Byabarra Hall is 90 years old and you’re invited to celebrate the big day. A special birthday party is being held there on Saturday December 3 from 3pm and everyone is welcome.
Tickets are $10 each, including afternoon tea and a glass of bubbles. A BBQ is available for BYO from 6pm. Contact 65871134 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally, Byabarra was known as Sleepy Hollow or Low Town. Early settlers in the 1880s were the Hayward, Matherson, Badam, Blanch, Edward, Mudford, Packham, Gillis and Kilmurray families and the timber industry was booming.
The name was changed by Thomas Hayward after an old Aboriginal, known as Black Charlie, told him that the Aboriginal meaning for Sleepy Hollow was Byabarra.
In its early years, Byabarra housed 60 dairy farmers who supplied cream to Comboyne by horse and cart. In 1922, Thomas Hayward bought a T-Model Ford Truck for 365 pounds from America. It had solid tyre wheels on the back and was the only cream lorry in the Hastings.
The last dairy farm – owned by Fred and Bill Witchard – closed in 1984 after 45 years of milking.
The community hall in Byabarra was built by Billy Maxwell from Wauchope in 1916. Over the years, it’s been the venue for lots of dances and annual balls, some to fund-raise for the hospital. School meetings and auctions of properties were held there.
In the 50s and 60s, after a couple got engaged, there would be a gift-giving evening, sometimes in the hall.
These days the hall is used for exercise groups, the ‘It’s a stitch-up’ craft group, the annual Beer Appreciation night, the annual Square Dance, birthdays and weddings. There’s a small library, a kitchen, a stage and piano.
And on its 90th birthday, it will be full of music and laughter as people celebrate its big day.