs x, who always did her bit in the supper-room. It was never twigged that she arrived with an empty tin. When the coast was clear before supper she would wiz around the tables and fill her tin. This must have gone on for years until Mrs T. saw her and never said a word. However after Mrs x left the room Mrs T put all the goodies back on the plates. After supper was over for the night and all the scraps were being cleaned away Mrs T found Mrs x's tin and filled it full of the scraps. Imagine what the kids would have said to Mum and Dad when they arrived home with a tin full of pig tucker, instead of the fare they grown accustomed to. Apparently it never happened again. Noel G. Jan. 2013 

The supper is worth turning up for.

The Mt Nessing Hall opened in 1917 and demolished in 2006. The Mt Nessing CWI and Mt Nessing Miniature Rifle Club held meetings there.


Cave community rallies for hall Dec. 11th 2016 Timaru Herald
A small South Canterbury community hosted its second fundraiser of the year to help keep on top of the insurance bill for the community hall. The Cave community held the first event, a dance in the Cave Hall, in June to start raising funds to cover the insurance bill. Unlike other community halls, which earned money from land leases, the only source of funding for the Cave Hall was what the community was able to raise. The Cave Hall Garden Tour event organiser said the hall was a great asset for the community. It was in "pretty good" condition, but it didn't get as much use as it used to, she said. "Just a sign of the times." Insurance for the hall was really expensive so the community had to be proactive with funding. While there is no hall committee, there was a group of locals who get together to help look after the hall. "The community out here is fantastic ... it's really, really good." Cave farmer Chris Hampton said he was holding a ram sale on Wednesday, December 14. As the hall needed money for insurance, which he believed cost between $800 and $1000 last year, he thought they might as well host an event to coincide with the sale which the farmers' wives could attend. It's a win, win for both situations. The way we looked at it, if the husband's come along to buy rams, and the wives come along to look round the garden, or vice-versa." Maxwell said the tour featured five gardens in the Cave area. One of those included in the tour was the garden of Maxwell's mother. "She's self-contained, off the grid. She's opening up her little house as well and has a huge vegetable garden, great flower garden." There would be a couple of cottage gardens, as well as Rock Farm, which Maxwell said had "beautiful grounds". The tour would end with a devonshire tea. Cave Community Garden Tour took place on Wednesday, December 14 from 12pm.
    Peel Forest Hall committee chairman Bruce Allan said the hall earned income from land it leased "This is true for a lot of country halls," Allan said. The income covered fixed and ongoing costs, and the committee fundraised for hall improvements. "We certainly encourage it's use, it's a pretty amazing hall."
    Woodbury Domain Hall Committee secretary Sandra Nichelsen said they were fortunate the Domain board had land it leased, which covered the hall's "enormous" insurance bill. "Just loaning out the hall alone barely covers the insurance, we're lucky that we've got other means of support for it." Nichelsen said the hall was well used by the community.- Stuff

Apply for financial assistance from Lotto, Pub Charity, and other Trusts to assist meeting the ongoing costs associated with running a community facility of this type.

Community halls are a common sight in country districts. 

Sausage rolls, homemade, served 10 March 2013 at the Pleasant Valley Hall.

Allandale Hall

The Timaru Courier featured a column 'Hall of Fame' featuring community halls by Rachael Comer. e.g., August 12 2010, pg 9 Allandale Hall was built as a school in 1911 for children of Allandale, Skipton, Raincliff and Trentham. The school closed in 1939. The building was a centre for the Home Guard during World War 2. Used as a community hall from 1945. The hall was used by community groups such as the Allandale Miniature Rifle Club and the Allandale Country Women’s Institute. The building has hosted dances, socials and was also a polling booth. In 2003, Keith and Alison Hatton bought the building and transformed it into a bed and breakfast venue. ‘‘It’s nice to have a piece of the region’s history.’’

So - I attended events from a young age up to time of marriage - went regularly to miniature rifles shooting underground bunker behind the hall with my father! It was the social centre and over many years was the glue that bound neighbours and it welcomed and enveloped newcomers into its fold. It provided the venue for family celebrations - e.g. my 21st and engagement parties were both held there. For rural women it provided the friendship, comradely and even competitive skill, ingenuity, support and ideas - all often learnt from each other by regular attendance at Women's Institute and Federated Farmers meeting at the Hall. It housed younger people e.g. I was part of the formation of the Country Girls, a companion group to the Young Farmers meetings held there; film shows were regularly put on by Petrol firms - brilliant documentaries extolling faraway places...regular dances went into the night - parents came with their children - all ages combined came together and socialise. The parody of the younger women seated along one side of the hall and men along the other or the some who slipped outside to a car boot - there was no alcohol on the premises...and always came the hectic rush that eventuated as the next dance was announced and combatants almost hurled themselves across to capture a favoured partner - and out in the back in the supper room, much organisation went on, boiling water, arranging food and dishes by long tried and true skilled organisers of such events. I do not recall if vehicles were locked - I do not remember ever any trouble - everyone knew everyone and it did not occur in the country.

So - "bring a plate!" The word cholesterol was not then known - the glorious home-made spread demonstrated an owner's pride in their home produced food offering - and table bent under the weight of the diverse selection. For sit-down occasions hens and geese would be killed and plucked and cooked, home grown pork, beef and mutton sliced with chutneys and relishes, and from the garden the best of the season produce in the varied desserts was on offer with lashings of cream. Winter showed women's skill at their best - many had no electricity but surplus from home egg production, meant eggs were preserved by smearing with ovaline or immersed in kerosene tins in a waterglass solution for later baking; fruit was gathered from the orchard and vegetables were ‘bottled’ in jars, pickled, or preserved in crocks just as their mother's had done Bottles and jams lined the walls of the dairy ready to be made into pies and pastries and jellies all baked to perfection on the coal stove with butter home churned from the cow "Daisy" which she milked herself. Hours were spent on roadsides picking blackberries and raspberries and excess produce shared with others in town. Finger food meant sandwiches, pastries, cakes - diet was unknown and a good cook often showed she also enjoyed her wares! The Edmonds and Aunt Daisy's cookbook (and later; Daisy Basham's radio program (Good Morning everybody!) was not missed.

