The Mirror News

Wonyip Excelsior Hall to host Big Day of Music

A BIG Day of Music is to be presented by the Wonyip Excelsior Hall committee and friends this Saturday (September 24) from 2pm onwards.

Bands and performers will be predominantly local – including Dean Richards, Wambo, Double Clap, Good Two Shoes, and Luxfords.

Once all performers have done what they came to do…..wowed the crowd and given all they’ve got, they may just dig a little deeper and continue with a jam session..which makes for a very chilled, relaxed and entertaining afternoon. All this for a gold coin donation? You got it! Proceeds from the day will go towards the upkeep of the iconic Wonyip Excelsior Hall.

“The music festival will be a great chance to showcase a lot of the talent we have in this area. It’s a great little community and a lovely hall and we need to keep it going,” said David Jones, a member of the Wonyip Excelsior Hall committee who was born and bred in Wonyip and attended primary school there as one of 13 students!

The festival will be mainly inside the hall, but may overflow to outside, giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy amazing views of Corner Inlet and Wilsons Promontory from this hilltop hamlet.

“All that’s left really of Wonyip is the hall and if you don’t keep it going, identities such as this will be lost,” David said.

The committee members and community feel that it is vital that the history of the Wonyip area is not forgotten and that people must be thankful for the efforts of past committee members who have spent their time and energy to keep this hall alive.

Wonyip has changed over the years and what was a community of hard working subsistence farmers is now a community of largely city-based landholders who bring new talents and ideas to the area and who are just as passionate about this environment.

This promises to be a rare opportunity to enjoy great music, a fantastic atmosphere and a wonderful location for just a gold coin. Bring along food and drink for a barbecue, as well as chairs or cushions – and enjoy!

The Wonyip Excelsior Hall was erected in 1902 by local residents and leased to the Education Department for use by Wonyip State School No. 3410.

In early 1908, Excelsior Hall and Free Library honorary secretary, George Nichols, applied for a share of the government grants to free libraries and country museums. He stated that the library had received a grant in 1907. He continued that the building was on reserved Crown land, and a room in the hall was set aside for a library whose opening hours were Monday to Saturday, 4pm-8pm; the library had 76 books.

The other ante room was rented for teacher quarters. The main hall was used as a school during the week and also rented for performances by travelling companies, concerts, dances and church services.

The building was destroyed in a bushfire in 1906. A new hall was built and re-erected after being blown down in a storm in 1923. It continued to be used for a school up to the mid-1970s, although closed in the late 1920/1930s due to inadequate student numbers. Current uses include private functions, Landcare and hall committee meetings and a New Year’s Party.

References: PROV, VPRS 3992, Unit 1088, File C3917; Flett, LJ. (1973). Vision and Realisation; Traralgon Record, 26 January 1906; Deborah Capon, Secretary, Excelsior Hall Committee. (2014). Correspondence; Jaqui Condelly .(2014)


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