February 26 - March 4, 2023: Issue 573


A community memorial Hall for Mona Vale - a 22 year odyssey that culminated in victory: november 1944 to november 1966

In September 1902 James Booth opened a hall for dancing parties at Mona Vale on the corner of Darley street and Pittwater road (then Bay View road) - thus the sometimes 'Bay View' sometimes 'Mona Vale' address given. The opening night was a gay affair, people coming from miles away and all directions in coaches and by foot. 

This hall was used as a meeting place but there was no dedicated community hall for residents. He put this hall up for sale in 1917:

That Well-known Building,
fronting Pittwater-street Village of Turimetta between NARRABEEN and NEWPORT. It is substantially built of brick on concrete foundation, iron roof, and contains LARGE HALL, with TWO SHOPS (used as office and retiring room) in the front.
The land part of lot 11 of sec. 2 of the village of Turimetta has 50ft frontage to Pittwater street, with a depth of over 150ft At the rear is a store of Iron, also room with LIGHTING PLANT therein.
This useful building is in good order, and all fittings will go with the Freehold.
RICHARDSON and WRENCH LTD, In conjunction with CLARKE and SOLOMONS will sill by auction at the Rooms, on FRIDAY, October 20, at 11 30 a.m.
The Pittwater Hall, with lighting plant, etc.
Messrs. SHIPWAY and BERNE, Pitt-street, are Solicitors of the Mortgagee. Advertising (1917, October 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15751728

This space and others near it were still used for community events like the showing of films, for instance.

The community also often made use of the building erected by George Brock, once known as 'The Oaks' and then 'La Corniche'. However, it became apparent during World War II when that structure was used by defence forces, that something closer to the village 'heart' of Mona Vale as a dedicated community hall was needed.

Just as all our local community World War I Memorials and cenotaphs were made possible through local effort and funding, such as the water fountain and stone Memorial in Mona Vale's Village Park, consecrated in 1926, there were also movements to establish much needed bricks and mortar 'meeting places' of value for the local community, especially when that was infrastructure such as a kindergarten - the Palm Beach War Memorial Kindergarten is an example - or a community hall - such as the shed that originally served as the original Avalon Beach RSL and the Scout Hall, that was needed and was clearly NOT going to come quick enough from federal, state or local government. 

Alike the WWI markers in every town and village, placed in the core of communities as a permanent reminder of all those who did not come home, literally; as only one person's body, Major-General Sir William Throsby Bridges, was brought home, these solid investments back into these 'home places' were also viewed not just as a tribute to those who had served and would willingly gather with the community in these places if still alive, still here, or the reasons those little children played in that school yard, or all that community could gather in that hall and debate something that mattered to them or lift their joined voices in song, they were also, for those who would always miss these killed in battle loved ones or died as a result of physical or psychological wounds afterwards, a place to 'bring them back in' and keep them here with us - We Will Remember Them.

Locally a lot of these 'Memorial' buildings also sprang from returned veterans and their loved ones.

The Warringah Shire Council Meeting Meeting held May 24th, 1938 records: 

Pittwater Sub-Branch R.S. & S.I.L.'s suggestion for the erection of a public hall and Club room on Mona Vale Park: Resolved, _That the Sub-Branch be informed the Council cannot see its way to entertain the proposal. (Crs. Campbell, Butcher)

To this end the reserve area in Mona Vale, set aside as The Black Swamp 'for camping' on February 8th 1870, and later named Beeby and Kitchener parks, was also the first site identified as the place to build a community Memorial Hall for Mona Vale. 

During World War Two, Warringah Shire Council Minutes of Meetings record at that meeting held on 27/11/1944:  

Mrs. M. Metcalf, as Hon. Secretary of a Public Meeting held at Mona Vale, requesting Council to approach the Minister for Lands to allocate 8 acres of Beeby Park for a War Memorial Hall and Community CentreCouncil Resolved: That representatives of the meeting be invited to discuss the matter with the Parks & Reserves Committee. (Crs. Walsham, Batho)

The Council had become Trustee of this area in 1924, entrusted by the State to look after this place and adapt its use as 'for recreation' for the community and visitors. However, to use this place for something other than 'for recreation' required permission and official gazetting of the 'change of use'.

Mrs Matilda (May) Metcalf was an Avalon Beach resident during Summer holidays and would later move there permanently. A sample from Council's minutes from before and during WWII shows hers was a block of land that was alongside the creek that wended from the far end of the flat at Avalon Beach (Dunbar Park) to Careel Creek. Although she was clearly a community focused person there were ongoing problems her correspondence indicates she attributed to the installation of pipes by the Council:

Mrs. M. Metcalf. 3/1/25 requesting approval to the alteration of the site of the 20-ft. lane on the n. side of her property, Lot 21, to the s. side of lot 20, Clareville Ocean Beach Estate, Avalon : Referred to the Engineer. 

Avalon Flat Drainage: Mrs. M. Metcalf, 11/9/36, further re drainage at Avalon Beach, requesting a copy of an alleged agreement between the Council and herself in 1931, whereby she accepted the sum of £25 as compensation on the condition that the Council abate the nuisance. Resolved, - That information regarding the alleged agreement be supplied at the next meeting of the Council. 

Water Conservation & Irrigation Commission, 21/8/39, further in regard to the Council's action in constructing a diversion channel offtaking from an unnamed watercourse in Avalon Park, Avalon and replying that the name of the complainant in the matter is Drainage Mrs. M. Metcalf. Resolved, - That the Commission be informed the Council does not desire to proceed with its application for a license under the Water Act, and that the mouth of the diversion channel be closed for about 5 yards, as recommended by the Engineer.

Mrs, I.M.Watermen, 24/10/40, inquiring whether Mrs. Metcalf has the Council's permission to close the lane adjacent to her place and convert it to her own use pointing out that this lane provides a short cut to Avalon beach for a number of the residents. Resolved, - That the Works Committee make an inspection and report to next meeting. (Crs.Campbell, Bathe) 18. Mrs. M. Metcalf, inquiring whether council proposes to proceed with repairs to the bridge across the water channel on  her land, the bridge being in a dangerous condition. Resolved, That Mrs. Metcalf be asked on what grounds she makes her request. 

 Mrs. I.E..Waterman, 7/3/41, again complaining of obstruction of lane at Avalon, and stating that from what she can gather, the person responsible for the obstructions is determined to give the  Council as much trouble as possible. Resolved - That Mrs. Metcalf be requested to expedite the removal of the obstructions in accordance with a promise which she made to the Works Committee.

S. C. Taperell, Solicitor, 15/4/42, an behalf of Mrs. K. Metcalf, of Avalon, advising that censiderable damage was done to his client's land at Avalon by the negligence of the Council in connection-with certain channels and drains on and about the land of his client and adjoining land, and requesting that the Council make an adequate offer of compensation in respect of such damage. Resolved, - That the matter be referred to the Insurance Company. 

S. C. Taperell. Solicitor, 13/5/42, giving notice of intended District Court action against the Council for compensation for alleged damage to property at Barrenjoey Road, Avalon owned by Mrs. M. Metcalf, by Council's drainage system: The Shire Clerk reported that a copy had been sent to the Insurance Company for attention under the Public Risk policy, and the letter was 'received'.

