Hall of a fight for Wyuna

By Holly Tregenza

THE community of Wyuna may be small, but they are proving mighty.

They've got to be as they fight to preserve their almost century old community hall. 

The building will celebrate it's 100th year in June 2020 - if it makes it that long. 

There are problems with the roof, the facilities need updating, and there are structural problems throughout. 

And Campaspe Shire Council is unwilling to fix it. 

"Council does not plan to restore the Wyuna hall as the estimating cost to meet building compliance are excessive and not viable," Shire regulatory and community services general manager Keith Oberin said. 

It looked as though the hall might get a second lease on life in 2016, when funding was allocated in the council 2016/17 budget to the tune of $378,000.  

But when a objection to the renewal was heard, the money disappeared. 

"It's been an ongoing battle to keep our community space standing," hall committee member Cath Pell said. 

"Council think that we can just go to community halls in Kyabram or Tongala, but this is our space and it is unique to the Wyuna community. 

"The Hall is a Memorial Hall – the only memorial Wyuna has to its past service men and women.

"We would be devastated to lose it."

Built in 1920, the hall was created to honour the sacrifice made by locals during World War I.

"It is a place to gather, to celebrate, to commiserate, to socialise, to plan for natural disasters, to hold meetings that lead to progress, enhance the environment, and provide support for the people who live in the Wyuna community and beyond," Ms Pell said. 

As well as the annual bush dance, Wyuna hall hosts a raft of community events and social groups each week. 

"Where will those groups go?" Ms Pell said. 

As it currently stands the building is still considered fit for use, but with the structure in a state of decline it won't be long until the community groups are out on the street.

"We're calling on council to preserve this important community landmark," Ms Pell said.  

In a bid to preserve it's history, local Noel Thompson is gathering material, memoirs and photos for a new book which focuses on Wyuna and district from 1940 to the current day.

He's calling on anyone who might have photos, information or articles you can contribute  to get in touch by calling 0458 531 121. 

You can also like and follow the Wyuna History Group and the Wyuna Memorial Hall Facebook pages to keep up to date with planned events.