Updated: 28 July 2022
Ferguson’s first hall, the Ferguson Agricultural Hall, was built in 1905 and demolished in 1966. Situated at lower end of the Ferguson Valley, it served the farming community as a venue for occasions such as dances, weddings, annual school Christmas trees and euchre parties. It was also a meeting place and the focus of sporting events.
“Records from October, 1916 show a public meeting was held for the purpose of forming a hall committee. The names of many district identities being C. F. Flynn, B Slattery, P Buckenara, W. Bocker, Ephraim Gardiner and others. A collection for funds was undertaken and the sum of 15 shillings and sixpence was collected. Accounts for payment totalled nine shillings and seven pence being for various expenses and insurance.
During World War II Red Cross dances were held each month and visitors from far and wide would arrive, dance to music provided by different bands, some good, others only fair. The big attraction was the sumptuous suppers provided by the local ladies, dozens of cakes, cream puffs, lamingtons, sausage rolls etc. These functions were always a great financial success.
As time progressed, the hall fell into obvious stages of disrepair and in August, 1964 after much deliberation the residents decided to construct a new building.
Plans for the new hall were drawn up and a loan of £5000 was raised to be funded by property owners in the East Ward of Dardanup Shire. Mr Ron Butcher submitted the prepared tender and work soon began. Various residents put the materials on site with their own trucks at no cost and working bees were held to carry out other requirements, which enabled the building to be erected within the funding loan.
A busy bee carried out demolition of the old hall. All materials were salvaged, much of the old timber, still in good condition, was placed in lots together with roof iron and flooring. An auction was advertised and held on site, the Local Elders auctioneer Mr Bernie Nuttall did a splendid job extracting over £400 for the old material. That money was used to purchase 80 new chairs for the new building.
Opening day arrived, being February 14, 1966. also conversion date for decimal currency. Mr Ivan Manning, the local MLA, officiated and Mr Charles Flynn cut the ribbon for official entry. The new building was filled to overflowing and was judged a huge success.
As in former years many functions are held with badminton being popular. A stage was added later, plus a few minor alterations. The new building was named Ferguson District Hall.”
- Gibbs, S: Memories of the Ferguson (2002), The Ferguson Agricultural Hall, by Brian S. Gardiner.
- At a country dance – celebrating the opening of the Ferguson Agricultural Hall, Bunbury Herald (WA : 1892 – 1919), Monday 21 August 1905, page 3