No. 1208 - Whitemore - Methodist Church Hall (1922)

This article is one of a series about buildings associated with some of Tasmania’s most significant churches. These buildings include Sunday schools, parish halls, convents, schools and residences of the clergy. Ancillary buildings are often overlooked and are rarely featured in published histories. My aim is to create a simple record of these buildings, including those that no longer exist.

Whitemore is a small rural settlement close to Westbury in Northern Tasmania. Whitemore was once part of the original Quamby estate granted to Richard Dry senior. The area around Whitemore Creek was sold to William Hingston in 1854. It was Hingston who donated land for a Wesleyan chapel in 1857. At the time it was known as the "Whitemoor Chapel” and the name was adopted by the village that grew up around the church.

The Whitemoor chapel was used as a place of worship for only 7 years before it was replaced by a much larger brick church built in 1864. With the construction of the new church the original chapel was moved to the rear of the block in what was to be the first of three moves. It continued to be used as Sunday school and also a day school up until 1929 when a State school was built opposite the church.

In 1909 additional land was purchased alongside the brick church and the old chapel was relocated for a second time onto the site of the present church hall. In 1922 when a new church hall was built the chapel was moved to its final position at the rear of the hall.

The new church hall was officially opened by Mr Albert Monds, the mayor of Launceston, on Saturday 11 March 1922. The opening coincided with a fair and sports day. The following report was published in Daily Telegraph:

“A successful fair and sports was held in the recently erected Methodist Hall on Saturday last, which was opened by the Mayor or Launceston at 3 p.m., who congratulated the people of Whitemore on the very fine building (the dimensions of which are 80ft long by 25ft wide) which they have erected and paid for by voluntary subscriptions, and which will fill a long felt want. After a short and happy speech by the Mayor, Mrs. Monds was presented with a box of chocolates by little Miss Ruby Heazlewood and Mr. Monds with a buttonhole posy by Miss Joyce French. Business was then commenced in real earnest, and the sum of £150 raised. Great credit is due to the secretary (Miss Annie Heazlewood) and treasurer (Miss K. Heazlewood) and the strong working committee for the way the fair was carried out….A good programme of sports, of which Messrs Roy Heazlewood was secretary and H. Pearn treasurer, was carried out in the afternoon. The proceeds of the fair, viz., £150, are to go towards seating the hall and purchasing a piano”.

The Whitemore Methodist Church Hall which opened in 1922. The original Wesleyan Chapel can be seen at the rear of the hall.

The Whitemoor Uniting (Methodist) Church alongside the Church Hall



The former Whitemore State School which opened in 1929. Prior to this the original Wesleyan Chapel was used as the local school.


Sources:

Examiner, Thursday 9 March 1922, page 7
Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 21 March 1922, page 9

Heazelwood, Ivan; Sesquicentenary of the Wesley Chapel - Whitemoor (2007)

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