Mrs.M. Metcalf, 28/5/43, reporting that the bridges on her property at Avalon Beach are dangerous, and enquiring if Council can help her in the matter, Resolved, -That a letter be sent to Mrs. Metcalf stating Council would like to help her but as the bridges are on private property it is unable to comply with her request. 

Mrs. M. Metcalf, 6/6/46, drawing attention to the failure of the constructed drain on Council's property at Avalon to carry away flood waters, and that six pipes are concentrating the water into the creek through her property. Resolved, She be informed of the Engineer's report that this land is very low-lying and would fill with ordinary rain without any overflow from Council's drain. 

Marshall, Marks & Jones 9/12/47 saying that as no reply. as been received to their letter Re; Mrs. Metcalf, she has been instructed to call for tenders and have the necessary work done, and that the Council will be looked to for payment for such work. Resolved: That the blackberries be removed from the footpath and the Solicitors informed that the Works Committee could find no trace of damage to the fence when an inspection was made.

A few other insights in Mrs M. Metcalf provide that she was appointed an Honorary Ranger in 1944 under the Birds and Animals Protection Act, and:

(Before Judge While.)

The hearing was continued of the action In which May Metcalf of Oxford-street, Woollahara, sued the Warringah Shire Council for £.160 damages for alleged faulty construction of roads and drains, which resulted in the flooding of her garden at 'St Jerome' Barrenjoey-road Avalon. The defendant council denied negligence, and pleaded contributory negligence and waiver by plaintiff. Judgment was reserved. Mr Howard Beale (instructed by Mr David Campbell) appeared for plaintiff, and Mr Bryan Cruller (Instructed by Messrs Dawson, Waldron, Edwards, and Nicholas) for defendant council. DISTRICT COURT. (1934, June 1). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17067952


Avalon—Fibro Dwelling, Barrenjoey Road.—M. Metcalf, Barren joey Road, Avalon Buildings and Works Approved (1937, July 28). Construction and Real Estate Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1930 - 1938), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222922902


Handwriting expert William Frederick Ward, 81, of Hazel-brook, claimed damages for slander in the District Court today alleging that a woman had accused him of forgery. The woman, Matilda Jane Metcalf, of Pittwater Rd., Manly, denied publication of the words alleged. Mr. J. Lee (for Ward) said his client for many years had been giving evidence in the courts as a handwriting expert. His son, Norman Frederick Ward, had purchased from Mrs. Metcalf a property at Avalon, known as St. Jerome. Mr. Lee said Mrs. Metcalf, whilst staying at the home of Ward, sen., at Hazelbrook, in May, 1950, had written and signed a document acknowledging receipt of £500 deposit, agreeing to sell her property for £5750 and also agreeing to give a second mortgage for £2000. At that time she and the Wards were on good terms. In July. 1950, she told Norman Ward's wife that Ward, sen., had forged the agreement. Later she made a similar remark to Norman Ward. Proceeding. SLANDER SUIT BY WRITING EXPERT (1951, September 11). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 5 (LATE FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article229724953

A District Court jury yesterday awarded £1 damages to an 81-year-old handwriting expert, William Frederick Ward, of Bonnie View Avenue, Hazelbrook, for an alleged slander by an elderly widow.
Ward had claimed £1,000, saying that the woman had called him, among other things, a "forgery expert."
He said that the woman, Mrs. Matilda Jane Metcalf, care Gresham Hotel, Manly, had slandered him in connection with the sale of a property at Avalon.
Mr. J. Lee (for Ward) said that in May, 1950, Mrs. Metcalf, wrote a document agreeing to sell her property at Barrenjoey Road, Avalon, to Ward's son, Ward witnessed the document.
Judge McKtllop adjourned argument on the costs. Mr. J. Lee (by W. Patterson and Co.) for Ward; Mr. McGregor (by G. R. W. McDonald and Co.) for Mrs. Metcalf. GIVEN £1 DAMAGES (1951, September 13). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18230357

Jury awards £1 damages

SYDNEY, Wed.— William Frederick Ward, 81, of Hazelbrook, handwriting expert, who claimed £1000 damages from an elderly woman for alleged slander, was awarded £1 damages by a District Court jury today. Ward alleged that Matilda Jane Metcalf, of Manly, widow, suggested that he forged a document purporting to be an agreement for the sale of Mrs Metcalf's property at Avalon Beach, to Ward's son, Norman Frederick Ward. Jury awards £1 damages (1951, September 12). The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article244243462

May, or Matilda Metcalf passed away December 12th 1951, then living at Manly. In NSW Births, Deaths, Marriages records her parents are recorded as 'Samuel' and 'Eliza' and her name as 'May'. Her will, written 2 days prior to this, was not advertised for creditors claims until 1953:

ESTATE of MATILDA JANE METCALF. formerly of Avalon Beach, but late of Manly, in the State of New South Wales, widow, deceased.—Letters of administration, with the will dated 10th December, 1951, annexed, granted by the Supreme Court of New South Wales on the 14th day of January, 1953.—Pursuant to the Wills, Probate and Administration Act, 1898-1947, Testator's Family Maintenance and Guardianship of Infants Act, 1916-1938, and Trustee Act, 1925-1942, the Public Trustee, the administrator with the will annexed of the estate of the said Matilda Jane Metcalf, who died on the 12th day of December, 1951, hereby gives notice that creditors and others having any claim against or to the estate of the said deceased are required to sent particulars of their claims to the said Public Trustee, at i9 O'Connell-street, Sydney, on or before the 23rd day of April, 1953, at the expiration of which time the said Public Trustee will distribute the assets of the said deceased to the persons entitled, having regard only to the claims of which he then has notice. P, J. P. PULLEN, Public Trustee. 446—£1 5s. ESTATE of MATILDA JANE METCALF, formerly of (1953, February 6). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 424. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article220006076

Norman Frederick Ward, married in 1926 to Enid Mavis Baxter, and later living at Mona Vale, passed away in the mid 1980's, his occupation listed as 'investor'. The site of Matilda's home, which turns up in photographs for a 'compensation claim' in NSW Records and Archives photographs, later became the Squash courts at Avalon Beach until these were closed in 1991, after Mr. Ward passed away, and became flats alike those alongside them and beside Dunbar Park.

The Council Meeting 26.4.66 records:

N.F. Ward, 4 Rednall Street, Mona Vale, stating Council has refused a hotel/motel, service station, block of flats for development on the above land i,e. Lot 21, DP 9151, 687 Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach asking what building or development on the subject land council will agree to, or advise. Adding as the land is situated between a squash court and a block of flats, a private house is out of the question. Moved by Cr. Knight seconded Cr. Watts that council notify Mr. Ward that it will be holding a Varying Scheme mooting on next Monday night and his letter will be taken into consideration and he will be further advised, An Amendment was moved by Cr. Thomas seconded Cr. Mill that council approve of what was temporarily approved previously. DEFEATED, The MOTION was thereupon CARRIED

Government Printing Office 1 - 45756 - Avalon [From NSW Government Printer series: Government. Insurance.] Contents Date Range: 01-01-1948 to 31-12-1948 Items: FL3814346 and FL3814324, FL3814508, FL3814496, FL3814398, FL3814478, FL3814406 - photos courtesy NSW State Records and Archives:

The Squash Courts photo was taken by John Stone just before they closed in November 1991 – note the fire station next door and to the right. Photo: Avalon Beach Historical Society and John Stone.