My mother was a great cook and like all her friends, they welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate their ability. At home, rural wife's ingenuity shone promoting varied and healthy feeding of the family and was appreciated also by the regular recipients - the seasonal work force - from haymaking to shearing and countless morning and afternoon teas. Unexpected visitors arriving at meal times were a way of life - all were welcomed to share the meal. Often finances were limited post war years and distance meant bulk purchase of store necessities - the basics, flour, sugar were stored in bins, salt came in cotton bags, dried fruits and seasonings, yeast - bread also was often made at home so, the opportunity to go out to regularly and socialise at the Allandale hall with those you know was exciting and after relay the competitive comparisons and exchange of recipes to swell the hand-written book. My mother's skill was recognised and she was often asked to adjudicate the judging at local Women's institutes and shows. Winsome G. Jan. 2013 

Home-baked goods have been a mark of hospitality.

Cake judging Allandale Hall 1960s. Chocolate sponge by Mrs Mavis A. Gilford. Judge: Mrs Reuben Murphy from Nixon’s Road, Fairlie. 
Allandale Hall - CWI. Mrs Guilford's sponge.  

Cave Community Hall

The community owned hall was built in 1963 at a tendered price of £15,000 and replaced a hall which was built in 1913 which was called the Library Hall which was old for removal. Finance for the building was raised locally; a firm of stock and station agents loaned the new hall committee a sum of money interest free. This was used to buy 500 sheep and the profits from the sale of wool and lambs went towards the funds. A grant of £3,563 towards the cost of the hall was also received from Golden Kiwi funds. Citizens of the district formed a voluntary working bee to assist where possible in the construction of the Hall. The hall was designed and built by Hall and Duncan of Timaru, is of red pine construction with double brick outer walls. The floor is of heart rimu and the walls are panelled to a height of seven feet with pinus insignis. Three upper walls are panelled with acoustic tiles. Kevin Ryan (KP) was the ‘driving force’ behind this wonderful accomplishment The hall was used regularly for what represented the cross-section of activity in Cave: The Federated Farmers, Young Farmers, Women’s Institute, Women’s Division of Federated Farmers, Plunket Society, health clinic, church bazaars, flower shows, wedding receptions, sports clubs, annual meetings of diverse groups, annual balls and indoor sports clubs during the winter months. The roof of the Cave Community Hall was torn off during the big wind August 1 1975. The Cave hall is used for the township's Anzac service each year, as a space for school productions, "the odd dance", weddings and 21st birthday parties. It has a meeting room and a supper room available for hire, as well as the main hall space. "Acoustically it's really good."  "One generation raised the funds to build the hall, and now we're the next generation and we're just making sure it's insured and and kept in as good a condition as possible."  There was plenty of community spirit around. We have some good dos in it. Today the hall unfortunately is not used as regularly as it was. The hall also houses a library hidden behind the stage. See the Cave Store for a book. Ref. Cave Hall pg7

Gapes Valley Hall


Kakahu District Hall

Timaru Herald, 1 December 1919, Page 8 Farewell to Mr Jeremiah Connolly of Raukupuka, Geraldine who was leaving for Ashburton, where he purchased the estate and homestead of Mr L. White. Over 200 gentlemen present at the Geraldine Drill Hall. He thanked them most heartily for the many kind tidings said of Mr Connolly and himself, and as far as his partner was concerned he could endorse them. For himself he thought, that the warm-hearted Geraldine people had been to his virtues- wondrous kind, and to his faults, not a little, but a great deal "blind." Be had been born and reared, at Kakahu, and had gone to school at Hilton, and spent his youth and part of his middle age manhood in the district. Now in his forty-third year it was just, little hard tearing up the roots of such old associations. He thanked them all for their beautiful present and their kind words about his parents and his family. The toast list was interspersed with musical items all of which were well received. Mr G. Gimson's fine baritone was strongly redemanded for his spirited rendering of "The Company Sergt-Major" and "Up from Somerset." 'Mr G. Gale, sang an arrangement of "Harrigan" interpolated to suit the occasion. Mr Kilgour was happy in his choice of numbers, "A Highlandman's Toast" and "An Old Fashioned Town." The appealing "Thora" was given by Mr L. Wood with good effect, and Mr Palmer gave two war adaptations to the melodies of "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp," and "The Wearing of the Green." Mr C. Collins presided at the pianoforte with freedom and finish. The catering and decorations were in the capable hands of Mr J Bryant of Geraldine, who well looked after the large number of guests. At the conclusion of tlhe programme Mr Connolly in felicitous terms proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the chairman, and this was carried and suitably acknowledged. A real happy evening, one that levelled all distinctions of age or position and which though held in a prohibited district, was truly a "moderate", though not a dry affair concluded about 1.30 a.m. with the singing of "Auld Lang'Syne."


The Sutherlands War Memorial, a concrete memorial recording the names of those who died at war is beside the former school, now a hall, that is maintained by a committee. Named after the first settler Alexander Sutherland, whose farm adjoined the railway on the Washdyke- Fairlie branch line. 27km from Timaru. history.

Taiko Hall

Built in 1906 was originally a school, established when the government divided up farm district estates into smaller areas. Taiko School closed in 1948, consolidated at Pleasant Point, it was the last to close in the area, most closing in the 1930s and 1940s.  and the building became a centre for activities in the Taiko community. It was a hub. There was the rifle range, the tennis courts and well-attended dances. Now used for community events, 40th and 50th birthdays, as well as a centre for darts and euchre players. The hall would typically be used once a week, on average, for various community events. In June 2016 a new roof was put on. The community raised $23,000 for the project. The hall's last major renovation was completed in 2012 when the toilet block was given an upgrade, getting new toilets and a linoleum floor.  

Taiko Hall photo taken by Clive C.

Taiko_Hall Honour Board.

"It would be difficult to sustain the community without a hall, " said Peter A.

