Goomeri Hall of Memory

Location of Goomeri Hall of Memory

McGregor Street and Boonara Streets, Goomeri
Goomeri QLD 4601

Inside the main room of the hall are a number of memorials. These include a modern timber roll of honour for Goomeri and District; timber framed metal honour rolls for World War I and 21 individual memorials in the form of decorative bronze plaques with an inset photograph of those honoured. Nine are for the First World War and twelve for World War II.
There is also a benefactors memorial in the form of an open metallic book on a marble plaque. It reads: In grateful memory of John T Mayne a patriotic benefactor and Mary Mayne his wife and partner in benevolence.

Inscription

Individual Honour Boards read:
1914–1918 or 1939–1945 (depending on which war they served) AUSTRALIAN MILITARY FORCES. IN MEMORY OF (individual names are listed in brass name plaques).

Marble Honour Board reads: THE SOLDIERS TRIBUTE - LEST WE FORGET

Certificate of Appreciation reads: THE RETURNED SAILORS AND SOLDIERS IMPERIAL LEAGUE OF AUSTRALIA

Conflicts commemorated
  • First World War, 1914–1918
  • Second World War, 1939–1945
Memorial type
Structure
Additional information

As a memorial hall it forms part of a relatively rare type of First World War memorial in Queensland, being a building for both memorial and recreational use, rather than the more common monumental memorial.

A public meeting was held in March 1926 and a Memorial Hall Building Committee comprising Messrs. Mayne, Stanton, Wimberley, Maudsley and Wise was appointed with authority to obtain land and a building for use as a community hall. At the time, this was not a common form of memorial, most tributes to Queensland volunteers and war dead being monuments. It was not until the wake of World War II that such practical memorials as buildings and community facilities were favoured, so that the Goomeri Hall of Memory is one of only a small number of such buildings remaining.
The building committee purchased an existing timber store building from Cuthbert Butt at Nanango and A Kopp and W Toop had erected it on the site by May 1926. A crows ash floor was laid for dancing and the hall was painted. It was initially leased to a Mr A Rich, who moved his silent picture show there from Boonara. Mrs Rich had a sweet stall under the hall, which appears to have been enclosed soon after the relocation. Funds to clear the debt and cover the purchase of furniture, crockery and other essential items were raised by holding a series of events from 1927. These included a concert and ball, a sports day and procession and a popular girl competition, won by Myrtle Wieland who was also one of the cinema pianists. These events were announced to have cleared the debt of 844 at Easter 1929 with a surplus of just 1/3/6.

In 1931 a large supper room with a kitchen was added. This room was also used for meetings and small functions. In 1935 sections of wall were removed between the hall and the enclosed verandahs to increase available space.

Mr A Duffy held a long lease on the hall to show films. He also acted as caretaker and installed electricity and equipment to show talkies. In the 1940s he became one of the first operators in the country to install cinemascope.

During the Second World War, the basement area was used to store 600 tons of emergency supplies for the area in case of Japanese invasion. Following the war these were removed and the area was partitioned as clubrooms for the RSL. The Citizens Military Forces also used the RSL space as a drill room and the grounds of the hall for parades.

World War II memorials to match those for WWI were ordered in 1950 from Smiths Rubber Stamp, Brass Plate and Stencil Manufacturing Coy in Brisbane for the sum of 7 guineas each. Murray Studios in Gympie supplied the photographs and the memorials were unveiled on Anzac Day 1951.

Recorded by
Shirley and Trevor McIvor
Date recorded
6 March 2009

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