West Albury Memorial Hall upgrade ahead of Anzac centenary

THE first step in an upgrade of West Albury Memorial Hall before Anzac Day has been taken.

Hall trustees have won a $9000 grant from NSW Crown Lands to improve the hall’s gutters.

President Allan Wilson said the upgrade would start soon and the trust would now seek more money to do other much-needed work before next year’s centenary celebrations of Anzac Day.

“We were going to use it for paint, but the guttering is in such poor state,” he said.

“It is a memorial hall and we are trying to bring it up to scratch.”

Electrical work and improvements to the hall’s toilet and kitchen are also on the radar of the six-member trust.

Mr Wilson replaced long-serving chairman Frank Densley this year and Denise Stewart has taken over as secretary.

She said the trust would quiz the community on how the hall’s ground could be used.

“We want to involve the community because it is their hall,” she said.

“It is what the soldiers wanted.”

The former Bonegilla army hut was transported to its site in two sections in 1946.

In 2009, it was re-dedicated to five young men — Patrick James O’Rafferty, sapper Colin James McWaters, gunners Francis James Flower and William Wiffin Simmonds and flight officer Harold John Thompson — killed in World War II in 2009.

The five, aged 19 to 28 were killed from 1942 to 1944.

Mr Densley has been involved with the trust for 30 years.