COMING BACK: The Cunningham QCWA branch is being revived to save the hall for use by the local community.
COMING BACK: The Cunningham QCWA branch is being revived to save the hall for use by the local community. Contributed

QCWA branch in revival

THE Cunningham branch of the QCWA will reopen after a fight to save the town's QCWA Memorial Hall.

The branch was disbanded about 11 months ago owing to low membership numbers, but residents strived to maintain ownership of the hall following the closure.

Cunningham resident Karen Henricksen said a meeting held Sunday afternoon with the Border Division QCWA committee members was successful in reviving the branch.

"We had a meeting with about 25 people in total including the divisional representatives and ran through what it would take for us to reopen the branch,” Mrs Henricksen said.

"None of us have ever been in the CWA so it's all new to us, but we're excited.

"We'll have our first official meeting in about a month's time.

"It's a huge, tight-knit community out here and we've had lots of events in the hall.”

After a hiatus for the hall, Mrs Henricksen said reopening the branch would keep the facility in use for the Cunningham community.

"The CWA is all for the community and it's what we wanted for the hall - it's worked out perfectly for us,” she said.

"There have been hundreds packed in there for dinners and dances, wedding receptions, 21st birthdays and cabarets over the years.

"There's a lot of history in the place and a lot of passion to keep it in use.”

She said despite the building being in a state of disrepair, she was thrilled to secure the hall.

Mrs Henricksen said the hall was originally built with funds raised by the locals and Cunningham Rangers in the 1950s.

"They were a synchronised riding group that used to travel around and perform at shows,” she said.

"They raised a little money and the rest was loaned to them by the CWA.

"Eventually the CWA took over the primary use of the hall and it was renamed the Cunningham CWA Memorial Hall. It's not in a great state at the moment, so it'll need repairs and new furniture and fridge.

"But we really want to make sure the hall stays because the community would have been devastated if it was no more.”