Hall and Atheaeum
Location #56 Hall & Athenaeum
Group Number 1

Group Members

The table below shows the people that make up the group.

No Last Name First Names Maiden Name Relationship Occupation Born Died School Year


The table below shows any historical notes about the party group.

Note Date Short Description Note Text
731 1876 General Notes

The population of Bannockburn had grown too large to be conveniently accommodated in any of the buoildings that served as public halls, such as the school or one of the local hotels. In February of 1876 a meeting was held to suggest the formation of a company to erect a suitable building. Unfortunately this proposal fell through.

732 1877 General Notes

In September 1877 a public hall committee was formed with the objective of building a hall with local funds. Once again, nothing was resolved.

733 1884 Public Hall Committee

The public hall committee consisted of Messrs: - James Horne - James Hancock - William Parcell - Edward Kennedy - Frederick Shambrock - Joseph Moore (chairman) - John Pryde (treasurer) - David McGregor (secretary)

734 1884 General Notes

The years of discussion and fund raising had resulted in the construction of the first Athenaeum - location #56. The committee organised a concert and ball to celebrate the opening of the new hall on September 30. There were 250 tickets printed by the Cromwell Argus. The charges were two, three and four shillings. The evening was a great success and generated thirty pound, three shillings and sixpence for the hall funds. The hall had a stage, forms for seating, and was illuminated by a large number of bracket lamps. The committee insured the hall for one hundred and fifty pounds.

735 1884 Hall charges

The hall was regularly rented out for all religious services, public meetings, balls, concerts, lectures and the like. Rental charges were handled by the 'letting committee' of the chairman, treasurer and secretary. The rents seemed to vary. The Good Templar Lodge was charged two shillings and sixpence per meeting. The Bible Christians under rev. Ellis and the Presbyterians under Rev. Blackie were charged three pounds per annum. The bible class singing group were charged one pound per annum. The 'letting committee' had the power to vary the charges to travelling companies according to the circumstances.

736 1884 Purchase of piano

In November 1884. a Mr Hallenstein representing the Dresden Piano Company of Dunedin * was invited to the hall committee meeting. It was decided that the hall should purchase a 'Haake B' piano at the cash price of sixty two pound, ten shillings. On arrival it was insured for fifty pounds. (* The Dresden Piano Company was started by David Theomin, his father-in-law M Michaelis, Messrs Hallenstein and Farquar. David Theomin's Jacobean home in Dunedin was named Olveston. It survives to this day as a stately home which is open to the public.)

737 1884 Two day bazaar, concert and picnic held at the hall.

In December 1884, a two day bazaar was organised for the 29th and 30th. Mr W Parcell proposed that seven pound be invested in the purchase in Dunedin of toys and fancy goods, also five shillings for tissue paper for the bazaar, seconded by Mr D V McGregor. The bazaar was a great success. It was followed by the school committee using the new hall and piano for a concert and a picnic on Dec 31. The prizes for the sports events were supplied by Talboys, Horn and Anderson of Quartzville. At three oclock a magnificent afternoon tea was laid on in the hall by Scotts Catering of Cromwell. Miss Sarah McGregor performed at the new piano for several songs delivered by Mr E and T McNulty. The choir was conducted by Mr D V McGregor and accompainied by Miss McGregor at the piano. Mr W McNee was the stage manager and Mr Barker was in charge of the piano. Mr E Barnes was the Master of Ceremonies. A very successful evening concluded at three thirty in the morning with the singing of 'Old Lang Syne'

738 1884 The Bannockburn Bazaar (as reported by the Cromwell Argus 6 Jan 1885)

"This affair was got up by the community of the local Athenaeum with a view to raising funds wherewith to wipe out certain liabilities in connection with this new institution, in the way of erecting a hall, purchasing a piano etc. The promoters went into the scheme in a wholehearted way and their efforts were willingly seconded by the people of Bannockburn and also generally throughout the district. Contributions were sent in most liberally from all parts of the district, and the large variety of gifts were such as to enable the committee to make a very handsome display in their new hall. The room was tastefully decorated with evergreens, the only drawback being that the hall was too small for the comfortable accommodation of stall holders and visitors. With characteristic spirit, the ladies of Bannockburn assisted by several ladies from other parts went into the affair 'com ainore' with the result that their persuasive powers speedily disposed of the stock on the various stalls. These were ponded over by the following ladies; Mesdames Koch, Kay, McGregor, Robertson, Goldsmith, McCabe, O'Neil, Pryde, Ritchie, Donnelly, Robertson and Goldsmith, who as already stated were greatly assisted by a number of the young ladies of Bannockburn, the Gorge, and Cromwell. To the untiring efforts of the ladies as a body, the committee are under a deep debt of gratitude, as the success of the bazaar was chiefly due to them. The attendance on both nights and although accounts were not yet fully made up it is known that there will be at least £100 (one hundred pounds) after paying the expenses. At the close on Tuesday evening a dance was given. This was largely patronised and did not break up until close to 4 oclock on Wednesday morning. Although the ladies of Bannockburn and committee of the local Athenaeum are to be congratulated on the success, financially and otherwise of this happy idea for assisting a highly deserving institution"

