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Encouragement Award - presentation

Encouragement Award - presentation

President Nick Reddan and Secretary Gina Tooke of the Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra (HAGSOC) visited the Centre to present us with the Cynthia Foley Encouragement Award for 2018. The Award... more »

Val Wiseman - Plaque unveiling

Val Wiseman - Plaque unveiling

On Thursday 4th October a large crowd gathered in the Peace Garden for the unveiling of a plaque in memory of our departed friend and colleague Val Wiseman. Amongst the large crowd were Val's husband John,... more »

'Armistice and After' - an Exhibition

'Armistice and After' - an Exhibition

The Centre will mark Remembrance Day 11th November 2018 with the opening of a new exhibition – ‘Armistice and After’. Those who enlisted from the Hall district were the subject of our earlier ‘ANZAC’... more »

Visiting Southwells on the heritage trail

Visiting Southwells on the heritage trail

On Saturday 29 September we had a special visit from a trio of Southwells who are descendants of Samson Southwell and his wife Elizabeth (Veness). They were particularly keen to see the Bible that belonged... more »

Family History Unit gets a boost!

Family History Unit gets a boost!

The Centre is now (officially) the proud winner of the Cynthia Foley Encouragement Award. The Award was announced and presented at the Conference Dinner at the NSW ACT Association of Family History Societies... more »

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Entry is Free. Donations will assist the Friends of the Hall School Museum. Easy parking and disability access.

Armistice Commemoration Exhibition - Opening by Andrew Leigh MP

Remembrance Day - 11th November 10.45 for 11.00 am. Official Opening of 'Armistice and After' by Member for Fenner Andrew Leigh. All welcome - refreshments after.

Armistice and After

This exhibition, marking the centenary of the end of the Great War, supplements our 2015 exhibition [When Hall Answered The Call. That exhibition traced the impact of the conflict on a small bush community. Armistice and After records the participation of the Hall district diggers in the triumphs of 1918 and the euphoria that accompanied the end of hostilities. It also records the difficulties of repatriation and adjustment to civilian life in a world where the promises of peace and prosperity never quite materialized. Finally, it records the veterans’ response after it became apparent that they and their children were being asked to do it all again.

Australians are justly proud that as a nation of peace-loving civilians we fought and helped defeat militarism in the two greatest wars the world has yet seen. At the outset the British Empire’s comparatively small professional military forces were outnumbered by the enemy - then swamped by their own civilians. The recruits however were largely dependent on the professionals for leadership and instruction in the craft of war. That was particularly important in the naval war and it is instructive to contrast the experiences of the Crace brothers of ‘Gungahleen’, the one a professional at sea and the other a volunteer on land. They had very different wars.

In 1902 John Crace, aged 15, was given a colonial cadetship to the training ship HMS Britannia. By 1908 he was a lieutenant on HMS Powerful, the British flagship on the Australian Station. In 1913 the Admiralty lent him to the fledgling RAN as torpedo officer on the new flagship, battle cruiser HMAS Australia. In 1915 Australiawas sent to join the Grand Fleet in British home waters. In 1917 he was reposted to the Royal Navy mining school at Portsmouth.

His older brother Everard had been managing ‘Gungahleen’, since their father drowned in Ginninderra Creek in 1892. He volunteered for the AIF in 1917. Not up to standard for an infantryman, he insisted that he be allowed to serve and was taken on as a cook. For the last nine months of the war he helped to ensure that the men of 40 Battalion got at least one hot meal a day as they fought their way from Morlancourt in March to the Hindenburg Line in September.

It was millions like Everard who made victory possible but it was tens of thousands like Jack that had bought time for the Empire to turn its civilians into fighting men. In 1919 Everard went home; Jack got on with his career.

'A Tale of Two Villages'

The two villages are Ginninderra and Hall. 'Ginin-ginin-derry' was an aboriginal locality first traversed by Europeans in the early 1820's and first settled by them around 1826, at ‘Palmerville’. From the 1860's for half a century Ginninderra flourished having its heyday in the 1890’s and early years of the new century when there was a church, school, post and telegraph office, blacksmith shop, police station, store, a nursery, and a boot-maker, Farmers Union, School of Arts, cricket club, and the large Ginninderra Estate.

A very productive agricultural area, Ginninderra supplied grain to the Araluen and Majors Creek goldfields, then wool to the Sydney markets. William Davis, then Tom Gribble, Edmund Rolfe, 'Babe' Curran and others helped build a fine reputation for agriculture.

When Canberra was selected as the site for the capital and the new Federal government began resuming the land, Ginninderra’s days were numbered. A site for a new village nearby had been selected in 1882, and Hall was set to grow into the kind of village that Ginninderra never quite became.

ANZAC Exhibition: 'When Hall Answered the Call'- still open.

‘When Hall Answered the Call’ commemorates the centenary of ANZAC. Local soldiers’ histories are fitted into the context of the Great War. Their stories are displayed together with photographs and memorabilia. A special feature of the exhibition is a re-created setting of a Welcome Home ceremony that was held in the local Kinlyside Hall at the end of the war.

The exhibition pays special attention to the district’s several Rolls of Honour, all unofficial local initiatives by civic, school, church and sporting groups. It also features stories from the Hall home front where families gathered together for mutual support in the absence of their menfolk. A local Red Cross Branch was formed where comfort parcels were assembled and socks hand-knitted and sent to the troops.

There is an excellent review of the exhibition by Dr David Stephens at Honest History. The exhibition was previewed by Canberra times writer Ian Warden, who was particularly enchanted by the 'incredible inedible banquet'

View a selection of photos of the exhibition here

There is also now a fine publication derived from the exhibition - authored and edited by the exhibition's curator Allen Mawer. 'When Hall Answered the Call' is available from the Centre.

[Mawer G.A., When Hall Answered the Call, Friends of the Hall School Museum and Heritage Centre, 2015. 40 pp. 45 illustrations. Price $10]

Online displays - 'Rediscovering Ginninderra' and 'Bush Schools of Canberra region'

This site has two major on-line displays. The first tells the stories of more than seventy one-teacher bush schools of the Canberra region. A second display 'Rediscovering Ginninderra' enables exploration of prominent people and places in the Ginninderra district. Comment and contributions warmly welcomed.

On this site you can also learn about the origins and development of the Centre, find out about the Friends of Hall School Museum and Heritage Centre and how to join, and see the latest news and photographs about our activities.

You will also find a selection of links to other sites that may be of interest to you, and a 'document register' from where you can download various documents concerning the Museum. You can go to the main Hall Community website at any time by selecting the 'Hall Website' icon.