CHERRY ON TOP: Junabee Memorial Hall Committee president Bruce Mauch and vice president Chris Rubie are thrilled to have a new roof on the decades-old hall.
CHERRY ON TOP: Junabee Memorial Hall Committee president Bruce Mauch and vice president Chris Rubie are thrilled to have a new roof on the decades-old hall. Sophie Lester

Junabee Hall begins to glow

A MAJOR restoration project of the historic Junabee Hall is coming along in leaps and bounds, with the help of an international donor.

Canadian-based Neale Kemp decided to fund the project, when he discovered its family significance.

Born in Junabee, Neale Kemp is great-grandson to James Jermyn Kemp, one of the town's first residents.

The Kemp family was one of the pioneering families involved in the establishment of the Junabee town and its treasured hall.

Originally opened on January 5, 1946, the hall was once the thriving heart of the Junabee community.

It was the centre of all local events - used for town meetings, dances, parties, gatherings, weddings, sporting events and more.

But over time, the hall slowly fell into disrepair, with flaking paint, weather damage and white-ant infestation.

Now, Mr Kemp's vision will bring the hall back to its former glory, making it a central attraction for visitors, tourists and of course, the Junabee community itself.

The Junabee Memorial Hall is set to become a historical monument that will celebrate the town's past - from its agricultural roots to its experience of two world wars and more.

The restorations began earlier this year and the hall is beginning to emerge as the beautiful gem that it once was.

Quality woodwork seems to be the key to making the hall really come back to life.

Interior refurbishments are under way, with the installation of cypress v-joint wall boards in the supper room.

The supper room has also been fitted with with gyprock sheeting and has been plastered and painted, with new LED ceiling lights installed.

People's enthusiasm for the project is reflected in the amount of community support that has been recieved.

A beautiful slab of red gum has been donated by Ken and Chris Hughes, and will become the feature piece of a new bar.

Various cosmetic improvements such as new window architraving and decorative colonial window bars, new internal doors and hardware have also been completed.

With the interior renovations now almost complete, exterior work will begin in the new year.

But the walls and floors are just one aspect of the project, and the Junabee Memorial Hall committee are still seeking contributions for the contents of the hall.

Anyone with Junabee pictures or memorabilia from the years 1890-1960 is invited to contribute by contacting Dianne Crowe on 0407 163 672 or 07 4661 4746.



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