The years of World War Two saw changes in Mona Vale. Apart from the obvious presence in the area of defence forces, and even the installation of tank traps along the ocean front and men and women training on the Mona Vale Golf course site or using the La Corniche building for the same, a new Catholic church was built at the corner of Golf Avenue and Barrenjoey road after that which had originally been built by and on land bequeathed by Leon Houreaux, the originator of the Rock Lily:

Mona Vale.

The foundation-stone of a new church at Mona Vale is to be solemnly blessed and laid by Very Rev. Father P. Doherty, P.P. (representing his Grace the Archbishop). on Sunday, 21st inst., after the 10 o'clock Mass. A special appeal will be made by Very Rev. Father P. J. Murphy, P.P. This church has been an urgent need for some time, but its commencement has presented many difficulties. It is almost entirely for the convenience of visitors to the popular seaside resorts nearby, and the biggest difficulty has been that it was found almost impossible to convince visitors of their financial responsibility. Consequently, a very pressing appeal is made to those who sometimes visit 'the district to help in lessening the heavy burden of debt which is being undertaken. Donations may be sent to Rev. Father M. Farrell, P.P., Dee Why. All interested will be very welcome to the ceremony. The Palm Beach bus passes the church, which is at the comer of the main road (Barrenjoey-road) and Golf avenue. Mona Vale. (1940, July 18). The Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1942), p. 15. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article106420382

NEW CHURCH AT PITTWATER. A new brick church just completed at Pitt water will be a great advantage to the district, which promises to extend very rapidly, as the land is being taken up and new buildings are in course of erection. The church will be formally opened in the course of next month and dedicated to the Sacred Heart by the Very Rev. Monsignor Verdon, of St. Patrick's Seminary, Manly. It is chiefly to exertions of Monsieur Leon Houreux, of the Rock Lily Hotel, that the Catholics of the district are indebted for the privilege of having a church where they can assist at Mass and fulfil their religious duties. As there is still a heavy debt on the building it is hoped that further contributions will be forthcoming to help the promoters of this good work. The day fixed for the opening will be duly announced. NEW CHURCH AT PITTWATER. (1889, May 4). Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), p. 16. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115378440 

In the eighties, Pittwater was a place viewed at by the city folks at a long way past Manly somewhere in the bush. It is refreshing therefore to know that a new church was opened there in May by Monsignor Verdon, the first President of St. Patrick's College, Manly. The church was dedicated to the Sacred Heart. This was the twelfth church which was opened In the Archdiocese of Sydney during the twelve months. Previously Mass had been celebrated in Mrs. Collins' house at BayviewThe older generation will remember the name of Mr. Houroux, who was in charge of the Rock Lily Hotel at Bayview. The Journal mentions: 'To Mr. Horoux, of the Rock Lily Hotel, is due praise for his great energy in promoting the undertaking under many difficulties.' LOOKING BACKWARDS. (1933, September 14). Catholic Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1932 - 1942), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146109579 


The new Church at Mona Vale will be solemnly blessed and opened by his Grace Archbishop Gilroy on Sunday next, 12th inst., at 3 p.m. The new building has been a necessity for some time to provide adequate accommodation for the great number of visitors to the district in the Summer months. For this reason a speoial request is made to those who sometimes visit the surrounding seaside resorts to attend the important ceremony next Sunday. A most cordial invitation is extended to all. THE NEW SACRED-HEART CHURCH, MONA VALE. (1941, January 9). Catholic Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1932 - 1942), p. 18. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146368495

The new church at Mona Vale (on left of picture), with the old church beside itA New Church for Mona Vale. (1941, January 16). Catholic Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1932 - 1942), p. 20. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146374878 

Section from Rex Hotel Mona Vale Opening - Item SLNSW_FL19380857, courtesy of the State Library of NSW from album 'New Rex Hotel opens at Mona Vale, 2 December 1966 / photographs by David Cumming'. Showing Sacred Heart church corner of Golf Avenue and Barrenjoey road as it was then.

People were getting married, getting born and passing away:

Married At Mona Vale

A turquoise and gold brooch, which had belonged to her great-great-grandmother, was pinned in the delphinium blue crepe frock worn by Miss Eileen (Sue) Cronin at her wedding yesterday afternoon with Mr. G. H. Craven, of Grogan, N.S.W. The bride wore a wide-brimmed straw hat to match her frock, and a corsage spray of orchids. Her accessories were navy blue. She is the younger daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Cronin, of Mona Vale, and the bridegroom is the fifth son of the late Mr. Richard Craven and of Mrs. Craven, of Waverley. Mrs. Kevin Meagher was matron of honor, wearing a navy blue ensemble and a white straw toque and white accessories. Mr. Kevin Meagher was best man. The ceremony was performed at the Sacred Heart Church, Mona Vale, by Father Farrell, and was followed by a reception at St. Michael's, Mona Vale, the home of the bride's parents. Later, the bride and bridegroom left by plane for Brisbane, where they will spend their honeymoon. They will make their home at Grogan. Married At Mona Vale (1941, January 16). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247509517

BATEMAN.— John. 21st February, 1940, at his residence, "Cooinoo," Mona Vale, and late of Bateman's Hotel, loving husband of Sarah and father of Ivy, Vivien and Gordon, ayed 71 years, funeral, see morning papers. Family Notices (1940, February 21). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 9 (LAST RACE ALL DETAILS). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article231228738

JOASS.—The Relatives and Friends of Mrs. DORIS E. JOASS and FAMILY are kindly invited to attend the Funeral of her dearly beloved HUSBAND and their loving FATHER, Henry Hilton Joass, to leave St. John's Church of England, Mona Vale, THIS (Tuesday) AFTERNOON after a short service commencing at 3 p.m., for Mona Vale Cemetery. F. TIGHE and CO., 32 Sydney Road, XU4529, Manly. Family Notices (1940, March 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17663951

DURUZ.-March 4, 1943, at his residence, Gordon Road, Mona Vale, Edward Abraham Duruz, late of Yanco, and father of Edward, Molly, Jessie, and Frank.

