It was fitting that for a 100 year celebration that over 100 people made the trip out to Greta. It was hot, but that didn\’t stop everyone from coming to spend a few hours with old friends, share stories and partake in an old fashioned afternoon tea – or ‘supper’ as the Hall President referred to it. The day was chosen to be as close as possible to the original opening on March 17 1916 –it was noted that it must have been sweltering for the ladies in full length dresses and corsets and the men in suits.
Adrian Younger, the current Hall President welcomed everyone to the afternoon and spoke briefly about the history of both the Greta, and Hansonville Halls. He then asked fellow Committee members Ken Ellis and Trevor Dinning to join him as the 100 year \’birthday cake\’ was brought out. These three men are all descendants of the founding Committee members of both the Greta and Hansonville Halls. Patricia Wadley, who is also on the Committee, was asked to actually cut the cake.
The Hall itself was filled with photos and memorabilia and people were heard reminiscing over them and telling each other stories. There was lots of laughter and it was wonderful to hear peoples\’ memories of the times that they spent both in the Hall and around the district. The day celebrated Greta-Hansonville’s rich and varied history and heritage.
Today, as it was over 100 years ago, the Hall Committee is a small group of volunteers. The hall has must generate its own income to maintain, repair or refurbish the hall. The hall relies on functions and hiring’s to generate funds to pay the large building and contents insurance, along with Public Liability.
Opening of Greta Hall
Wangaratta Chronicle [page 2]
[Victoria: 1914 – 1918]
Wednesday 22 March 1916
An event of much importance in the history of Greta took place Friday night, 17th March, when the newly erected hall, the need for which has been felt for many years, was declared open. The Hall was completed sometime back, and the long postponed and much looked for opening was welcomed by those residents, who were anxious to properly celebrate the addition to the district of such a useful building. The Greta people have for a long time past held their meetings in a building kindly placed at their disposal by Mr. Hector Sinclair, and they acknowledge his generous action. As the weather was favourable and the night bright moonlight there was a large gathering of old and young to participate in the night\’s entertainment. The extensive seating capacity of the Hall was taxed to its utmost, about 300 persons being present, amongst -them being visitors from the surrounding districts of Wangaratta, Benalla, Swanpool, Glenrowan, Lurg, Milawa, Oxley, Moyhu, Myrrhee and, Laceby. The committee, which was thorough in its work, had all arrangements, in perfect order.
At the invitation of the committee, Mr. Tho. Graham, B.L., Wangaratta, acted as Chairman. In the course of his address he referred to the difficulties under which the hall was built. It was erected during the greatest war, in history, when prices of materials were almost double normal quotations; and to make the undertaking more difficulty it was completed in the time of drought, and at time when there was a tremendous call on the pockets of the people in order to assist the many patriotic funds. Notwithstanding all these handicaps the people had responded well, and now had a building that was a credit to the district, and would provide a much needed place for social gatherings and public entertainments. (Applause.) The Chairmen then introduced the Wangaratta Pierrotts, Mrs H. Evans, Misses Donovan, Callander, Pinkerton, and Messrs H. J. Hicks, Broderick, Delahenty and Boyd, who opened the proceedings with The Laughing Chorus. The following programme was given, and was much alipreciated by the enthusiastic audience, which insisted upon numerous encores;-Comic song, This is life, Mr. J, Boyd, the eccentric comedian, Walking, Mr. Delahenty, song, The Ragtime Goblin Man, Mr H.J. Hicks, song, The Pride of the Pier, Mr, H. J, Hicks; cornet solo, Mr W. J Hill song, Rise Beautiful Dawn, Miss Callander, song, Here we are again, Mr. Broderick, violin, solo, Hilarity, Mr. W. Cronk. song, Michigan, Mrs Evans, song, Jane of Flindor\’s Lane, Mr. J. Boyd, duet, The little Pink Petty, Misses Callander and Donovan, song, Syncopation, Mr. Broderic, song, The Captain\’s Ditty, Mr. Whitmore, comic trio, Out in the Open, Messrs Broderick, Boyd and Delahenty, song, Next, Mr. Dolahenty. The programme concluded with Good-Night, by the Company, followed by God Save the King.
Mr. S.E. Ellis, having referred to the pleasure derived by the audience from the splendid concert, moved a hearty vote of thanks to the performers, to Mr. Graham for presiding, to Mr. Hicks for arranging the concert programme, and to Messrs Pinkerton, Evans and Langlands and Callander for loan of their motor cars to convey the performers to Greta. The vote was seconded by Cr. C. Smith, J.P., carried by hearty acclamation, and acknowledged by Mr. Graham.
The assemblage next moved into a spacious marquee erected at the rear of the hall, where supper was laid out. The tables were nicely decorated, and an abundance of tasty edibles was provided. The catering was entrusted to Mrs. W. Robb (Wangaratta) and was excellent, the committee being highly satisfied. The tables were presided over by the ladies of the district, and they had a busy time attending to the demands of their numerous patrons. The supper room arrangements were carried out by the following \’ladies: -Mesdames Ellis, Clarke (2), Carmichael, Patterson, Westwood, Smith and Misses Saunders, Dinning, Smith (3), Patterson, Dickson, Carmichael, Yorston, Patison, Turnbull and Munro, who carried out their part admirably.
While the visitors were enjoying supper the committee had the hall cleared and prepared for dancing. The floor was tested for the first time, and the large gathering of dancers had a happy time tripping the light fantastic to excellent music played by Maher Bros, while Mr. J. Prendergast made an efficient M.C. It was the unanimous opinion of dancers that the floor is one of the best in the north-east for dancing, and as the committee gave special consideration to the putting down of a suitable floor, they will feel rewarded by the favourable opinions expressed by patrons. Dancing was kept going merrily until nearly daylight, when the gathering dispersed, satisfied that the opening of the new hall had been faithfully and successfully carried out, and that the night\’s entertainment had been most enjoyable.
The arrangements for the concert and dance were loft in the hands of Messrs S.E. Ellis, H. Sinclair, and G. Saunders. Misses Saunders and Dinning, and are to be complimented on the able manner in. which they fulfilled their duties. The committee was fortunate in securing the assistance of Mr. Hicks in preparing the concert programme.
The thanks of the general committee are due to Miss Saunders, of \”Mundara,\”\’ who kindly lent the piano for the occasion; also to Mr. C. French who conveyed the edibles, from Wangaratta. For the work of having the hall built and carrying out various details in. connection with the opening thanks are due to the following general committee.-Messrs S.E. Ellis (chairman), W. Clarke (hon secretary), H. Sinclair, G, Smith, W. & D. Clarke, I. Hughes, T. Davidson, W. Younger, A. Patterson, E. and A. Smith. The secretary is as yet unable to announce the nett result of the takings, as several returns are outstanding, but it is expected that over £30 will be made. The doorkeepers for the occasion were Messrs Ellis, W. and P. Clarke. W. Younger. I Hughes, G. Saunders and G. Smith.
The new hall was erected by Messrs Fackerell and Crisfield of Corowa, and was constructed throughout and finished off in a thorough and neat manner, and the Building has a substantial and pleasing appearance. It is spacious being 50ft. by 22ft., the walls being of weathered iron. The stage is 12ft.by 8ft. A metal coiling is provided, and murial glass windows, whilst fixed seating accommodation is provided for 300 people. The hall is lit by two 300 c.p.lamps. The floor is of Jarrah. The building was admired and the residents of Greta are to be complimented on possessing such a fine up-to-date hall. The cos was slightly over £300, a portion of which has been subscribed by the people, the committeemen becoming the guarantors for the balance.