The walls of the Shire Hall at Rushworth has certainly spoken, relating the events involving people from Rushworth, Stanhope, Colabinabbin, Murchison, Whroo and farming districts in between, together with visitors with lofty titles from places far and wide. In 1869, “some sneaking reptile lifted the newly-laid foundation”. It was re-set days later. In 1895, a Shire Councillor used words “derived from some bullock driver’s vocabulary”! pictures still and moving, silent and “talking”, have been a hall mainstay. In a town with no cinema, the hall has been the cinema. “I feed strongly that if we must have pictures, then they should be clean and worthy to be displayed to our young people,” wrote a letter-writer within a strong and moralistic complaint in 1928. Balls in the hall in the early years were rated a success of dancing continued till dawn. Only a full moon, or a buggy with a good lamp, helped dancers get home to remove their shoes any earlier. Concerts have raised funds for worthy causes, and theatrical productions (usually musical) tested the old stage. During World War II, patrons could have attended a bird show, ballet or boxing. “The Shire Hall is a disgrace!” said the 1962 Shire President, after Council moved to new premises in 1961! The Band, in its various identities, has played thousands of tunes at literally hundreds of events, including sporting celebrations. “Radiant debutantes” have made formal and frocked entry into local society, partnered by handsome young men with tight collars, and buttoned-up suits, and shiny shoes. In 1990, Rushworth Police closed a debutante ball early, citing “too much noise!” Public meetings at the hall have addressed water supply, gold-mining, proposed brickworks, storage of dynamite, hospital services, aged care accommodation, and sewerage, in no particular order of importance. The Shire Hall walls have told these stories and a great many more. The walls have been listening and watching for 150 years. May the hall be long preserved to gather more tales of great interest in this magnificent public building.
iv, 206 pages : illustrations (some colour), facsimiles (some colour), 1 map, 1 plan, portraits (some colour) ; 30 cm.