DURUZ -The Funeral of the late Edward Abraham Duruz will leave his residence Gorden Road Mona Vale This Friday at 2.30 p.m., for Church of England Cemetery, Mona Vale. Wood Coffill Limited. Family Notices (1943, March 5). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17839362

MUDIE.—The Funeral of the late Robert Mudie, of McCarr's Creek, Church Point, will take place in the Methodist portion of the Gordon Road Cemetery, Mona Vale, This (Friday) Afternoon, at 3.30 o'clock. Friends kindly meet at Cemetery Gates. T. Waugh and Co., Funeral Directors, Mona Vale. Tele. XU111S. Family Notices (1943, July 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17855982

WILSON.—November 13, 1943, at Manly, Florence Wilson, dearly beloved wife of Ernest Edgar Wilson, of Bungan Street, Mona Vale, aged 56 years. At rest. Family Notices (1943, November 15). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17882372


HOMER.—The Funeral of the late Mrs. Gladys Homer, of Bassett-street. Mona Vale, will leave our Chapel. Chatswood. at 3.45 this (Saturday) Afternoon, for the Crematorium Northern Suburbs. Wood Coffill Ltd., Manly. Family Notices (1944, December 30). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 2 (LAST RACE). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article229267019

And people were enlisting to serve in the defence of Australia:


Mona Vale officials yesterday denied a report that the club would be without a surfboat crew this season. A full crew and an emergency was available, they said. The crew is R. Dickson, J. Harkness, W. Mackney, D. Lloyd, G. Kennedy, G. Wray (emergency). Dickson, Harkness, and Mackney were members of the Hawaiian surf team. Harkness and Lloyd are in the militia, but both are confident of getting leave if necessary. The crew which holds the Australian surfboat title, will have Its first race in February. Members will begin training next week. MONA VALE'S SURF CREW (1940, January 1). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article248231126


The marriage was celebrated at Gosford on November 6 of Olive Amber, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. Schaefer, of Jeffrey street, Armidale, to John Robert Botham (A.I.F.), eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. L. J. Botham, of Mona Vale. Family Notices (1942, November 13). The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser (NSW : 1856 - 1861; 1863 - 1889; 1891 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article193189420

The 1920's to 1940's era of Mona Vale was marked, also, by an influx of successful rural people who would retire to the area or had a holiday home here already they later retired to. The appeal of Mona Vale during these decades was that it was still 'countrified' in being a food bowl for Sydney still with access to beautiful bush and bay views with land that was still relatively affordable and could be bought in large lots, as well as being close enough to town for residents to enjoy what a city offered. This influx was particularly marked among those who had children seeking access to higher education facilities or who were at a marriageable age. One example among the many:


MISS NANCIE ELIZABETH BRUDENELL-WOODS, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harris Brudenell-Woods, of Mona Vale, formerly of Inverell, whose engagement to Dr. John Henry Priestley, elder son of Professor and Mrs. Henry Priestley, of Chatswood, is announced. Family Notices (1940, January 4). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17650951

After WWII there were other problems to deal with:

Bush Fire Threatens Farms Near Mona Vale

Thirty firemen, police, and civilians fought throughout last night and early this morning to prevent bushfires engulfing two Mona Vale farm properties.  The fires twice came to within 20 yards of the properties, but firemen with port-able sprays and men with beaters drove them back. The properties are in heavily wooded country at the top of Cabbage Tree Road. Water to fight them had to be carted from Mona Vale, four miles away.

The fire started early yesterday morning in the Kuring-gai Chase area and swept to-wards Mona Vale, leaving 15 square miles of devastated country in its wake.

A westerly breeze carried the flames towards the farm properties of Mr. and Mrs. E. I. Walker, and Mrs. A. Walker, who owns the property adjoining that of her son. By 2 p.m. the fire had come within 200 yards of the pro-perties and breaks were burnt around each house. By 4 p.m. it had reached to within 20 yards of the houses. The wind then dropped and the fire was beaten back.

A southerly wind sprang up about 5.30 p.m. and the fires were diverted, but after tea the wind again changed and the houses were threatened once more.

The glow of the fire could be seen from Sydney, 14 miles away.

Fire Brigades went to 39 bush fires in the Sydney area yesterday. The biggest was at Loftus, near Sutherland. Volunteers from fire brigades near Sutherland fought the fire all day. A wide area of bush was burning last night. Sydney Weather Bureau last night warned coastal shipping of gales, and north-east and central areas, including Sydney, of bushfires. The strong westerly winds which bring the gales should carry cooler air to lessen the bushfire danger. Bush Fire Threatens Farms Near Mona Vale (1948, October 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18092378


Volunteer fire-fighters, using pack sprayers, fighting the blaze which swept through high, timbered areas near Mona Vale last night. Fifteen homes were threatened. VOLUNTEERS FIGHT BUSHFIRE (1948, October 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18092465

Willy Willy Strikes Mona Vale 

SYDNEY, Thursday. - Several buildings were badly damaged when a willy-willy struck Mona Vale to-day. One resident said: "A strong breeze sprang up shortly after noon. Suddenly we heard a whishing noise and saw a cloud of dust sweeping across the paddocks." A dairy owned by Mr. J. Homer, of Bassett-street. Mona Vale, received the full force of the wind. Eight other buildings were damaged. Willy-Willy Strikes Mona Vale (1949, October 14)Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134172237

Mona Vale Estate For Koala Bears 

SYDNEY, Monday. - Mr. E. J. Hallstrom has made available his property at Mona Vale for the conservation of koala bears. The Chief Secretary (Mr. Matthews) said to-day that the estate would be handed over to the fauna protection panel. It would be used as the centre for scientific investigation into breeding, feeding and diseases of koalas. As part of the plan for saving the koala from extinction, the panel was conducting a Statewide survey to find. out the approximate koala population. Mona Vale Estate For Koala Bears (1949, October 18). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134164143

Mr. Hallstrom owned acreage in Bassett street Mona Vale as well as the acres on which the current retirement village in Bayview sits - this was the original site for the Koala Park and refuge, possibly chosen as then it was thick with the variety of trees the local koalas would feats on. Mr. Hallstrom was, at this time, connected with Taronga Zoo, the acres in Bassett street being used as a 'zoo farm' to grow what the animals would need to eat. More in: Bayview Koala Sanctuary  and  Sir Edward John Lees Hallstrom 

Meanwhile, in Mona Vale Council records show at the Meeting held on 14/8/1945: Reporting that two Memorial water troughs will soon be available for installation at the District Park and Mona Vale: Resolved, That application be made for a trough to replace the existing trough adjacent to the Brookvale Public School. (Crs. Batho Raffo) 

A little over a year later, and after peace has been restored, the Memorial Hall project rises again and a site has been selected:

19/2/1946: (49) Mrs. Metcalf, for Mona Vale Community League, stating that the site selected for a War Memorial Hall and Community Centre Community for A. Riding is an area of 3301 x 264' on the reserve-at the corner of Newport Road and Golf Avenue, requesting Council for approval, and that it apply for Ministerial [approval] to its plan, stating the League proposes to prepare plans for a building to be erected 

The Parks & Playgrounds Movement, an organisation to which Avalon Beach owes so much of its green thoroughfares and set aside reserves for residents through the work of A J Small, also wrote to the Council in a letter dated 16/3/46, ''opposing the Community proposal to build a Soldiers' Memorial Hall and Community Centres Centre on the public recreation reserve at Mona Vale''. Council records note the letter was simply "Received". 

The community went on with its fundraising and trying to secure other much needed local services:

Community art and craft show

MUCH travelled Londoners, Mr. and Mrs. H. Weaver Hawkins, who have made their home in the bushland at Mona Vale, between Pittwater and the sea, are on the executive committee of the Mona Vale Community League, which will hold its second annual arts and crafts exhibition at "La Corniche" from March 16.

