Blowing in the wind

• Bagpiper Ian Fraser in Sullivan Hall, where he used to practise in the 1970s. Photo by Alex Murfett.

SUPPORTERS of Sullivan Hall have been inundated with memorabilia and stories following a callout in the Herald to celebrate the hall’s upcoming 60th birthday.

Brian Smith has been taking calls about the White Gum Valley hall, and tells the Herald about an unattended 70-tonne bulldozer that crossed Stevens Street hit two vehicles and demolished a toilet block behind the hall.

The engine of the bulldozer was reportedly switched off by someone attending a dance.

Michael Sheehy’s White Gum Valley Primary School graduation ceremony was held at the hall in the 1970s.

“The hall is a symbol of simpler times when people were happy with less—it’s an old army giveaway,” referring to the frame of the building which locals believe is from an old army shed.

Ian Fraser, a member of the Fremantle Sailing Club Pipes and Drums Band, used to practice with the City of Fremantle Caledonian Memorial Pipe Band in the hall in 1975.

“The hall is a link with the past: it’s kind of a measure or a barometer of where we’ve come from, where we are now and where we’ll be heading to,” the piper says.

Mr Smith says they have received a wide range of items relating to the hall, including handwritten notes from a pigeon racing event held there.

The pigeon racers will be back at the hall’s upcoming 60th birthday party, which includes sixties songs and singalongs, Aboriginal dancers, a square dancing demonstration and kids’ activities. The community is invited to attend the birthday bash at Sullivan Hall on August 11 1pm-5pm.

by ALEX MURFETT

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