Before 1925 the people of Bohnock had to travel long distances to attend dances and other night-time functions. After many years of discussing building a community hall, the dream finally came to fruition in 1925.1 Local identities, Vic and Ettie Carle, generously donated a corner section of their property on Bohnock Road for the purpose of erecting a Literary Institute Hall.2 Residents donated money and enthusiastically joined in fundraising ventures and very soon a hall was constructed under the guidance of Charlie Cluss. The high-pitched roof and external cladding were of corrugated iron while the dance floor was made of tallowwood. Years later a supper room was added and toilets were erected nearby.3
After the official opening the community embraced the hall as their own. The hall was used for Anglican Church Services, meetings of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, celebrations and most importantly country dances.4 People came from near and far to attend these popular events arriving by horse and sulky, river punt, or walking. Everyone pitched in to decorate the hall, sawdust the floor and organise the music. Dancing would continue until the early hours of the morning.
For 25 years the hall remained the focal point of the closely knit community but gradually attendances at functions decreased. Over the next forty years the hall fell into disrepair until it was finally dismantled.5 Sadly there is now no trace of this building’s existence and the vibrant role it once played in this small, rural community.
Based on the research and writings of Bevan Nelson, compiled by Janine Roberts.
Further reading: Bevan Nelson, When we were kids: The story of Bohnock, a small rural community (Bohnock, 2004).
1 Northern Champion, 4 Nov 1925.
2 Government Gazette of the State of NSW, 15 May 1925, Issue No. 68.
3 Bevan Nelson, When we were kids: The story of Bohnock, a small rural community(Bohnock, 2004), 48.
4 Northern Champion, 12 Dec 1931; 15 November 1933; 31 August 1935; 26 November 1924.
5 Nelson, When we were kids, 53.