Well-known professional artists living in the district, as well as amateurs, will exhibit. Mr. Hawkins, who paints under the name of "Raokin," the Italian interpretation of his surname, given him when living there, is planning an exhibition of his own water colors, drawings and oils at the Macquarie Galleries on February 27. His canvases bear the imprint of his sojourn in many lands. He has painted in southern France, Italy, Spain, Malta, Tahiti, Wellington, NZ, and, lastly, in Australia, where the Hawkins' have made their longest stay— 11 years. Mrs. Hawkins, who says she paints only for her own amusement, has decorated the inside doors of her home, the beams, and the kitchen furniture with peasant designs. The eldest of Mr. and Mrs Hawkins' three children, Roleena, is in her fourth year of medicine at the Sydney University, Nigel sat for the recent Leaving exam., and hopes to do Medicine, and the younger boy Laric is still at high school. Community art and craft show (1946, February 3). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228799054 

What People Are Doing

No entrance fees are charged and no prize money will be awarded at the second annual, Arts and Crafts exhibition, to be held by the Mona Vale Community League on Saturday at La Corniche, Mona Vale. -Object is to encourage community interest and pride in achievement. ' Mrs. H. V. Evatt will open the exhibition at 3 pm.  What People Are Doing (1946, March 11). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 8 (LATE FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228797249 

Mrs. H. V. Evatt, Art Gallery Trustee, artist and wife of Australia's Minister for External Affairs, Dr. Evatt. complimented residents of Mona Vale yesterday on their artistic enterprise, and said she was glad to see the competitive spirit among members of the Mona Vale Community League. She was speaking at the opening of the league's second annual exhibition of arts and crafts, held at La Corniche. Who goes where... (1946, March 17). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228797939 

Weaver Hawkins was one of the artists who lived around the back of Mona Vale, in Waterview Street, towards Bayview and near the Baird family

This much needed facility was required after the old ambulance waggon shed (and waggon), first arranged and achieved in 1910 by the Mona Vale community and then district constable John Thomas Hewitt, who would serve as a Warringah Councillor, was removed to Mona Vale golf course for use as its first clubhouse:

Ambulance Cannot Get Permit To Build Station

Delay in issuing a permit for construction of a sub-branch of the Manly and Warringah District Ambulance at Mona Vale is daily endangering the lives of many people.

Sounding this warning today, the superintendent of the station (Mr. H. H. Cox) said that the building materials were ready, but the signal to proceed had not been- given by the Department of Labor and Industry, which controls the permits. Mr. Cox added: "The land has been bought and the builder has agreed to the contract, but we still have no permit. It has been held up for months. 

"We have had 10 babies born in our ambulances in the last month, due to the extra travelling. Three ambulance cars which were being built for the service have been delayed purposely, because there is nowhere they can be housed. The three cars are to be included in the new station. There will also be a launch for transporting cases across Pitt-water, and special sterilising apparatus. The Warringah Shire Council is backing the ambulance in its fight to obtain a permit. The Minister for Labor and Industry (Mr. Hamilton Knight) said today that he was looking into the matter. Ambulance Cannot Get Permit To Build Station (1946, March 2). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 2 (LAST RACE ALL DETAILS). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228785874 

The Council came to the rescue, the Meeting Held 20/8/1946 recording:  

Manly & Warringah District Ambulance, 13/8/46, referring to delay in establishment of an Ambulance Station at  Mona Vale, and requesting as a temporary measure, to be given the use of the Aquatic Club building at Bayview, which will enable them to give a 24-hour service, stating that the Club has agreed, and if Council agrees, they propose to carry out internal alterations and erect a fence around the area. Pittwater Aquatic Club, 10/8/46, advising that the Club is unable to function at the present time, and desires to transfer the tenure of the Clubhouse back to the Council, and recommending that the Council give favourable consideration to the suggestion that the Manly Ambulance be given temporary occupation of the building. Resolved, - That the Council grant permission for a term of two years. 

The club was unable to function at the present time as it took years to remove all the tank traps and trenches that had been dug in that vicinity as well. Just as at Mona Vale Golf Course it took years for remediation works to be accomplished. Part of the reason for this was those engaged in the defence forces were demobilised soon afterwards after years of serving and no longer present on these places they had been encamped. It also took years for the money that would be needed to fund such works to become available. For example, MVGC commenced seeking compensation for damage to its course soon after that area was no longer needed. However, it wasn't until 1948 that the course could be used again for play:

Minnie Golf At Mona Vale

Mona Vale Golf Club course has been reduced from nine to six holes, because portion of the course has been resumedAt a committee meeting last, night It was decided to carry on to keep members together. Mr. H. C. Walker, acting secretary, said that unofficial competitions would be played regularly, so as to keep Interest alive. The club secretary (Mr. R. M. Pegler) has joined the permanent military forces. Minnie Golf At Mona Vale (1942, January 14). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247913522

Mona Vale Will Reopen Course

Mona Vale golf course, which was occupied by the Army during the war, will be reopened for play on January 3. Reconstruction of the course has cost more than £7000. It involved the removal of many tank traps and other military works. A nine-holes layout, 3109 yards in length, skirting the beach, has been constructed. Mona Vale Will Reopen Course (1948, December 17). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 17. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article248356734

MVGC Rehabilitation by Army map dated 28th of August 1944, courtesy National Archives of Australia - this shows the areas that were then underwater or swampy and the areas that were scrub, along with where the tank trap had been built alongside the beach

By mid-year and the Council Meeting held on 6/8/1946:  Lands Department, 22/7/46asking whether there is any objection to the closing of the road through the area set aside as a Community Centre at Mona Vale. Resolved; That no objection be raised. (Crs. Dunbar, Morr)

By 4/3/1947: A Riding War Memorial Hall and Community Centre Committee – inquiring whether Council will pay from the Community Centre Rate the instalments on a loan of £10,000 for the erection of a Memorial Community Hall on the land set aside for Community the purpose at Mona Vale. Referred to "A" Riding Councillors Centre for report, but it to be pointed out that the land is set aside at the request of the Council. 

"A" Riding War Memorial & Community Centre Committee, 9/5/1947: (a) requesting that the site allocated for the Community Centre be surveyed for the information of the Committee and the Golf Club, and (b) requesting permission to erect an information board on the site. Resolved, - That (a) the survey be made, and (b) permission be given.

10/6/1947 Ordinary Meeting The SHIRE CLERK'S REPORT was dealt with as follows:-  (1) A Riding Memorial Hall, Baby Clinic &c - Reporting on the Community request regarding the erection of such a building at Mona Vale Centres Resolved - That consideration be deferred until the "A" Riding Councillors are present. Avalon (2) Avalon Sailing Club - Reporting that the application for a Sailing Permissive Occupancy had been forwarded to the Land Board Club Office: "Received"

War Memorial Hall & Community Centre "A" Riding, 28/7/1947: stating that the Committee is gratified at the Council's decision to allocate a sum of £1,000 towards the proposed establishment of the Centre. 

In 1948 this letter, still opposing the use of the grounds for this, was published:

Preserve Parks
To the Editor of the "Herald."

