Sunday, June 3, 2007

Save Our Hall Vigil

press release for gazette

Just over 100 years ago some residents of Lawson raised the funds and engaged a builder to construct a community hall to be known as The Mechanics Institute. The bricks were re-cycled from the original Blue Mountain Railway Station building and used for the hall, which was opened in 1903.

Many residents of Lawson feel that the hard work and commitment by those people should be honoured by moving the hall, not demolishing it as is apparently the option preferred by The Blue Mountains City Council. It is quite possible to safely re-locate the building back from the highway.

Lawson and the Mid Mountains residents sorely need a hall for performance, meeting and exhibition space. The hall at Mid Mountains Community Centre is quite inadequate as it is shared with the Lawson Public School. It doesn't have decent facilities for performance or exhibitions. As the volunteers at Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre will tell you it is so heavily booked most of the time that it is hard get a booking owing to a lack of other facilities.

As many of us remember, the old Mechanics Institute Hall has an excellent stage and backstage space for many purposes. With a little tender loving care it could be brought up to scratch and used by the community again. A building report showed a few years ago that the hall was in good condition. Why then are our councillors not even prepared to consider a feasibility report into having it moved?

The Save Our Hall group of residents are holding a vigil every Sunday from 10.30am to remind Mountains residents and tourists of the value of this excellent facility and also to remind our Councillors of their duty to respond to the wishes of the people.

This hall was built by the people, for the people of Lawson.