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BACKWARD GLANCE: The significance of the School of Arts Halls

As settlements began to grow on the Sunshine Coast residents called for the erection of a public hall – referred to as a ‘School of Arts Hall’ to provide the town with a centre for social and community activities including dances, weddings, parties, Queen Competitions, picture shows, boxing contests and music concerts. One of the main aims of a School of Arts was to provide a library.

Beerburrum School of Arts hall was built in 1915 and the library opened there in September 1917. The newly built hall became the hub of social life for the small community particularly at Christmas time when the communal Christmas tree became the focus for soldier settlers and their families to celebrate together.

Landsborough School of Arts was constructed in 1924 as a memorial to the Service personnel of the district from World War I. Landsborough was behind other towns in establishing a school of arts however once the decision was made, the community worked tirelessly to raise funds. In just over three months, a third of the cost had been raised.

Over the years many of the School of Arts halls have been adapted to meet changing conditions and many continue to have strong social and cultural significance for local residents and those in the surrounding districts. They have been the places of much laughter, sorrow, robust discourse and above all fellowship within the communities.

Thanks to the Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage Library staff for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images.

Beerwah-Peachester Sub-Branch R.S.S.A.L.A. annual ball at the School of Arts, Beerwah, 16 July 1962.
Centenary of the Beerburrum Soldier Settlement at the Beerburrum School of Arts, Beerburrum, 2016.
To celebrate the centenary of the Beerburrum Soldier Settlement an exhibition telling the stories of around 60 veterans was on display at the Beerburrum School of Arts.

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