Sir,-Though eagerly anxious for the advent of the community centre in Sydney, the Parks and Playgrounds Movement has viewed with anxiety moves to erect buildings for these centres in parks at Parramatta and Mona Vale, its aim being to preserve intact our meagre park lands for outdoor recreation.

To all those people who await the chance to establish community centres. Dr. Bean's recent article in the "Herald" is as welcome as a cool "southerly" after a sweltering day in Sydney.

Established before the war, the community centre is fast developing into a leading cultural, recreational, and educational agency in English life, but up to the present building difficulties have presented an insuperable obstacle to those who set out at the war's end to help to provide this invaluable amenity in Australia.

A building like Paddington Town Hall, with its fine ballroom, supper room, kitchen, meeting rooms, offices, etc., and its central and convenient location, adjacent to the great parks and playing fields, has all the requisites for the indoor and outdoor activities of a com-munity centre.

Hon. Secretary,
The Parks and Playgrounds Movement of N.S.W. COMMUNITY CENTRES (1948, December 1). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18094038 

And then nothing, for years, in part due to the shortage of materials after World War II and priority given to those trying to build homes, until the Meeting of 27/6/1950: 

War Memorial Hall & Community Centre, A. Riding, 10/6/50, Community advising that the following members have been appointed as the Centres Management Committee for the proposed Hall, and requesting that they be recognised by the Council. Resolved, - That the Council recognise the members appointed to the Committee. (Cr. McKay)

The Meeting held on 29/10/1951 records a big step forward:  

"A" Riding Community Centre - Stating that the "A" Riding Memorial Hall and Community Centre Committee has now obtained a permit from the Department of Building Materials to erect a Community Public Hall and Red Cross Room on the area granted to it at Mona Vale under certain conditions in regard to the materials to be used: Resolved, - That the Council now give its formal approval to the proposal. (Crs. McKay, Hewitt)

Riding War Memorial Hall & Community Centre Committee, 21/10/53: stating that on final approval of plans by the Council, it is intended to make an immediate start with the Community Memorial Hall and requesting Council's assistance, Centres particularly in connection with preparation of the site and laying of foundations; inquiring whether the Council would be prepared to pay approved sub-contractors from funds held by the Council as building progresses. Resolved, - That the Committee be asked to send its President and Secretary to discuss this matter with the Shire President, Shire Clerk, Shire Engineer and the Legal Officer, and a report be then submitted, with recommendation as to the means by which the money is to be made available. (Crs. McKay, Hewitt) 

The Council Meeting held on 23/11/1953 records:  MONA VALE COMMUNITY CENTRE HALL. The President reported in regard to a conference which he and Cr. McKay had had with members of the Mona Vale Community Centre &  Memorial Hall Committee regarding proposals for erection of the hall section of their project. Resolved, - That subject to compliance with the Ordinances, and requirements by the Chief Health & Building Inspector, the Council pay accounts for work on the building, subject to certification by the Engineer, the total amount provided by the Council, £2484, not to be exceeded. 

Mona Vale War Memorial Hall & Community Centre, 8/2/54 (re-submitted), submitting two tenders for part construction of the Centre; and report thereon by Shire Engineer. Resolved, - That the lowest tender, that of A. J. Anderson Pty. Ltd. for £2,150, be accepted; the work to be supervised by the Shire Engineer. (Crs. Hewitt, Corkery)

[Aerial of] Mona Vale looking northeast, May 1954 / P. Payens – Item e53718_0065_c from the collections of the State Library of New South Wales - you can see site has been cleared

Finally, land was officially gazetted for a Baby Clinic and Community Hall on the site of the current carpark cleared of trees and tarred into a carpark for B-Line commuters, which had once been the site of a cemetery that was never actually used as such:


WHEREAS by notifications published in the New South Wales Governments Gazettes of 18th May, 1910 and 20th November, 1912, the lands described in the Schedule hereto were, in pursuance of the provisions of the 28th section of the Crown Lands Consolidation Act, 1913, notified for the -purpose of Public Recreation, and whereas the Warringah Shire Council is the present trustee of the said land, and whereas it is desired to vest the said land in the said trustee in accordance with the provisions of section 3 of the Public Trusts Act, 1897, as hereinafter mentioned: 

Now, therefore, I, Lieutenant-General Sir John Northcott, Governor of the State of New South Wales, with the advice of the Executive Council, do, by this notice vest the said lands described in the Schedule hereto in the Warringah Shire Council and its successor as trustee for an estate in fee simple to hold for the purpose of Public Recreation, subject to the conditions and provisos and with the powers following: Provided that the said estate shall immediately cease and determine upon the revocation of the whole or any parts of the said reservations so far as regards the lands comprised in such revocations. Provided also that the said trustee shall not be capable of alienating, charging or in any way disposing of the said lands or any parts thereof except in the manner following, that is to say. The said trustee shall have power, subject to the written consent of the Minister for Lands being first had and obtained, to lease the whole or any parts of the said lands at such rent for such purposes during such term and subject to such provisions and conditions as the said Minister in writing approves, and subject to any statutes, ordinances, rules and regulations now or hereafter made and relating to the management and control of the said lands: Provided, lastly, that every lease shall contain a proviso that it shall cease and determine immediately upon the revocation of the whole or any parts of the said reservations so far as regard the lands comprised in such revocations.


Land District—Metropolitan ; Shire—Warringah.

County Cumberland, parish Narrabeen, village of Turimetta, area about 11 acres 26 perches, Reserve 48,328 from sale for Public Recreation notified 20th November, 1912, being the land bounded by Golf-avenue, R. 72,164, for Baby Clinic and Public Hall, notified 31st January, 1947, Barrenjoey road, Kitchener Park and Beeby Park.

County Cumberland, parish Narrabeen, within suburban Lands of Turimetta, area 62 acres 2 roods 11 perches, Reserve 45,244 from sale for Public Recreation, notified 18th May, 1910, known as Beeby Park and being the land bounded by portion 17, section 11, end of road, section 12, road, Kitchener Park, end of road, portions 53, 10 and 13 and the high water mark of the South Pacific Ocean. P. 55-8,795.

Signed and sealed at Sydney, this 27th day of July, 1956. 

J. NORTHCOTT, Governor. 

By His Excellency's Command,

ROGER NOTT, Minister for Lands. 


NOTICE VESTING LANDS IN TRUSTEES UNDER THE PUBLIC TRUSTS ACT, 1897. (1956, September 7). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 2607. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article220390230

Mona Vale aerial circa 1956 - you can see the 'partially constructed' building installed on the corner of Golf avenue and Barrenjoey road in present day Beeby Park

However, at the same time, the whole plan began to fall apart. Anyone who has worked in construction knows you must complete a structure, not leave it half finished, as this leads to the deterioration of the same. Soon after the initial work, as contracted, was done on half-completed, problems begin to show up in Council's records, including the idea to move the structure, as is, elsewhere and put it to use there:

Meeting held 19/3/1956: A. Riding War Memorial Hall & Community Centre, 7/3/56 stating that the cost of enclosing the whole area and completing the floor to put the hall on a revenue-producing basis is estimated at £1000 and suggesting that the Council approve of a grant of £500 to expedite the work. 52.Cr. Simmonds moved, seconded by Cr. Jones pro forma, that materials to the value of £500 be supplied and charged to A. Riding Improvement Fund. An amendment was moved by Cr. Fisher, seconded by Cr. Corkery, that the matter be referred to the Shire Clerk for report to the next meeting as to the moneys expended, the money raised last year and the nature of its expenditure, and a check as to the amount required for the completion of the building to the point of occupation. The amendment was carried, and on becoming the motion, was again carried.

