The community hall – the hub of every town

Font Size:

YourLifeChoices’ 90-year-old columnist Peter Leith is on a mission to document key aspects of Australian life. In his Vanishing Australia series, he revisits the hub of so many small communities – the hall.


It stands alone on a large block, about a mile from the crossroads, pub, service station and cluster of other buildings that make up ‘the town’.

Vaguely ecclesiastical in shape, its steeply pitched roof and hardwood walls perch on corrugated iron-topped stumps. The white ants in this part of South Australia are pretty savage.

The roof drains into two big corrugated iron tanks, which, together with the windmill and bore, supply the kitchen and two toilet blocks with water.

Inside, one end is taken up by a raised stage under which is stored the folding tables and sets of six folding wooden chairs which, collectively, constitute all the furnishings of the hall. 

The full width of the other end of the hall houses the huge, country kitchen and its gigantic green-and-yellow enamelled AGA cooker and bottled gas stove.

A large wooden table provides ample space for all the food that the local CWA ladies provide at every function and after Sunday services.

A wide serving hatch and counter joins the kitchen to the body of the hall.

Its real name is ‘Gallagher Hall’, after the pioneer family that donated the land, but everyone today refers to it as ‘The Hall’.

Do you have fond memories of a community hall? Do you have a story or an observation for Peter? Send it to [email protected] and put ‘Sunday’ in the subject line.

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


In the days before TV, when cards were king

Before TV, and social media, and online games, there was … a deck of cards.

Dunny lane – an essential feature of a former time

When there were no flushing loos, dunny lane was a pivotal part of town planning.

Demise of the lovable larrikin

Our larrikins were once earthy, irreverent types, devoid of malice and viciousness. But they

Written by Peter Leith


Total Comments: 0



    continue reading

    Travel News

    Australian government divided on lifting overseas travel ban

    The federal government is divided about when international air travel will recommence for Australians, as consumers signal their intent to...


    Dietitian reveals the breakfast swaps worth making

    If you're looking to live a healthier lifestyle, breakfast is a good place to start. It's the first meal of...

    Finance News

    COVID driving more older Australians into poverty

    Many of us who endured lockdowns in Australia are familiar with the surge in energy bills at home. But for...


    Easy ways to make your home feel lighter and brighter

    Homes tend to feel pokier the more time you spend in them - and at a time of worldwide claustrophobia,...


    Why would people believe 5G causes COVID-19?

    A significant number of people are concerned about 5G technology and believe it emits harmful radiation.  That's a rational fear...

    Age Pension

    Government's 'death tax' talks spark calls for universal basic pension

    Federal government talk of scrapping the compulsory super guarantee and implementing a 'death tax' on drawdowns on deceased estates have...

    Centrelink – Services Australia

    Are legally blind pensioners entitled to more money?

    Rob is legally blind and wants to know how this will affect his entitlements. Q. RobHow do I go through...


    Mozzies biting? Here's how to choose a repellent - and how to use it

    Mozzies biting? Here's how to choose a repellent (and how to use it for the best protection) Shutterstock Cameron Webb,...