Woodbury Hall and Domain - contact (offsite also includes cemetery listings)

Woodbury hall was our community centre when I was growing up. I remember Sunday School break-ups, country dances, wedding breakfasts and dances and after funeral gatherings. I did highland dancing there in the 1940s. I biked from Tripp Settlement to play table tennis there in my teens. Indoor bowls has been popular, and still is. The hall has been well maintained and is still very popular for district events. It is situated in the Woodbury domain on Woodbury Road.  The wood burners are still in use as my brother is caretaker. He lights the fire if a function on, cuts the wood and keeps the shed full. Mum always took butterfly cakes (recipe). They were plain cup cakes with the top cut out, whipped cream inserted, then the top cut in half and placed in the cream to resemble wings. Icing sugar was sprinkled on top..yum! I remember sausage rolls lamingtons, fruit cake and cream sponges with strawberries on. Yes, I loved crossing arms and singing aulde lang syne with everyone in a circle on the floor. We used to sing it at the end of a function. Some of the dances we learned and did were Gypsy Tap, Maxina, Foxtrot and the waltz of course. The military two step was a favourite too. When we all went to a family function there were dances for the kids. We had great fun with the "Grand old Duke of York" and 'Oranges and Lemons.' Nobody wanted their head chopped off in that one!! For both we formed two lines and the two at each end clasped hands and skipped along the row. With oranges and lemons the two at the other end made an arch and chopped heads off if you were unlucky and didn't get through. With Grand Old Duke of York we also went along the line bobbing up and down. The Domain Board maintains the hall, well.   M.T. Jan. 2013

The Woodbury Hall 
The Woodbury Hall

The Woodbury District Honour Roll also includes the names of those who returned.Inside the Woodbury Hall. In memorial of those who fought in the Great War from August 1914 to June 1919. In the centre column the 'S' has dropped in R. PRIEST. The glass is permanently fixed so this can't be corrected.

Those who gave their lives
P.S. Barker 	Cap. M.C.
R. Priest 	Cap.
H.L. Thatcher 	Corp.
A. McPherson 	Corp.
J. Fifield 	Corp.
S.C. Farnie 	Pte
J.M. Lyons 	Pte
J. Owens 	Pte 

Learning to dance the Maxina, Destiny, Alberts, two-step and Valetta meant going to the various functions in the local schools and halls. St. Andrews, Pareora, Beaconsfield, Clandeboye, Rangitata, the big hall on Rangitata Island, Fairview, Scottish Hall, Makikihi all held dances. Waltz tune for the last dance - "Three O'Clock in the Morning."  Isaac M. Thompson- The Lyalldale Waltz. 1975.

Lamingtons - homemade 3rd Feb. 2013.

Closer to Timaru

Have attended stag parties in country halls - Southburn, Claremont and Washdyke, book launches in our local Seadown Hall, and the odd Xmas party in our local hall. My mother played a lot of indoor bowls in the late 1950s to 1960s some in the afternoon, usually at the Railway Hall. She played interclub on Friday nights at St Pat's hall in Craigie Ave, also home and away games against all the local clubs. Dad was an indoor bowls widower. (Means - that mum was never home, she was always away playing bowls.)  If their club was hosting the evening they took along eats and mum usually made a chocolate sponge or fudge cake, she always made the stuff in her own oven. She also belonged to the Young Wife's Group, Mother's Union, the Gardening Club (they visited lots of gardens all over the district, Mum always came home with plant cuttings. All the above clubs were with St Phillips Church in Luxmoore Road, the Boys Brigade and the Life Boys also used the Church Hall. My older brothers used to attend dances at the Fairview, Otipua, Kingsdown and probably other halls. On Sunday nights we went to the movies in the Pareora East Hall. 
    The Railway Hall was located down in the waterfront area, either on Hayman St or Hayes St. It was on the seaward side of the old Railways Goods shed. This hall was built about 1914 and demolished sometime in the 1980s. When the hall was built there were over 100 people employed by the Railways in Timaru. They evidently had a pretty busy Social Club. P.McN. Jan. 2013. Article in Timaru Herald of 26/1/1914. When the "Strathallan Hall" or watersiders hall was opened. I think this hall was also the Railway Hall.

It was a community effort to build a hall and maintain the facility - generosity year after year, gave time willingly and freely, money, trees for lumber and firewood, attendance, fund raising included hare drives, dances, gave sheep, raffles, held committee positions, attended working bees with children tagging along.

Old Lyalldale School- now the hall. Nov. 2011, M.T. 
The old Lyalldale School is now the community centre. Inside on the wall are photos of servicemen.

The men would go along wearing their best - their black or navy suits with white shirt and a tie and matching dress shoes. Women would  arrive at the hall with their plates and Sunday best- winter coats, gloves, and handbags. 

South of Timaru

The halls that are still up and used around are: St Andrews, Blue Cliffs, Southburn, Lyalldale, Otaio and Maungati. Some are owned by the community [Otaio & Lyalldale certainly, Maungati by the Anglican Church Property Trustees as it is a Church Hall] while the remainder by the Council. Some have a levy collected by the Council from their respective catchments to assist with upkeep etc. Lyalldale and St Andrews ratepayers agreed some years ago to be levied. A proposed boundary map was drawn up showing which hall a resident would be supporting and was circulated for comment - this enabled people near the boundary twixt the two to opt for one or the other.
    The system works very well. St Andrews is struggling now to get enough locals interested to reach a quorum on the hall committee, quite sad really as it used to be very busy with badminton and rifle shooting and the school using it regularly along with it being a regular meeting venue for organisations. All those activities have ended and even the school has stopped using it, except for the end of year concert.  Our local Lyalldale 'hall' has had a new lease of life since the district centennial in 2000. Having an enthusiastic chairman of the community certainly helps and there has been a lot of deferred maintenance done over the last few years. There isn't a huge usage of it by the locals, a [sometimes] pre Christmas gathering, a late summer one with perhaps one on June. All are well attended - format is a mid afternoon/early evening gathering with BBQ, bring your own food and to share plus BYO drinks, and lots of yarning. Our hall is owned by the community and that gives us a lot of leeway, the Council for instance can't shut us down because of perceived earthquake risk - that is a decision for us alone to make. As to what 'ladies a plate' means... well just that, a plate/s of food either savoury or sweet for a shared supper. Tea [and later coffee] and milk were provided along with the hot water. BYO meant bring your own drink, almost always beer even now although wine is increasingly present. In the days of my childhood and youth, grog in the hall was forbidden so it was held in the boot of the car and consumed outside; genteel ladies of course did not partake at all!! It was always great fun for the children as we could run riot, quietly, and if there was to be some dancing later all the better. Sadly district dances are now extinct, except at Blue Cliffs where they are still managing to keep their annual ball going, all credit to them. St Andrews used to have a couple each year until thirty years ago. My parents farewell would have been one of the last such events held in the St Andrews hall, and that was 26 years ago now. John W. Jan. 2013. 

My life centred around district halls, their dances and their girls, particularly the Otipua Hall, quite a drive from Gleniti, also Claremont, & Fairview Halls and of course Gleniti School/Hall. I was a member of the Otipua and Claremont rifle clubs at the halls, and Gleniti rifle club who had their own range. I was mobile, motor bike, then car from age 15 when I passed my driving license. Ed. F. Jan. 2014.

