Bonalbo District Memorial Hall

Media artist Grayson Cooke has been commissioned to work with Bonalbo Hall

 

Bonalbo District Memorial Hall is situated in the small village of Bonalbo, which is the heart of the Upper Clarence, it is West of the Richmond Range and part of Kyogle shire. Bonalbo’s name is from the Aboriginal word ‘bunawblu’ meaning bloodwood tree.

Since its construction in 1910, Bonalbo Hall has burnt down three times. The large retro hall that now stands has natural light, sprung dance floor, huge stage, a technology centre and café and is set within a beautiful memorial rose garden. It was the centre of the town where people came together to dance, meet and host such events as the Bull Ball and Queen of Bonalbo.

Bonalbo has a rich history and was once a booming goldtown that saw thousands of people searching for gold. Many of these towns have long since disappeared into the bush and although Bonalbo has a small population

(500), it still boasts most services including a hospital. The town is famous for its bulls and is where working dogs first competed. It is a picturesque isolated pocket of humanity in the middle of nature, with a rising mist in the morning and all you can hear is birds.

What is special about Bonalbo is that its community communicate by landline or by dropping by your house, most don’t have mobiles or computers as there is little to no mobile reception here. What is evident is these communities west of the range are doing it tough but yet have the strongest of community feel. This community is full of characters, which means the hall has many stories to tell.

– Marion Conrow