Bayview-Church Point Progress Association 14/6/56, making representations for the provision of a Public Library service in the district and suggesting that consideration be given to (a) the possibility of establishing a mobile library, and/or (b) the location of a library at a central point such as Mona Vale, Resolved, - That the Association be informed the Council, not having adopted the Libraries Act, is not able to give consideration to its request at this stage and inform It of what has been done by the Council in the matcer of assistance to existing Libraries. (Crs. McKay, Corkery) 

Meeting held 20/11/1957: Re Item 'Mona Vale Hall, Mona Vale Community Centre: a) New Building $7500, less £1356 in Health and Community Centres Bank Account, and less estimated contribution by local people, say £3000 b) Transfer partly completed hall to Dee Why West Depot, and conversion into workshop £4000. That financial provision be made for the undertaking of the work connected with the Hall "proper", estimated by Messrs. Mack & Leary, Architects, to cost £3,200, upon the following basis;- Already held in A. Riding Health & Community Centres Bank Account - £1356 12 7 Amount which A. Riding War Memorial Hall Committee advised the Council (Finance Committee 18/11/57) as having available towards the project - 86 9 0 Balance to be provided in 1958 Estimates - 1758 0

Meeting held 9/12/1957: A. Riding Progress & Allied Associations, 29/11/57, offering co-operation with the Mona Vale War Memorial Committee to assist in the completion of the Community Hall. Resolved, - That the War Memorial Committee be informed of this letter. (Crs. Cooper, Js)

Meeting held 18/8/1958: TENDERS:. , (a)  Mona Vale War Memorial Hall and Community Centre b) Rotary-Type Grass 'Cutters: A-. 69., " Resolved: - That the tenders be opened endorsed by  the President and referred to the appropriate Officers for reportThe following tenders-were received:- (a) – Mona Vale War Memorial Hall &-Community Centre;  A. B. Seymour, K. Wilkie, K.C. McGregor Constructions Pty. Ltd, C. F. Bennell & Son Pty Ltd., Wildman Constructions Pty. Ltd., Dobble & King, Murwell Constructions Pty. Ltd. , and F. N. Nemeth

The Meeting held 15/9/1958: Report by Shire Clerk on tenders in respect of completion of the community Hall at the A Riding Mona Vale.  Cr. Job resolved, seconded McClelland; that the third paragraph of this item be deleted, as it is not a true record. CARRIED.

Ordinary Meeting. 13/10/58. . War Memorial Hall & Community Centre. A. Riding, 30/9/58, replying to Council's letter stating that £3200 will be made available when the Hall Committee has raised the balance of the tender price, pointing out that it will take many years to raise the required sum and it may then be faced with another amount (Perhaps double the amount required today), that if the Council reconsiders its decision it may not only prevent that situation occurring, but it will be receiving what would amount to a return of its outlay by way of revenue received; and contending that the sum involved would not be too great for the residents of A. Riding to bear, particularly as it would be in the form of a loan. 46. Resolved, - That the Committee be informed the Council regrets it appears that negotiations for the completion of the hall cannot be finalised, and since the hall as it exists is serving no useful purpose and would appear to be unsatisfactory in design, the Council does not intend to proceed with its construction; that the Engineer make further recommendations as to its disposal, and that any money invested in this building by the Committee be the subject of discussion between the Council, and members of the Committee for disposal of such money for the benefit of the Mona Vale district. (Crs. Fisher, Reynolds) (Cr. Corkery asked that his vote be recorded against this motion.)

The following year: A Riding War Memorial Hall &  Community Centre, 17/4/59, asking Council to receive a deputation regarding the proposed removal of the partly-completed structure at Mona Valeand that Mr. Askin be invited to be present when the deputation is received. 47; Resolved, - That the Council accede to this request, the deputation to be received at an Ordinary Meeting. (Crs. Jones, Wilson) 

Sir Robert William Askin, GCMG (April 4th 1907 –  September 9th 1981), was an Australian politician and the 32nd Premier of New South Wales from 1965 to 1975, the first representing the Liberal Party. He was born in 1907 as Robin William Askin, but always disliked his first name and changed it by deed poll in 1971. Before being knighted in 1972, however, he was generally known as Bob Askin. Born in Sydney in 1907, Askin was educated at Sydney Technical High School. After serving as a bank officer and as a Sergeant in the Second World War, Askin joined the Liberal Party and was elected to the seat of Collaroy at the 1950 election.

By the next month the Council Meeting held 19/5/1959 records: REPRESENTATIONS FROM INTERESTED BODIES RE PROPOSED REMOVAL OF PARTLY COMPLETED MEMORIAL HALL, MONA VALE, TO DEE WHY WEST. Those present were Mr. R. W. Askin, M.L.A., Messrs. Porter, Butler, Peacock (representing the War Memorial Committee), Mrs. Hillier (Red Cross), S. Jones (Mona Vale Chamber of Commerce), W. Leys (Pittwater R.S.L.) and Hayes (Junior Football Club). Mr. Porter made the following points:-  The ground was dedicated in 1946. In 1947 the Council decided to levy a Health & Community Rate of 1d. in the £, but this was discontinued in 1950. In 1950, following a fire at the Red Cross building on the Council's land at Bayview, the then President was approached to have the Red Cross activities included in the Community Centre proposal, which was agreed to, with two ladies on the Management Committee. Plans were obtained in 1951, but were not used owing to the present plans being adoptedThe structure was commenced in 1954, and the foundation stone laid in September of that yearAll fibro, brickwork and flooring in the structure were supplied and erected by the War Memorial Committee. The amount of money expended by the Council on the building was £2484, including £1200 from the Red Cross building at Bayview. Other speakers stressed the need for the Council to complete the building, suggesting that a Health & Community Rate be again levied for the purpose. Resolved; - That the Shire Clerk prepare a detailed report on this discussion for submission to all Councillors, and the matter be listed for further consideration in two weeks time. (Crs. Job, Wilson)