Timaru Herald 24 September 1910 Page 5
A most enthusiastic meeting was held in Otipua Hall, on Thursday evening, 22nd inst. for the purpose of raising funds for piano and furniture for the hall. The Hon. J. Anstey presided. A substantial sum was promised at the meeting, and it was decided to canvas for further subscriptions. The new hall will be opened next Friday by the Rev. S. T. Adams, the first entertainment in it being a sale of work in aid of the funds of St. Mary's Church. The Revs. L. Carsley Brady, and T. M. Curnow will also give addresses. A musical programme has been arranged, and refreshments will be provided for a small charge. The erection of this hall is due to the enterprise and generosity of Mr Withell, of Otipua, and the building supplies a long felt want in the district. The sale of work will be on Friday and Saturday next, both afternoon and evening.

The Lyalldale School - now the community hall. Honour Boards of WW1 & @ soldiers with photos of the young men are inside the old school.

Pareora Hall

12 Elworthy St. Pareora. Cheers for hall chairs - Timaru Herald 13/02/2013
Built c.1904, a wooden building. It has a kitchen with a zip and vinyl flooring. "The hall is important to the community, and a lot of time and effort has gone into maintaining it to its present standard. The committee held an afternoon tea to say thank you last week and what a spread these good folk put on. The food was all home made, created with time and care. The salt-of-the-earth Pareora women know how to do afternoon tea well - someone even went so far as to make brandy snaps."
  In the past it was used for table tennis and badminton tournaments, dances, weddings, reunions, club gatherings, a rifle range, Anzac Day services and a movie theatre. Photographs of Pareora soldiers killed in the two world ward are on the walls in the supper room. When the poer was turned on in Pareora in 1924, a function was healed to mark the occasion.

The Pareora Incorporated Hall Society raises funs for the hall. These days, 2017, the hall uses include the garden circle, a get-fit class, art and crafts, Highland dancers and a small community library. Construction of the hall began i 1905 at the cost of 350 pounds but it was not completed until 1907. A supper room was added in 1950

Fairview Hall - built 1925 has seen many events over its lifetime.

In 2000 the 75th jubilee was celebrated with a potluck tea. Women's Institute, school functions, rifle club and private functions kept the Fairview Hall, 364 Fairview Rd, well used for many years. In 1996 ratepayer funding was introduced which brings in income twice a year without the hassle of fundraising. Just down  the road is the old Fairview school renamed the Barton School with the war memorial gates.

Timaru Herald,30 September 1916, Page 11
This enterprising country district is rapidly growing popularity, and its social functions attract so many young people from both town and neighbouring districts that the schoolroom has long since proved for too small. It is rumoured by "the man in the street" that a getaerous local gentleman has made a sporting offer of a section and timber for a hall. Time will prove the truth of the rumour, but the hall, when or if it does eventuate, will meet a long felt want in the community.

Alcohol in a hall was a no, no.

Victoria Hall, Winchester
The Winchester Public Hall was supposedly built in 1890, and it cost £156 pounds to build. Early days saw the Hall being used for religious services, socials, and other local entertainment. Today the Hall is not very well patronised, being used only occasionally for a few indoor sports or private functions. Ownership of the Hall went from the residents of Winchester, to the Timaru District Council at the time of amalgamation. The hall is controlled by a committee of Winchester residents. The name was changed to Victoria Hall on the 25 June 1897. The Waihi Rugby Club were big users of the hall in its early years. The hall is still being used and they only recently spent nearly $6000 doing it up. The information on this hall came from the small book on Winchester's history. 

Timaru Herald, 26 June 1897, Page 3 Winchester.
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee was celebrated at Winchester in a most enthusiastic manner. There was an excellent attendance, including visitors from Hilton and Orari. The Union Jack was hoisted on the new flagstaff by Kathleen DeRenzy. Mrs H.E. Smith, assisted by the school children, planted a beautiful oak in the sports ground. Loyal and patriotic speeches were made by Mr DeRenzy, president Of the Sports Committee, Major Young V.D., and the Rev. Thomas Farley. The Winchester and Hilton boys then played a football match, which was won by Winchester by 18 points to 6 points. Mr J. Moore made a capital referee. A ladies committee, consisting of Mesdames H.E. Smith, W. J. Philp, R. Smith, and Miss Shallard had made excellent arrangements for feeding old and young, and about 130 children and as many adults sat down to a capital lunch outside the school. The flagstaff now erected measures 90ft in height, is as straight as a reed, and will stand as a lasting memento of the loyalty of the Winchester Sports Committee. A most successful social was, held in the public hall in the evening, and at 11.30 the National Anthem was sung. Mr Inwood presided at the piano. Mr R. Smith, one of the hall trustees, christened the hall the Victoria Hall, in honour of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

Timaru Herald, 14 June 1898, Page 2
A very successful social was held in the Victoria Hall, Winchester, on Friday evening, in aid of the funds of the hall. The evening was cold, but fine, and there was a very good attendance, including visitors from Timaru, Temuka, Geraldine, Milford, Orari, and Kakahu. Messrs Barrett and J. Lewis supplied good music, and Mr T. L. Hart made a capital M.C. Refreshments were handed round during the evening, and much enjoyed. The trustees desire to specially thank the musicians for their services, and Mrs Langdon for the use of her line piano. The proceeds amounted to £4 14s 6d, part of which will be spent in procuring crockery for the hall. The hall has recently been painted and now presents a most respectable appearance. The residents of the Winchester district are deeply indebted to the trustees and particularly to the honorary secretary, Mr W. Harrison, for securing this fine hall for the district and making it so comfortable and convenient.

Timaru Herald, 7 November 1898, Page 2
A very enjoyable social was held in the Victoria Hall, Winchester, on Friday evening in aid of the funds of the local cricket club. The evening proved beautifully fine, and there was a very fair attendance. Messrs Shepherd and J. Lewis on the violin and piano supplied nice music, and Messrs T. L. Hart and G. Tomlinson made efficient m.cs. The floor was of a glassy smoothness and made dancing a great treat. The sum of £4 was taken at the door, a handsome addition to the funds of the club, Mr Steven, the secretary to the club, moved a hearty vote of thanks to the musicians, to the ladies who provided refreshments of such excellent quality, and to Mrs Langdon for the use of her fine piano. The reason that the club had taken this means of raising funds was to keep the annual subscription at the low figure of 5s, and thus offer an inducement to all young players to join. Dancing was kept up with the greatest spirit till 230 a.m. Mr A. Opie. contributed a couple of songs in a very pleasing manner.

