|History of the Cedar Creek Public Hall and Surrounding Community|
This section outlines some historical information about the Cedar Creek Public Hall and the local community.
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Cedar Creek Public Hall
On its completion in 1925, the Hall was an
exciting asset for the social life of the Cedar Creek community. In those days, the area was mainly populated by farmers and timber-getters. Local farmers who were able to donated the sum of £5 each to get the Hall underway. At a time when a dozen bananas were fetching a mere penny this was a very special contribution.
There were two tennis courts next to the hall, a football field
and cricket pitch. The Hall became the focal point for all
social and district meeting occasions and was also used for church services for a time. The Cedar Creek Axeman’s Club met at the Hall. The Hall was located within close proximity to the local railway station.
Local farmers donated the timber, the Herron family from Herron Rd being one and the Broad family from Broads Rd another. The dance floor timber is made from Crow's Ash ( Flinderisa ) which was well known for being the best for dancing due to the natural oils. This floor survives to this day and is in near perfect condition, a testament to the quality of the local timber and the tradesmen who laid it.
As there were other 'Cedar Creeks' in the southeast corner of the state, the name for the area changed to Closeburn (the local school being bounded on two sides by a creek, and "burn" is Scottish for creek).
While the 1920s records of Trustees and meetings have not survived, the Minute Book beginning 12 May 1931 is part of the Hall archives, listing Trustees present as A. MCNevin Snr (Chairman), S.L. Chilton (Secretary), W. Fry, A. McNevin Jun, J. Fogg and A.J. Marks. It was at this meeting that Stanley Chilton retired as Secretary. He had been a driving force in clearing the construction cost of the Hall in six years.
Dances were held on Saturday nights, and supper would be served in the enclosed area downstairs. Use of this underhall area was charged out at 2/6- (two shillings and sixpence). The Minutes reflect the popularity of performers such as Chilton’s band or the musical stylings of Miss Knight, at dances held to raise funds for the Hall, the Brisbane Ambulance, the Dayboro Ambulance and in the 1940s the Samsonvale Ambulance. Minutes report a typical 1930s dance income would be £14-10-3 (fourteen pounds, ten shillings and threepence) on expenses of £3-13-9 1/2 (three pounds, thirteen shillings and ninepence halfpenny). Catering was invariably moved to be in the obviously capable hands of Mr J. Fogg.
On 16 March 1933, W. Fry moved and J. Fogg seconded that “the Hall be enlarged by 10ft also side verandah”. A public meeting was called for 30 March so “our scheme of enlarging the Hall be first placed before the Public”. The idea was to add what is now the stage area and the side verandah. Attendees at the public meeting at the business of J. Marks (A McNevin Sen, A McNevin Jun., J. Fogg, W. Fry Sen., T Gilvier, T. Wood, S. Chilton, C. Rufus, W. Fishbourne and J. Marks) agreed to call tenders for a “a 10ft extention on to the rear of the Hall, also for the erection of a side verandah 40 ft. in length by 9 ft. wide also for the plumbing, oil and painting of the hall”. Ten shillings was allowed to advertise the contract in the Telegraph. Eventually the work was done by day labour on the part of E. & G. Fogg at 15 shillings per day. The Trustees advised the E.S.&A. Bank Samford of the project and their requirement for an “accommodation” of £120.
Opening night was a gala social held on 8 July 1933. The new stage section was eventually lined in 1939. Work continued through the war time, with the concreting under the Hall completed and the seats built there as well then by G. Fogg. In 1942, the Hall was insured for £400. Dances were held every second Saturday.
During the Second World War, it was the custom for the community to send away its soldiers with a dance and a presentation of a wallet filled with donated money and a watch. The Hall has an Honour Board remembering those locals who served in this conflict.
Life continued post-war with the Hall serving as meeting place and social hub and many still in the district today spent their teen years at dances in the 60s and 70s and recall afternoons of buttering multiple bread rolls prior to socials that saw conga lines snaking out round the verandah to the tune of Running Bear!
The Hall was hired out on Sundays for the Closeburn Country Markets from 1980 to 1987 when they moved to the North Pine Country Park.
The Closeburn Railway Station
The railway line from Ferny Grove to Samford was completed in 1918 and extended to Dayboro in 1920. The station was built close by the hall and acted as the Post Office. It only opened at train times - half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the late afternoons, on the rail motor’s once daily trip from Dayboro to Brisbane and back.
The remnants of the train station
platform are still visible today in front of the Closeburn
Rural Fire Brigade depot to the east of the hall.
The Closeburn General Store
This store was built by a Brisbane man, Mr Perry, who recognised that the local people had no shopping facilities. He bought land from Gus Kopp and built the shop close to the railway station. There was a small fenced paddock for those travellers who would leave their horses there for the day while they went into Brisbane. There was also a saddle room. Mr Chilton also ran the store at one time. The store burned down one night in the days when it was owned by Mr Len Duprey while he and the family were at the theatre in town.