Historic Rowella Community Hall revived for years to come

The community at Rowella have worked to stop the closure of their beloved hall, and now wish to welcome those far and wide to come and experience the many events and activities this revitalised space has to offer.

It just was earlier in the year the the West Tamar Council planned to sell the hall due to lack of use.

In the council’s April meeting, the unanimous decision was made as it was no longer being used.

The council’s corporate services manager David Gregory said in an officer’s report that disposing of the hall was an appropriate action to take.

“The lack of any regular usage provides a strong indication that the hall is no longer serving any ongoing or useful community purpose,” Mr Gregory said.

Rowella residents were concerned as they were unaware of the council’s plans.

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Festival of Small Halls coordinator Jen Thompson said that in August a community meeting was held, and the community decided to put in the hard yards to revive the hall.

“Over 30 concerned residents attended [the meeting], half of who had lived in the area for less than three years,” Ms Thompson said.

“Others recalled celebrating their 21st at the hall, some had farewelled their brothers going to war and welcomed them home at the hall. The supper room is a war memorial wing.”

The West Tamar Council postponed the sale of the hall, and gave the Rowella Community Hall Committee six months to show them that the hall was vital to the Rowella community.

Within a few months, the community have proven that the Rowella Community Hall is here to stay.

The Rowella Hall Committee now run monthly social nights with entertainment by the Tamar Voices, local musicians, and the U3A Ukulele Band. There has been weekly clog dancing, exercise classes, garage sales, and many planning and fundraising meetings.

On January 5, the Festival of Small Halls kicks off at Rowella Community Hall before heading to other community halls throughout Tasmania and New South Wales.

“Bring a picnic rug or chair and enjoy Cantonese food and local Tamar Valley wines from 5pm on the lawns,” Ms Thompson said.

“The concert begins at 7pm with a country folk welcome by popular local group The Bowen’s Jetty Band and Tasmanian songstress Claire Anne Taylor.”

On January 6, the Rowella Showcase will fill the hall and lawns with craftspeople, makers, and hobbyists demonstrating their skills, alongside produce tables and kids activities.

Ms Thompson said she would like to welcome everyone to visit the Rowella community.

“The Rowella Hall Committee look forward to the strong future of their rural hall with the support of friends and neighbours,” Ms Thompson said.