Timaru Herald, 9 May 1899, Page 2
A dance was held in the Victoria Hall, Winchester, on Friday evening m aid of the funds of the hall. The evening proved fine and there was a very fair attendance. Messrs Barrett (accordion) and J. Lewis (piano) supplied capital music, while Mr T. L. Hart made a courteous and efficient M.C. The ladies supplied the refreshments, and the hall trustees Messrs W. Harrison, T. L. Hart, and H. E. Smith, who were assisted by their wives, did their utmost to make the dance a success. The trustees desire to thank Mrs Angus Mackay for the use of her piano, the musicians, and the ladies who supplied the refreshments.

Timaru Herald, 24 September 1900, Page 3
The annual complimentary dance given by the Waihi Football Club came off on Friday evening in Victoria Hall, Winchester. This reunion is the most popular gathering held at Winchester, and this year's dance proved about the most enjoyable ever held under the auspices of the club. The hall was elaborately decorated with ferns and greenery, and presented a beautiful appearance. The music, supplied by Messrs Findlay (piano) and Cooper brothers on the violin and the piccolo, was blight and lively, and the floor was in perfect condition. Mr G. Tomlinson made a courteous and efficient M.C. During the evening the popular secretary of the club, Mr F. W. Shallard was the recipient, of a handsome, gold albert from his clubmates. Mr DeRenzey made the presentation, and eulogised Mr Shallard for his long and valuable services to the club. For thirty years he had been secretary, and during that time had played in nearly every Senior Cup match, besides worthily representing South Canterbury in several interprovincial matches, and good judges pronounced him to be one of the best forwards in New Zealand... A splendid supper was then supplied, and was done ample justice to. All the nice things being the work of the fair hands of sisters and cousins of the members. Dancing was then resumed, and kept up with great spirit till 3 a.m., when the party broke up. 

Timaru Herald, 9 October 1899, Page 2
On Thursday evening last a dance was held in the Victoria Hall, Winchester, under the auspices of the Winchester Masonic Lodge. For the second year in succession the brethren were treated to wretched weather, which doubtless - prevented a good number of visitors from a distance being present. Still the attendance was fair and included visitors from Temuka and Orari. The hall was very prettily decorated for the occasion, and ample provision had been made for the comfort and convenience of their lady friends. Messrs Murray (violin) and Heap (piano) discoursed delightful music, and Mr George Tomlinson gave every satisfaction as M.C. During one of the intervals between the dances a young lady danced a hornpipe in a very taking manner. This unique performance was heartily applauded. Mr Bryant, of Geraldine, supplied an excellent supper, and the company separated at 2 a.m. after singing "Auld Lang Syne."

Timaru Herald, 3 August 1900, Page 2
The popular actor Barrie Marschel and his clever comedy company appear at Pleasant Point to-morrow evening, and we would advise one and all to seize the opportunity of securing a thoroughly good evening's enjoyment. Last night the company opened the new stage in the much-improved Winchester Hall, and gave a most successful and highly-appreciated performance...The stage is an admirable piece of work, and has added greatly to the interior view of the hall and to its generally complete appointment.

Ellesmere Guardian, 20 February 1915, Page 2
A large and representative gathering of the residents of Winchester and the Hilton districts, took place in the Winchester Hall on Thursday night, to say farewell to Mr Weavers, stationmaster, who is being promoted to Addington. Mr Maddren was in the chair; Mr McInnes referred to the guest's modest and obliging manner at the station and presented him with a handsome gold watch and chain. Mr Weavers in reply disclaimed that he had done more than his duty, but he was pleased that he had gained the goodwill of the many patrons of Winchester station.

Press, 8 September 1917, Page 3
The Temuka Road Board met yesterday. Present—Mr I. Grant (chairman), Messrs G. McCullough, A. Guild, G. Smart, F. J. Ellis. The agent for the Public Trustee wrote that the proposed payment of £30 to "Winchester Hall "was within the terms of the Hobson trust. The Public Trustee had approved. The payment of £43 per year for ten years, from July 1st, 1918, for the purpose of paying for the construction of a brick and concrete hall at Rangitata, provided that sufficient income was available.

....very unimpressive with such a grand name!
Winchester Public Hall, Vernon Street, Winchester. 

“Send Off’s” - when a person or family left the district. I vaguely remember functions at Peel Forest. I know our family received a “Send Off” when we left Mt Peel, I cannot remember where it was held. When we lived at Raincliff I remember a hall at Totara Valley. My mother was an excellent cook and always took a large tray of food including cake and savouries. We came down to the send-off of my sister, husband and family when they left the Orari district to go to Dunedin. It was held at the Winchester hall. In those days it was illegal to have alcohol within so many miles of a public hall and so there were regular visits from the hall to car boots to quench ones thirst. No drink driving laws in those days as long as you could walk a straight line! Stan Jan 2013

Homemade Rice Bubble Treats, 3rd Feb. 2013.

Timaru Herald, 17 March 1900, Page 3
Captain Thomas then rose and thanked all present for the "right royal send-off they were giving him. They had laid it on with a spade.''

Press, 10 May 1904, Page 7
Mr G. J. Dennistoun, station owner, Peel Forest, who is leaving the colony on a visit to the Old Country, was given a pleasant send-off in the Geraldine Hotel on Friday night by about forty settlers and friends. 

The men would stand around the edge of the hall or congregate at one end near the doorway.

