INTERESTING OPENING CEREMONY
Practically everybody in the district turned out to the opening of the Soldiers' Memorial Hall at Connewarre on Saturday afternoon. The hall is a substantially built roomy structure, and is equipped with a handsome honor board bearing the names of the district men who volunteered for service in the Great War, and have made the supreme sacrifice. Cr Cameron presided and amongst others present were Mr JH Lister, MHR, Hons, HF Richardson and AA Austin, MsLC and Capt Morley, MLA.
On arrival at the hall the National Anthem was sung, and Cr Cameron introduced Cr White to the gathering. The latter opened the door with a silver key bearing the initials CDSMH (Connewarre District Soldiers' Memorial Hall). Cr White expressed his appreciation of the compliment paid to him in entrusting him with the duty of declaring the hall open. It was erected not only as a memorial to the dead, but also for the use of the living. He then turned the key and declared the hall officially open.
The interior of the hall was attractively decorated and arranged in stalls for the bazaar, which followed the opening ceremony. Cr White called on Mr Lester MHR to unveil the honor roll containing exclusively the names of the men who had fallen. He emphasised the necessity for unity amongst the whole of the people so that the sacrifice of those who gave their lives might not be in vain. The best memorial we could erect was to carry our the promises we had made to the soldiers during the war. He referred to the case of an unnaturalised Scandinavian who all through the war had been employed in the Melbourne munitions factory, drawing £30 a week. His wife was also in business earning good money. That could be filled by the wife of a returned soldier. He also referred to the action of the Queensland Government in wiping off the Statute Book the principle of preference to soldiers.
Hon HF Richardson, MLC, congratulated the people of Connewarre on the fine hall they had erected. Our sympathies went out to those who had lost dear ones in the war.
Mr Austin, MLC, also extended his congratulations to those responsible for the erection of such a fine hall. To his mind the erection of an obelisk as a memorial to the fallen was a waste of money compared to a memorial hall which would be useful for all time. He memtioned that three quarters of the total cost of the hall had already been subscribed and urged all to patronise the stalls freely to leave the building free of debt.
Mr Morley, MLA, referred to the necessity of providing social amenities in country districts. That was the whole secret of how to induce people to go back to the land. After referring to the names on the honor roll, he mentioned that there were 600 returned men in Melbourne clamouring for work which they could not obtain. He congratulated the ladies on the fine display they had made, and urged all present to liberally support the bazaar and to secure some of its many bargains.
A vote of thanks to the visiting speakers closed the formal part of the proceedings and within a few minutes, the bazaar was in full swing. Brisk business was done all the afternoon, and it is understood that the financial result is considered highly satisfactory.
From Geelong Advertiser Monday 7 August 1922
The names on this memorial are listed on the Together They Served website.
This comprehensive website lists WW1 names and memorials for all of Surf Coast. It is well worth looking at.