By Kendrea Rhodes.
After three years of hard graft and dedication, work on the 126-year-old heritage listed building, now known as the Harrogate Supper Room, is complete. The Harrogate Soldiers Memorial Hall committee (past and present) have worked tirelessly with community members and groups, contractors, MPs, and Councillors, and would like to extend an open invitation to the ‘Celebration of the Supper Room Restoration’ on Sunday 19 September at 2pm.
Fundraising was a slow process back 1865, but with a dedicated community maintaining sight of their goal for 30 years, the building of the Harrogate School began in 1895. The school operated for 48 years, then the community purchased the building and created a community hall. They would be proud to see it today, safeguarded and still serving the community.
Above are before and after images of the Supper Room exterior and interior renovations. Photos by Pam Dashwood.
In 2018, the Hall committee obtained a federal grant and began the restoration of the Supper Room. They employed a stonemason, Robert Wheatley, for all stonework such as repointing, keystone resetting and fixing major cracks in the interior and exterior walls, some of which were two inches wide. Past and present committee members (including Chris Eustace and Anna Smolski) and friends fixed gutters, installed insulation, painted the interior, renovated the kitchen and updated the décor. With donations from the Onkaparinga Lions group, they were able to purchase an important Supper Room feature, a new kitchen and sink.
Other achievements include the refurbishment of the flagpole, and air conditioning, heating and gutters in the main hall. The Mount Barker District Council upgraded the community’s emergency water supply with bushfire grant assistance and are currently in the process of landscaping the area surrounding the hall.
The restoration of this community owned and operated hall is quite an accomplishment, especially when you consider the preservation of heritage, history and the creation of a treasured community resource that will be available for years to come.
Rebekha Sharkie MP, Mount Barker District Councillors, and former and current Harrogate district residents will join the Hall committee for the Supper Room restoration celebrations on Sunday 19 September at 2pm, 13 Mail Road Harrogate. If you would like to join them, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.