Pleasant Point Hall

Timaru Herald 22 December 1928 Page 4
It was with an air of pride that residents gathered at Pleasant Point on Thursday evening, to participate in the ceremony in connection with the official opening of the new Town Hall. Always a progressive district, the opening: of the hall, as described by Mr. T. D. Burnett, M.P., in his opening speech as being the “reddest letter day” in the history of Pleasant Point, was looked upon as being another milestone in the steady progress of the district, and a lasting monument to the policy pursued by the Pleasant Point Town Board, through whose ill-directed efforts the once talked of public hall has now become a reality. Standing as it does in the centre of the township, and presenting a very commanding aspect from an architectural point of view the hall should, in years to come, serve as a fitting place in which to carry out the social activities of the district. The need for an up-to-date Town Hall was much evidenced in recent years, and Thursday’s ceremony marked a date which will be long remembered by those who attended. Throughout, proceedings were marked by the utmost cordiality, and the opening of the main door was the signal for a burst of applause.
    The first part of the ceremony was conducted from the steps leading to the front door. Mr M. F. Maze (chairman of the Pleasant Point Town Board, presided, and with him were Mr T. D. Burnett M.P. (Temuka), Mr J. Kennedy (Mayor of Geraldine), and Mr T. B. Garrick, (chairman of the Levels County Council). An apology for unavoidable absence was received from the Mr T. Gunnion (Mayor of Temuka). In his opening remarks, Mr Maze referred to the purpose for which the gathering had been called to officially open their new Town Hall. Mr Maze briefly traced the steps taken by the Town Board, since September 1927 when a petition, asking for permission to build the hall, had been presented to Parliament. Permission had eventually been granted, and the work put under way after a poll had been carried by an overwhelming majority. Mr A. Lewis was the architect, and Mr. G. Dawson the contractor. In conclusion, Mr Maze expressed the hope that the hall would fulfil its needs, and wished the gathering the compliments of the season. (Applause.) Mr Maze then invited Mr Burnett to officially open the hall.
    “This is probably the “reddest letter day” in the history of Pleasant Point, said Mr Burnett, in opening. “It is certainly the most important since the setting up of the Town Board.” The Town Board had, continued Mr Burnett in a way, been forced to build the hall, as the one in use was wholly insufficient for the needs of the district. The hall previously used was bought over by a church body, and the need for a new hall became imperative in the growing district. To-day, as the result of the civic uplift of the community, suitable public meeting places were desired in every town. The supreme need of the Pleasant Point district, said Mr Burnett, was that of more residents. People could thus share one another’s burdens and pleasures. The tendency nowadays seemed to be for people to drift to the larger centres for their amusement, but this should not be so. Residents should all make an effort to make their own town as attractive as possible. They must all, however, express universal approval of the work of the Town Board, and personally speaking he predicted a very successful future for the town hall. “The building is astoundingly good, ’’ said Mr Burnett; “and if anything, ahead of the time.” The debt on the hall, would make residents “put their shoulder to the wheel” and they would soon have a reserve in hand.
    Mr Burnett, in declaring the hall open said it gave him great pleasure to do so. “May it have a successful career and meet the needs of an ever-growing population. “Long live the good old Point,” said Mr Burnett in conclusion, amidst prolonged applause. The door was then opened, and the people entered the hall to the skirl, of bagpipes, played by pipers J. Munro and O. Bain. The remaining ceremony was then carried out from the staging a the southern end of the hall.
    At the outset, Mr Maze intimated that the handsome piano on the stage had been presented by Mr T. B. Garrick.
    This announcement was greeted by loud applause, and three hearty cheers for Mr Garrick. On rising to speak, Mr Garrick was greeted with further applause. He referred to the time, about twenty years ago, when the Pleasant Point Town Board was set up, and began to work independently of the Levels County Council. “I’m sorry to say,” said Mr Garrick, “ that in that period, the population has not increased much.’ (Laughter). He was of opinion that if the district progressed rapidly, the hall would ultimately prove too small. Now that the hall was an accomplished fact, he hoped that it would be very successful and have every possible support. For his gift of a, piano he was not looking for praise. He had now lived in the district for many years, and anything marking its further progress always gave him pleasure. (Aplause.)
    Mr Kennedy returned thanks for the invitation extended him to participate in the ceremony. He was pleased to be associated with Pleasant Point on. the attaining of such a pinnacle of prosperity. They had a Town Hall in Geraldine and he was sure that when he told the people of that town of Mr Garrick’s gift someone would give them a similar present. (Laughter.) He concurred in Mr Burnett's remarks in regard to people flocking to the centres. They should all try to keep their interests more in their own town. Mr Kennedy congratulated the district on its fine hall, and hoped that on future visits he would learn that the debt was being wiped off, as they were doing in Geraldine. (Applause )
    Before going on with the concert programme, Mr Burnett said, “I wish we had more backers like Mr Garrick. He has done a lot for the district, and has capped off his work by presenting the piano. I wish to congratulate the town Board the architect and the builder on the splendid Town Hall. I understand it is one of the best of such halls in South Canterbury, and hope that in years to come, it will prove too small. (Applause.)
    A very pleasing musical programme was then gone through. A hearty vote of thanks to the performers was carried by acclamation.
    The hall was then cleared and dancing was indulged in, the floor proving admirable for this purpose. Dancing was indulged in until the early hours, the singing of the National Anthem bringing a pleasing ceremony to a close.

Press 24 December 1929 Page 4 PLEASANT POINT
It was decided to let the hall to picture proprietors for any night in the week at 30s per night, no proprietor to have a sole right, and the hall to be let for concerts or dances, etc., on Saturdays if wanted, at schedule rates. The clerk was voted a guinea as a Christmas gift, together with the members' best wishes for the festive season.

Timaru Herald 5 March 2019
Four more structures added to Timaru District Council's (TDC) earthquake prone building register could be several years before they're strengthened. They are the Geraldine and Pleasant Point Town Halls, Caroline Bay Tea Rooms and the old Geraldine Borough Council building.

The Waitohi Centennial Hall is still a focal point for the district. It is a very good hall, well maintained, and will be kept that way for future generations. The community raises most of the funds to keep its doors open from things like pub raffles and a biennial local ball. 2012 total income was about $800 from hiring fees, about $1500 in raffle profits and $169 from a donated lamb.

Dec. 2009. GM. Note the double doors, mandotory. The tree to the right has now been removed, no linger there in 2013.

Timaru Herald 31/03/2009 Transpower funds hall floor
Waitohi Centennial Hall has been given $10,000 towards refurbishment costs in a Transpower Community Care Fund grant. Waitohi is about 15 minutes from Temuka. The money will help restore the flooring at the hall. The hall was one of four projects in the wider Canterbury area that received grants in Transpower's latest funding round totalling of $33,163. The Community Care Fund was set up in 2006 to help communities impacted by Transpower's assets with beneficial projects. In the recent funding round, 16 community organisations were chosen out of more than 100 applications, receiving $367,643. Transpower general manager corporate affairs Cynthia Brophy said the four successful organisations in the Canterbury area had projects that would be beneficial to their community. The other projects that received funding in the Canterbury area were $10,000 to the New Zealand Conservation Trust towards the great spotted kiwi breeding programme, $5663 to the Order of St John in Christchurch to buy lifesaving medical equipment for three ambulances, and $7500 to the Southburn Amenity Society for painting the local community hall. Ms Brophy said Transpower was thrilled to support a wide range of projects throughout New Zealand. "We recognise the impact that our assets have on communities and are pleased to be able to give these local initiatives some financial assistance so they can successfully complete their projects.

