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Past to Present


by Eric Brown

An excerpt from the book
“Magnolia – The First Hundred Years”

The Hall Board decided in the early 1970’s that the time was long past for a new hall. Through both major fundraising efforts and government grants, enough money was acquired to do the job. In the summer of 1972 construction began in earnest. Most of the work was volunteer supervised mainly by Frank Randak and Frank Kelly as both men had much experience in building construction. John Glerrup, a professional bricklayer, was hired to lay the cement blocks, which he did at a cut rate.

I was among those to volunteer, helping with the roof and the pouring of insulation in the ceiling. During the time of working above the ceiling I slipped and put one foot through the Gyproc, nearly dropping a sheet on Frank Kelly who was working below. It seems the Browns were determined to leave their mark on the hall as Dad nearly drove a hand-operated packer through the wall a few months earlier while preparing the floor for concrete.

The hall was open to the public in time for the Christmas Concert that year, but the official opening did not take place until the summer of 1973. The old hall was torn down in the winter of 1973. The last dance to be held in the old hall was that honouring Allen and Brenda Walker on their 25th wedding anniversary in July of 1972, and the first dance in the new hall was the wedding dance of Eric and Isabella Brown in April of 1973.

The new hall originally had a wooden annex on the west end, but it deteriorated after a few years and the main body of the hall was extended westward in the 1980’s to make way for a larger kitchen and larger dance area. The Magnolia Hall today is considered by outsiders to be a very nice, well-built, medium sized hall and is in great demand for weddings and family reunions. (May, 2000)