This year 2022 will mark 90 years since the completion and opening of the Sandford Hall that replaced the old one built in 1897. 'The Mercury' of Thursday 8 December 1932 provides the story.
An Imposing Structure
The Opening Ceremony
Marking the successful consummation of the efforts of residents of the entire district, the recently completed Sandford community hall was declared officially open last night in the presence of a large crowd, representative of Sandford, the surrounding districts, and Hobart. The function was followed by a ball.
The hall is an imposing building of spacious dimensions, built to cope with the increasing demands of the people of the district in a social connection. Facing the main road from Bellerive, the hall is constructed of hardwood, with fibre lining, the interior of the hall proper being faced with an attractive wood panelling. Conjoined with the hall, which is 66ft. by 30ft., is a supper-room 36ft. long by 14ft. wide, and at the western end of the building a stage that occupies a space of 250 square feet. Other rooms housed under the main roof of the structure are two large dressing-rooms on either side the stage, which it is Intended shall later be used as clubrooms for sporting bodies in the district, and at the main entrance door two dressing rooms.
The building committee, which superintended arrangements for the erection of the hall, comprised Messrs. J. Wishart (hon, secretary and treasurer), O. J. Morrisby, Roy Calvert, Oscar Calvert, A. May, W. Haynes, Ted Watson, Ron Morrisby, and C. Wood.
A PROGRESSIVE DISTRICT.
Mr. O. J. Morrisby, outlining the history of the origin and development of the scheme for the building of the hall, said that a few months ago it was decided at a public meeting to endeavour to raise funds for the erection of a new hall for the district to supersede the old hall, which was considered inadequate in view of the growth and expansion of the district. As an outcome of the meeting £190 was raised in subscriptions, largely in the Sandford municipality. In addition £40 had been raised in subscription from outside the district. These amounts, with £30, being the balance in hand from the old hall fund, and £55 representing the sale price of the old hall to a local resident, totalled £325. The cost of the building was £720, and the remaining approximate amount of £400 had been lent free of interest for a term of two years. Mr. Morrisby, congratulating the contractor (Mr. Bruce Davis), said he was sure those present would agree the hall was a credit not only to the contractor, but to the people of the district as a whole. (Applause)
Mr. Morrisby expressed the thanks of the building committee to Messrs. Robert and Henry Calvert, of South Arm, who, in addition to a donation of £10, gave the acre of land in the midst of which the hall had been erected, and reminded his hearers that Saturday next would mark the completion of a period of 35 years since the old hall was opened. A comparison between the old structure and that being opened afforded convincing evldence of the remarkable growth of the district.
MANIFESTATION OF PROGRESS.
Hon. James Murdoch, M.L.C., who was Introduced by Mr. O. J. Morrisby, apologised for the unavoidable absence of Hon. W. H. Calvert. Mr. Murdoch said that the hall was a striking manifestation of the progressive community spirit that animated the district of Sandford.
That there was in Sandford such a fine hall was a credit to the community. He congratulated them on the success that had attended their efforts to have a hall constructed that would be in keeping with the size and requirements of the district, and declared it officially open amid applause.
At the conclusion of the opening ceremony dancing was Indulged in. The women's committee, which catered for the 300 odd dancers and others present with a delightful home-made supper, consisted of Mesdames A. V. Richardson, C. May, O. J. Morrisby, Oscar Calvert and W. F. Richardson. Mrs. Alfred Morrisby was responsible for the charming floral decorations.
What Happened to the Old Sandford Hall?
The exact location of the original hall constructed in 1897 is unknown. It was probably on the western side of the main road, and possibly on ‘Rosehill’ as it is known that the New Year’s Day Sports in the late 1800’s were held on ‘Rosehill’. After the construction of the new hall in 1932, the original hall was relocated to Roy Calvert’s property on the eastern side of the main road and used as a fruit packing shed.
It is still standing to the north of the homestead. It is in quite good condition given its age, and it can be seen that it must have been cut in half for transporting and reconnected in its new location together with some minor alterations, such as side doors to make it suitable for its new use. The Mercury of February 2, 1933 reported on the Opening of the New Hall as follows: Colonel A. C. Blacklow, M.H.R., who was introduced by Councillor O. J. Morrisby, said he was pleased to have been invited to perform the opening ceremony. As a country dweller he was keenly interested in rural activities. The thanks of residents were due to Messrs. Robert and Henry Calvert, who had donated the land for the hall and the sports ground nearby. Photo & story by Lindsay Calvert, reported by Maurice Potter.