2021 President's Report, by Hayley Waud

Welcome all and thanks for being here today. Well, it’s almost a year ago when we last gathered for the 2020 AGM and our new management committee was formed. We were lucky enough to have some experienced blood on the team with Angus, Gillian and Stuart being long time members of the Hall together with the rest of us fresh Hall newbies – Kelly as Treasurer, Glenda as Secretary, and Belinda, Tara, Ray, Lotty, Linda and myself all with varying if as with myself very little committee experience but an enthusiasm to bring more life back to the Hall.


Being a new committee we have spent considerable time getting up to speed on the ins & outs of being an Incorporated Association as well as working on updating the Hall’s Constitution. We have made a list of priorities for Hall maintenance and ways to achieve getting the work done. We’ve brainstormed future events and hire possibilities. We have all had a hand in bringing the Hall up to date with 21st Century workings of such things as a Central Drive and email for digital storing of Hall documents and easy retrieval, still very much a Work In Progress but a refreshed and “live” Website, a new Facebook page and of course bringing all the financials online, completed & up to date, thanks Kelly. 


We have had our challenges and lots of learning curves but I believe our strengths being our enthusiasm, willingness to learn, our collective local knowledge and some great brainstorming sessions have seen us through because…. At the end of the day what we want is to engage the community and give them a Hall where all feel welcome – A Hall for All and All for the Hall as we have struck as our motto – so with that being, our first event was our Open Day Fair held on a beautiful day here in April. An event offering a little something for everyone with great collaboration and contributions from locals such as the Samford Museum with all their great historical knowledge of the Hall from back when the train still came through, our neighbours the Rural Fire Brigade, Closeburn Nursery, market stall holders, musicians, dancers, the very popular dog agility from PADS and so much more. It was a fantastic day bringing together locals and people who travelled from further afield who had lived in the area in the past and could reminisce of dances at the Hall or as was the fortune of having Des Grunwald now in his 90’s drop in, whose brothers are on this honour roll behind us, and he accompanied the Rail Trail walk talking of his time growing up in the Station Mistress’s house. A real highlight. And it really bought our team together, we were able to deliver a hugely successful event, raise funds for the Hall and have fun doing it ….with a well deserved beverage around the fire pit at the end of the day.


In line with the catching up on the general maintenance of the Hall we’ve had to look at not terribly exciting but absolutely necessary things like the sewerage situation. Some blockages in the pipes lead to the discovery of a resident rather large green tree frog who was relocated not once but two times so far. Then we found the lids to the tanks were so ancient we couldn’t lift them up to access the tanks so thanks to some handy welding, thank you Stuart, we were able to get them checked, pumped out and ready to go for more decades to come. We have also agreed being a Community Hall to leave a toilet open as a courtesy for public use – walkers, cyclists, drivers – whoever may feel the need ☺ 


We have had great offers of help from new friends of the Hall such as Sean who pressure cleaned our concrete paths, donations to replace our very tired old fridges, Michael reaching out from the Samford and Districts Progress and Protection Association to help get our grants funding into gear, connections with Mt Nebo Hall and Residents Association for advice and Closeburn Rural Fire Brigade donating the profits from their Sausage Sizzle at the Open Day. Not to mention all the partners & family of the management team who given their time & talent pitching in where needed. There’s definitely a real giving spirit to keep this Hall cranking. One of the backbones of the hiring and continued use of the Hall has always been the Yoga sessions held here for many years. I can attest to what a beautiful space it is to do yoga here and that has continued with weekly Pine Rivers Yoga sessions as well as new Yoga hiree – Maris. 


We also have Yajambee Farms hiring for their monthly meat order pick ups out the front here on a weekend. In the downstairs area underneath the hall we have provided hire space for Community Library Samford to store some of their collection of books and hold Book Sales every Saturday while they raise funds for a new Library location. So we are certainly making great use of all the areas the Hall has to offer and of course there is so much more we can and want to do in the next years especially leading into the Hall’s 100 year anniversary in 2024. 


I feel we’ve come a long way as a new committee over the past year really strengthening the nitty gritty requirements of the Hall and are in a great position to start fulfilling the Hall’s Mission statement and Vision for the future, which the team also worked on earlier in the year & you can find on our website & a copy to read here today. Finally, I would like to say a huge thank you to the whole team, so glad you came along on the learning journey with me. Unfortunately we are saying goodbye to a few committee members today, as goes with life commitments and all. Firstly to also acknowledge Linda who had to part with the committee a few months back. Always kept us up to date with upcoming grant opportunities and Community events and is still involved though with the Hall through the CLS. Gillian & Stuart – Thank you for all your input of local knowledge and past experience with the Hall. Always there for a working bee or lending your expertise on things like welding. Also for your involvement in the Rail Trail Walk at the Open Day, which turned out to be hugely popular, allowing access to cross your property, retracing the line down to the creek edge, and accompanying the walk with Peter Burden from Samford Museum keeping all the patrons safe and on track so to speak ☺ 


Ray & Glenda – all your past and current experience on various committees has always been very insightful. Always there with a trailer on working bee days or other occasions where you have stepped in and lent your time or things such as the cabinet for displaying rail relics and all your fabulous bunting which really added to the Country Fair feel. And of course Glenda all your work as Secretary taking minutes, chasing up Insurances, working through the Constitution updates and all the other fabulous work you have done. I will miss your great ideas like Fetish Life Drawing classes so please keep sending them our way. Thank you. Kelly – our wonderful Treasurer, like most of us didn’t quite know what a task she was taking on but of course has taken it all in her stride and smashed it. Getting all the previous financials online and up to date and keeping a tight ship on all our accounting this year. As well as getting the ball rolling on things like replacing the fridges which led to connecting in with Samford & Districts Progress & Protection Association. You have been a real treasure of a Treasurer. I think we’ve all enjoyed working together this year and look forward to more to come.

The Hall for All : All for The Hall