739 1885 Advertisement from Cromwell Argus 13 Jan 1885.

On Monday, January 19, for one night only, the public of Bannockburn were invited to the Athenaeum Hall for a 'monster treat'. Miss Georgie Smithson, the great female Maccabe, and England's greatest comedian, James Holloway would make their first appearance in the goldfields. Prices: Three shillings and two shillings, children half price. Mr H Rogers was the manager and Mr R J Smyth was the advance agent. A dance would be held after the performance. (as advertised in the Cromwell Argus 13 Jan 1885)

740 1885 Miners Association Meeting (Cromwell Argus)

A meeting was held in the Athenaeum Hall on 19 May to discuss the poor price being paid to miners by the banks. After much discussion a resolution was passed : "that the meeting request a gold broker either in Melbourne or Sydney to appoint someone in the district to act as an agent in buying gold and that all present sign an agreement to be drawn up by the secretary pledging themselves to deal only with such an agent." An agreement was drawn up that stated : "we the undersigned miners of Bannockburn hereby pledge ourselves to carry out the resolution passed at the public meeting of tonight and we pledge ourselves not to sell any gold to the banks for the future. We undertake to deal only with such an agent as may be appointed under the resolution, provided always that the said agent fix the minimum price of gold at £3-15s/oz (three pounds fifteen shillings per ounce)" Signed, the committee of J A S Crombie, Thomas Scott, J L Moore, C Ray and J C Anderson.

741 1885 Hall improvements.

The hall gained a number of improvements. Mr J Horn supplied a stage curtain. Mr J Peake made iron bars and fitted them to the windows (1 Dec) The hall was painted, and a 14 inch ventilator with a Kauri fretwork screen was installed. The work was done by Mr McKellar for thirty three pounds and ten shillings. Mr Peake was paid to do up 20 chairs at one shilling per chair. Mr Moore was to receive seven pounds per annum for cleaning the hall.

742 1886 Further improvements.

Two chandeliers which had four lights each were purchased through Horn and Anderson. They were set in position by Mr J Peake for the sum of 8 shillings. A set of steps were fitted to the stage and a cord and pulley added to the curtain.

743 1887 Consideration given to extending the hall.

The hall was being used for an increasing number of functions which were being attended by a growing population. A public meeting was held and it was decided to call tenders to raise the building by 2 feet and lengthen it by 12 feet, or to lengthen it only. An advert was placed in the Cromwell Argus.

744 1887 The library was moved to the Athenaeum Hall.

The library was transferred to the hall and Mr J L Moore continued to act as librarian.

745 1887 Tender received for hall extensions.

A tender price of seventy six pound from Mr Peter Paterson was the only one received for the hall extension. on 30 August a public meeting was called to discuss extending the existing hall or to build a new hall. It was decided to call tenders for a new hall. The new hall was to be called the Jubilee Hall and Athenaeum in honor of Queen Victoria's golden jubilee. For details of the new hall see location #120.

746 1908 Record of a wedding reception held at the hall.

Mr George Crabbe, second son of james Crabbe, an old resident of Bannockburn was married to Miss Annie Hodson, second daughter of Mr J Hodson, on Wednesday December 20 1908. The service was conducted at the Bannockburn Methodist church, by the Rev. A Reader. Mr R Toms acted as best man, and Miss Crabbe was bridesmaid. After the ceremony the happy couple and guests adjourned to the Athenaeum Hall to partake of the wedding breakfast which was beautifully laid out. In the evening a dance was held and a very enjoyable few hours were spent by the large crowd present. (as reported by the Cromwell Argus 5 Jan 1909)


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Image Id Source Date Short Description