Shire of Gordon Memorial Hall


Author: Western Front Association Central Victoria Branch

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In 1918, following a meeting in the Mechanics Hall the community discussed the desire for a memorial hall – a decision was made to proceed to have a direct appeal for funds. There was much discussion over what sort of memorial should be built but the returned soldiers were determined to have a Memorial Hall.  So many types of fund raising occasions followed over 12 long years. For example, balls, dances sporting matches, stalls flower shows, pantomimes, as well as individual and group donations from the many other organisations in the town. This followed similar fund raising for the soldiers’ memorial at the post office.  After years of fund raising, a tender was accepted at 6,365 pounds. So with much pomp and ceremony the hall opened in 1930, 14 years after that first meeting. It is a fitting tribute to those whose memory it stands for.

The Gordon Shire, of 850 square miles, was named after General Gordon and came into existence in 1885, the year of Gordon’s death at the siege of Khartoum.  Previously part of the Swan Hill Shire, the new municipality had 1,500 residents. By 1887, Durham Ox had become the permanent meeting place for the councillors. This continued until 1939 when all future meetings were shifted to Boort. Firstly held in private homes, followed by the Memorial Hall, a new Shire Office complex was opened in 1963, along with the Kindergarten bedside it.

Following shire amalgamations in 1995 Boort became part of the much larger Loddon Shire.

8 May 1930 Opening Memorial Ball

It is doubtful if the most descriptive men could fashion for the mind of the reader, the stupendous success of the Memorial Hall’s Opening Ball.  Paramount in success to any previous effort, it was attended by people from all manner of places and distance.  The brilliance of the effort was eclipsed only by the wonderful spirit animating the dancers, which ensured the complete enjoyment of all.  The gay frocking contrasting to the delicate and beautiful shading of the interior, revealed the unusual combination of extreme neatness and splendour.

Although the space was somewhat restricted as over 200 couples went through the intricacies of dance steps, it cannot be said that the activities of those present were greatly hampered, whilst the committee viewed the attendance with a great deal of pleasure.  It is anticipated as a result of the entertainment that the Ladies’ Memorial League will hand to the committee, a sum within the region of £120.  This body may feel justifiably proud of this, their latest and greatest effort.  The success was earned only by the untiring and unselfish endeavours, of this, the town’s most capable organisation.  Sacrificing their own pleasure, the members have worked even at the most menial tasks to assure pleasure to the public, and sound aid to the finances of the new hall.     

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