The Wandandian community celebrated 50 years of the Progress Hall with an old fashioned country cabaret on Saturday night.
(min cost $8)
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The event was held to recognise the families of those involved in the original hall build in 1968.
The Wandandian Progress Association was formed in 1952 by members of the following pioneering families of Bridge, Mathie, Windley, Hayward, McCarthy, Macey, Walsh, Gaff, Watt, Loadsman, Whitman, Payne and Tegel. Past records indicate a previous association was in operation from 1899 to 1903, where members met in family homes or church buildings and held events on the local cricket pitch.
In August 1962 Progress moved a motion to build a public hall of concrete bricks, steel and timber, on land donated by Tom Bridge.
With 568 pounds in the bank, it took three years for plans to be passed and then a special committee was elected to manage and take part in the build.
The timber was donated and cut by the local saw mill. Trusses were made by Ted and Denis Hilaire with assistance of Wal Branson who did the roofing. Rowly Williams from Sussex did the main brickwork and Phillip Windley supervised the building of the toilets with the local lads.
On November 22, 1968 the hall was officially opened by then Councillor Ritchie when the community hosted its very first cabaret dance. Since then, cabaret dances became somewhat of a tradition with guests coming in from all corners of the Shoalhaven.
Today in Wandandian, the family names of Mathie, Windley, Kirrage, Hilaire, Watts, Bridge, Macey, Williams and Mckinnon, live on and this group are fiercely proud of their families’ contribution to the local hall and its facilities, which continue to be excellently maintained by those who live in the community.
In true country style, the money raised from this cabaret went towards the renovation of the hall kitchen- completed just in time for the celebrations.
Kay Hilaire reminisced as she thought her mum, Val Windley, would have been so impressed they could raise enough money to install a dishwasher and a double electric oven.
The 50th anniversary celebrations were enjoyed by all and a hearty thanks was extended to Kay Hilaire, who did a fantastic job in recreating the atmosphere of previous caberet dances held in the hall.
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