"For years old time dances were held at the Upper Waitohi Hall on a Saturday night and those young men knew how to waltz and do the fox trot, locals provided the music e.g. piano, violin and an emcee and ladies provided the plate. I remember going to the hall with Leanne A. and another nurse from Timaru Hospital. Leanne had high heels on and she twisted her ankle. I had to leave the dance early as I was the driver and take Leanne to the Timaru Hospital A& E. I had her on the backseat with her legs up. It was night time and a hare ran across the road and I slammed on the brakes as I didn't want to run over the hare and Leanne fell off the back seat screaming. I got her to the hospital, found a wheelchair, and waited with her until it was confirmed; she had a fractured tib. and fib. then drove back out to Waitohi and the dance. O.B. 1978. According to a study by UoFAla from 2002 to 2012 on high heel tip-overs, 80% were ankle or foot injuries; 20% knee, torso, head or neck. Most of the time it was a strain or sprain but 19% of the time, bone fractures occurred, 50% of the injuries don't make it out the front door, they happen at home. Women 20 to 29 are most likely to fall off their pedestals.

Timaru Herald, 25 September 1896, Page 3 Waitohi Flat
On Friday night the bachelors of the Lower Flat gave a ball to their lady friends. About fifty couples were present at the schoolroom, which had been tastefully decorated for the occasion, and dancing was indulged in briskly until about 4.30 a.m. Mr J. A. McCaskill catered in excellent style. The instrumental music was provided by Messrs Thornley (2), Halley, and Mackenzie. Messrs Young and Lyon contributed song, and Mr Bryan danced a hornpipe. Mr I. Fraser made an excellent M.C. Notwithstanding the rather crowded state of the floor in the earlier part of the evening, the ball was thoroughly enjoyed.    

Evening Post, 10 November 1933, Page 6
WE MUST INVESTIGATE. Dear Percy,—Have you seen the dresses nowadays? Shocking, aren't they? The following verse seen in a book reminds me of them:—
The girl stood on the ballroom floor,
Whence all but she had fled;
Her costume was just half the size
Of the quilt on baby's bed.
Yours ever,

Rangitata Island Hall

Has a facebook page. Rangitata Island 1914- 1918. The hall is available for hire.
Sergt. H.G. Story
Pte J.T. Hearn
 L/CPL Adam Jackson
Sergt. S. McCelland
Rifleman J.A. Tate
Sergt. W. McCelland

Memories were made there in those district halls.

Rosewill Hall, Jan. 2012. by M.T. 
Rosewill Hall is situated on corner of Fraser Road and Bassett Road. 

Halls were a vital part of their local community - Timaru Herald articles. S.C. Museum no longer has the database online

12/07/1881 Old artillery hall, Le Cren's Terrace, converted into gymnasium 
14/08/1886 The new Garrison Hall 
31/07/1905 History of Victoria Hall, Winchester 
15/10/1909 Opening of St Andrews new parish hall 
23/03/1910 New hall at Makikihi
01/05/1911 New Public Hall at Waimate
27/11/1911 Washdyke Hall - Contract Let
20/12/1911 New Social Hall for Railway Employees (Railway Hall)11/1/1912 New Ambulance Hall
17/01/1912 Caroline Bay - Hall to be Erected
05/02/1912 Opening of the Woodbury Coronation Library Hall
28/02/1912 Ambulance Hall for Timaru - Appeal
04/04/1912 The Cave Hall - Successful Opening Function
03/05/1912 The Washdyke Hall - Official Opening
06/05/1912 Official Opening of the Coronation Hall, Orari
08/08/1912 New Ambulance Hall
09/08/1912 Caroline Bay Association -- the new hall 
27/11/1912 The New Hall for the St John Ambulance Association
02/05/1913 Opening of the Timaru Ambulance Hall
28/11/1913 New church hall for Methodist congregation
26/01/1914 Strathallan Hall Formally Opened - Watersiders Hall
12/06/1914 New Hall at Fairlie - St Stephen's Church Hall
04/10/1915 Opening of Clandeboye Hall
09/10/1916 Hilton Hall Officially Opened
13/10/1916 Hilton Hall Successful Opening Function
24/08/1917 Rangitata Hall - A Tender Accepted 
19/01/1918 Rangitata Soldiers Memorial Hall Opening Ceremony
08/05/1918 Opening of the Mt Nessing & Chamberlain Hall 
24/06/1919 Editorial -- A memorial hall
30/08/1922 Hook Memorial Hall Opened
09/09/1922 Opening of the Orari Bridge Hall
16/09/1922 Willowbridge Hall Opened 
10/10/1923 Opening of the Milford Hall
18/12/1923 The Bay Hall - Opening Ceremony (old one destroyed by fire)
15/01/1923 Salvation Army young people's hall opening and dedication 
12/10/1923 Milford -- opening of new hall celebrated by grand carnival 
21/03/1924 Memorial hall at Timaru High School opened by Viscount Jellicoe
27/08/1925 Opening of town hall in Geraldine
22/12/1928 Pleasant Point - opening of new town hall 
05/03/1929 New Scottish hall opening fixed for April 1 Burns Night 
06/09/1929 St Mary's Hall Officially Opened Tomorrow 
25/06/1929 Caroline Bay hall to be converted into tearooms 
02/09/1930 Hall Extensions at Winchester 
05/09/1930 Opening of the New Hall at Winchester
13/04/1931 Rebuilding Parish Hall at Temuka 
11/10/1931 Opening of St Patricks Hall, Waimate 
13/02/1931 New Hall at Rangitata Island 
27/03/1933 New Hall at Waipopo Fishing Reserve 
11/12/1933 New Hall Opened at West End, Timaru
13/03/1934 Bay Hall - Supper Room to be enlarged
23/03/1934 Oddfellow Hall in Albury nearly completed   
04/07/1934 Te Ngawai Lodge Hall, Albury 
29/11/1934 New Mission Hall opened at Geraldine 
02/07/1937 New Hall at Orton - school taken over by residents 
06/08/1938 Fairlie - Aorangi Hall to be closed
16/05/1939 West End Hall - extension proposed 
08/07/1939 Public Hall for Fairlie
25/11/1939 Maori Hall for Pah at Waihao (Morven)  
16/01/1941 Centennial hall built by Maori's at Morven - achievement praised 
27/03/1952 Varied history of Temuka Drill Hall emphasise value of building to borough  
25/08/1958 Combined district hall at Totara Valley opened on Saturday 
23/10/1961 Hall Opened at Cattle Creek, Hakataramea Valley 
23/10/1961 Residents of Hunter celebrate anniversary of building of the hall  
06/11/1961 Studholme residents celebrate 50th anniversary of district hall
10/07/1962 Claremont Hall Supper Room Officially Opened 
25/03/1963 Geraldine Community Centre Hall Opening Completes Victory Memorial
11/05/1963 New Red Cross Hall Opened in Theodosia St, Timaru  
15/07/1963 Blue Cliffs residents celebrate 50th anniversary of library hall 
08/04/1963 History of Arno District Hall
06/05/1965 Upper Waitohi Hall a Community Enterprise
08/10/1965 Residents of Clandeboye mark 50th jubilee of hall 
02/05/1968 Waituna School to become Hall after Re-sitting 
19/12/1968 New hall at Waitohi to commemorate first settlers' arrival 
09/08/1969 Waitohi Centennial Hall officially opened 
28/06/1979 Spruce-up for 75th birthday -- Arowhenua Maori Hall
14/11/1975 Orari Coronation Hall provides a community focal point 
03/07/1954 Waihaorunga residents transform old school into community centre 
05/06/1980 Ikawai C.W.I. vital part of its local community Ikawai Memorial Hall

