LONG HISTORY: Morton Vale farmer Janne Dipple purchased the hall formerly used by the QCWA at Lake Clarendon, and the old Plainland State School before that, and moved it to her property.
LONG HISTORY: Morton Vale farmer Janne Dipple purchased the hall formerly used by the QCWA at Lake Clarendon, and the old Plainland State School before that, and moved it to her property. Lachlan McIvor

Lake Clarendon CWA hall gets new lease on life

MANY people would have passed through the doors of the old hall that now sits on Janne Dipple's Morton Vale property over the years, whether they had attended community meetings, birthdays, wakes or even their early schooling years in the building.

Although it looks a little worse for wear at the moment, it will soon have a new lease on life.

The hall was first used by the old Plainland State School from 1886 to 1966 before it was purchased by the Queensland Country Women's Association and moved to Lake Clarendon in 1968 to home the newly established fraternity in the area.

But it had sat dormant for close to a decade after the group disbanded and it fell into disrepair.

Mrs Dipple first inquired about the availability of the building eight years ago but didn't make an offer at the time while the QCWA put it out for tender.

But driving past the building every day and seeing it sitting at the same site, untouched and unloved, the farmer decided to bite the bullet two years ago.

"We needed extra space for storage and I needed something on stumps, not onconcrete, because we're on a floodplain,” Mrs Dipple said.

"I just thought to myself, I'd hate to see it go to waste because it's a beautiful old building.”

It was a tenuous 14-month process negotiating with the organisation that owned the building and the State Government, which owned the land it was on, but she eventually got it over the line.

The hall arrived two weeks ago with the help of TJ King House Relocators and her neighbour Bayden Lester, who allowed it to pass through his property to avoid public roads.

It now sits next to the family home, which itself has a story to tell, having been built in the late 1890s and used at one point as a post office and telephone exchange.

"I've discovered lots of people connected to this hall, it's really nice actually because we've been worrying about it all these years,” Mrs Dipple said.

"It's really nice to see that there's a lot of other people out there too that have something good to say about it and care about it and what happens to it.”

"My kids have been in this hall for performances when they went to school, it was used for water meetings and a few of those local meetings and things.

"I've heard lots of stories, I know people that have had an engagement party in here, a wake in here, parties and all sorts of things happen in this hall while it was up used as the CWA hall.”

There is plenty of work to be done, with extensive cleaning needed, as well as a new paint job, new windows, a new veranda and steps and a ramp will be installed.

"I do plan to return it to its former glory but over time because it's going to take a lot of elbow grease and a bit of money,” she said.

"I'll jut tick away at it. "I have got some big plans for it in the future, that will have to be reclassified through council for that.

"I'd like to ask people if they've got any old photos of the place because I'd like to have some pictures on the wall, something to put together the history.”


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