Dunwich Community Hall
DUNWICH COMMUNITY HALL
This grand building overflows with history. Originally built in 1913, it has been renovated according to heritage guidelines. Beautiful polished timber floors and high ceilings give fantastic acoustics throughout. A small stage is located at one end, and a commercial size kitchen with a cold room at the other. All tables and chairs are complimentary.
This hall was built in 1913 as the Benevolent Asylum’s men’s mess hall. It was centrally located in the Asylum along with the kitchen, laundry, and stores. Goods from the mainland were taken to the mess hall and other buildings by a horse-drawn trolley system along the roadway still visible in Junner Park. This system was also used to take food in huge pots from the kitchen, about 200 yards away, to the mess hall. As a result, the food was often served cold, much to the annoyance of the inmates. The hall seated 400 single men and had a servery and scullery at one end and the walls were partially lined with tiles for hygiene purposes. After 1913 the building was extended to include a boiler room that provided hot water to the kitchen wash-up troughs. During WWII, the floor in the center of the hall was removed and an air raid shelter was dug into the floor. The mess hall was one of the few buildings that remained on the Island after the Asylum closed in 1946 and has since been used as the Dunwich Public Hall. Listed on the Register of the National Trust of Queensland.