Timaru Herald, 13 October 1916, Page 6 HILTON HALL. 2016
THE OPENING CEREMONY. On Monday last a brief report was given of the opening of the Hilton Public Hall, and the handing over of the hall to local trustees by Mr Flatman, chairman of the Geraldine Road Board. The formal proceedings only were reported, with a reference to the source of the funds for the building in the Hobson Trust. The main hall is 50 by 22 feet, with two ante rooms of 16 by 22 feet. The cost including land was about £410, of which amount the Hobson Trust will provide £360 or £370. An excellent concert was given, the Geraldine Orchestra, furnishing some of the items. The visiting performers were afterwards hospitally entertained. A sale of produce was then held which realised £9. Supper was then handed round by the ladies, the materials being supplied by Mr. Bryant of Geraldine. It was nearly midnight when the dancing commenced. This was enlivened by a waltzing competition, in which Mr and. Mrs D. O'Brien were adjudged first, and Miss Guerin and Mr Brophy second. The entrance fees produced £1 2s. Votes were then sold for the Belle of the Ball, and this was entered into so heartily that it produced £l4 5s 6d. The voting placed Mrs A. Wilkinson first, and Miss E. Titheradge second. A seed cake made and nicely decorated by Mrs W. Walker of Pleasant Valley, was sold and realised 30s. The receipts for the evening totalled over £40, and this was to be divided between the hall fund and patriotic fund. The affair was a great success. Visitors were present from all the surrounding districts, and helped to make it the largest social gathering ever held at Hilton about 250 being present. Mr F. Trott, of Geraldine, who arranged the concert, and the Patriotic and Hall Committees deserve great credit for the completeness of their preparations and the manner in which the function was carried out. A. most enjoyable gathering was brought to a close at a at a very late hour in the usual way, with "Auld Lang Syne" and the National Anthem.

13 June 2016. Fire took hold at Timaru's West End Hall at the Maltby Ave. The fire was restricted to the kitchen and roof. The hall was "well used" for family celebrations, exercise classes and the Masonic lodged. The council leased the building to four Timaru-based Masonic lodges. The lodges looked after the hall on the council's behalf. Work on the hall will start in January 2017, and was expected to be completed about the end of June 2017. The improvements would include the installation of heat pumps, double-glazed windows and insulation. The project would be jointly funded by an insurance payout and council funds.

The Courier 9th Nov. 1917
The West End Hall is back in action. Rubbish bins next to the hall were set alight and almost destroyed the hall. The rebuild cost $792,000, the money a combination of an insurance pay out and  $100,00 by the council. Heat pumps and double-glazed windows were installed, the stage area was removed and and a meeting room was created and a modern kitchen and bar.

The Government offered a subsidy for public buildings in 1936. George VI date of accession was 11 December 1936.  

On a Saturday Night - Community halls of small-town New Zealand features 39 halls including the Sherwood Downs Community Hall and the Peel Forest Hall. Sara Newman talks about the book. podcast


 Quote Unquote: "What is New Zealand life in Auckland now is not the New Zealand life for Tuatapere, for Oamaru, for Methven. There’s a bit of a sociological time warp operating and I think city people are inclined to forget that. The pace of change in those places is very different and even the nature of the change is distinct.” " I like a semi-rural lifestyle, I think I operate best within it, I think I understand best the New Zealand life of small towns, of the rural hinterland.” Owen Marshall, Timaru, August 2012 

Three cheers - In a group, it takes the form of call and response: the cheer is initiated by one person exclaiming "Three cheers for...[someone or something]" then calling out "hip hip " three times, each time being responded by "hurrah". 

For they are Jolly Good Fellows -  instrumental

For he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow
For he's a jolly good fellow (pause), and so say all of us
And so say all of us, and so say all of us
For he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow
For he's a jolly good fellow (pause), and so say all of us!

In small towns and districts in New Zealand, "Auld Lang Syne" is a staple of New Year's. It is common practice that everyone joins hands with the person next to them to form a great circle around the dance floor. At the beginning of the last verse, everyone crosses their arms across their breast, so that the right hand reaches out to the neighbour on the left and vice versa. When the tune ends, everyone rushes to the middle, while still holding hands. When the circle is re-established, everyone turns under the arms to end up facing outwards with hands still joined. All present heartily joining in Auld Lang Syne followed by three hearty cheers: hip hip - hurrah, hip hip - hurrah, hip hip - hurrah and this brings a very pleasant gathering to a close. Timaru words

An idea for a district celebration: Former dwellers to be picked up by the current owners for a 'tour of the old place', followed by a function at the local hall.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project

Recommendation for good health: Practice optimism, altruism and volunteerism. 
Thank you to all who helped. It has been fun. Cheerio, Olwyn. January 2018.

Another homemade pavs with whipped cream and kiwifruit. Blueberries were about to be added on top.

"Just like the old days" -pot luck, meetings, private functions, indoor bowls...

 Living hallsDrawings