At the Ordinary Meeting. 1/6/1959. Resolved) - That the "considered opinion" of the President in this matter be agreed to and adopted by Council. (Crs. Berry/ Corkery). SHIRE CLERK'S REPORT: "A" RIDING WAR MEMORIAL HALL AND COMMUNITY CENTRE, MONA VALE. The Shire Clerk submitted the following report: "The Council will recall having asked me to prepare a report in regard to the Mona Vale Hall following a conference with representatives of the Local Committee and other local bodies at Ordinary Meeting 18/5/1959. (Minute No. 6). The total amount raised from the Health, Welfare and/or Community Centre Local Rate, which was levied throughout most of A. Riding in the years 1946, 1947 and 1948, was £3,297. 7. Expended from the Rate: (a) Miscellaneous expenditure up to 31st December, 1953 656.14. 8 (including £250 subsidy in 1948 to the Palm Beach Kindergarten) (b) In the year 1954: Upon the A. Riding War Memorial and Community Centre building at Mona Vale  1284. O. 0 1.940.14. 8 Amount still in the separate Bank A/c. £1,356.12. Expended on the Mona Vale Building: (a) By Council: (i) from the local rate £1284 (ii) from A. Riding Improvement Fund 1200 2484. O. 0 `(b) By the Local Committee (as conveyed to the Accountant by Mr. C. Porter) 1250. Overall expenditure on the structure £3734. O. On 31st March, 1959 the Council resolved that the sum of £4000 be voted for the removal of the building from Mona Vale to the Dee Why West depot and for its erection there as a work-shop. The Council further resolved to inform the Local Committee that the Council considers it impossible to satisfactorily complete the existing building, but if the Committee cares to proceed with the project on an adequate basis, the Council is prepared to contribute to it all moneys raised by the Committee and invested by it in the existing building, and furthermore, to consider any other form of cooperation.- The delegation which interviewed the Council on 18/5/1959 stressed the need for the Council to complete the building." Resolved, - That: the President be empowered to call a Public Meeting for the purpose of, stimulating interest in this project. (Crs.. Job/MCClelland). 

Meeting held 8/6/1959:

A. Riding Progress & Allied Associations, 15/5/59, stating that the Committee' carried the following motion without dissent - "That the Secretary of the Mona Vale War Memorial Committee' be informed that this Association acquiesce in the Committee's proposal to demolish and remove the incompleted structure of the proposed War Memorial Community Centre; further, that the Committee requested Council to pay into a Trust Fund the value of such structure together with other moneys held towards the cost, of the project and that such moneys be used to endow a ward in the projected Mona Vale Hospital as a perpetual War Memorial." 31. Resolved - that the Association be notified of Council's previous decision. (See Minute Ng. 6, Ordinary Meeting 1/6/59). (Crs. Reynolds/Berry). . (N) War Memorial Hall & Community Centre. Mona Vale. 27/5/59, stating it is the Committee's opinion that the continuation of the Health & Community rate struck in 1947 be re-imposed at the rate of 1d. per for one year for the purpose of raising sufficient money to complete the War Memorial Hall; that if this is not acceptable to Council, the Committee may repeat a previous offer suggesting that Council complete the structure and the Committee repay the Council at a minimum of £400 per year; that another alternative would be to increase the grant of £3,200 to £5,200; and drawing attention to the fact that the Committee will be obliged to furnish the Hall when complete,' 32. Resolved,- that the Committee be advised that Council does not favour the imposition of a local rate for the purpose suggested and that Council's policy on the subject of Community Centres and public halls be submitted.

At the same time other community organisations were fighting to retain what the community had erected themselves and paid so much into:

Australian Labor Party Narrabeen Branch, 16/6/59, submitting two resolutions passed by the branch, namely:- "(i) That the Warringah Shire Council seek to provide means to ensure the completion of the Community Hall at Mona Vale, and urge that this in no circumstances be demolished. (ii) That the Warringah Shire Council be urged to establish a library to serve the Shire, in a central area, with at least one travelling unit to serve outlying districts in the Shire." Resolved, - (i) That the writer be advised of Council's previous decision to call a public meeting regarding the Community Hall at Mona Vale; and (ii) That the writer be advised that Council, While favourable to establishment of libraries, has financial obligations which are too great to permit the establishment of a library, at least during this year. 

The Ordinary Meeting. 31/8/59 records: PRESIDENTIAL MINUTES. "A" RIDING WAR MEMORIAL HALL AND COMMUNITY CENTRE, MONA VALE. The President's written minute on this matter was as follows:- "A public meeting was held on 25th August, 1959, at the Mona Vale Bowling Club for the purpose of stimulating interest in this project, and was attended by approximately 40 persons. A lengthy discussion by representatives of the local Committee, Progress Associations, and members of R.S.L. Clubs, together with local residents, it was unanimously decided that Council should be invited to proceed with the construction of the Hall, and that the local Committee would continue to function and call for donations, and assistance locally. I recommend that Council obtain prices for the minimum amount of work to comply with the Theatres & Public Halls Act, including the necessary strengthening of the roof, and the provision of toilet facilities. Completion of the building to this stage would enable the Committee to let the premises and be in a position to obtain revenue which would assist materially in the speedy completion of the structure." 'Resolved, - That the President's Minute be "received". (Crs. Fisher, McClelland)

Warringah Shire Council meeting held: 06/10/1959:

ORDERS OF THE DAY. CONSIDERATION OF PLAN PREPARED BY-THE SHIRE ENGINEER, OUTLINING. SUGGESTED SITES ON KITCHENER PARK, MONA VALE, FOR USE AS-A GIRL GUIDES HALL SITE FOR 'THE PITTWATER GIRL GUIDES. This was in pursuance of a resolution by Council on 4/8/59, when the - Council agreed to the revocation from Kitchener Park, and its re- proclamation for Guides hall purposes (subject to the Minister for Lands-consenting) of a 'small site in the 'vicinity-of the land used for the Mona Vale Bowling Club, on the understanding that Council first agrees upon the selected site. 4: Resolved, - That the Council agree to a-small area of the reserve on Barrenjoey Road between the Community Centre hall and the Mackellar County Council's Substation being located for the erection of a Girl Guides hall, the precise site to be left in the hands of the Shire Engineer for determination after Consultation with a representative of the Pittwater Girl Guides;' the whole matter to be then referred to the Minister, for Lands for approval and for the taking of any action he may deem necessary for the legalising of the use of such land For Girl Guide purposes. 

In December that year:

A. Riding Progress & Allied Associations, 26/11/59, further regarding the matter of subsidies to various bodies, with special reference to the amount being made available for the construction of a building at Narrabeen for the joint use of the Girl Guides and Booklovers' Society, which it is felt should be diverted to the Mona Vale Community Hall, contending that the erection of a special building at Narrabeen is not justified in view of the fact that the constitution of the Girl Guides Association is understood to be allied to that of the Scouts in that Guide premises will not be shared with any other organisation and that the provision of this building for the use of two organisations which have a very limited public appeal and community connection is not in the best interests of the ratepayers,' particularly as the upkeep will be a continuing burden to the Council. Resolved, - That the' Association be informed that this Council considers the money which has been voted and is being spent is a satisfactory expenditure catering for a very considerable section of the local community. (Crs. Fisher/Job). Warriewood Beach Progress 'Association, 20/11/59, expressing concern that the Council has decided to allocate portion of Deewhy Lagoon and its foreshores for the purpose of bowling greens: tend - it other recreation areas, contending that this, area should be reserved as a permanent sanctuary for wild life. 50. Resolved; That the Association be informed of Council’s- latest resolution in connection with this matter.,1(Crs:-'Job/Miles).' This 'is page Number ;8 of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Warringah Shire Council held on 21st December, 1959.

The Ordinary Meeting of  26/4/1960 records:. the Mona Vale Community Hall is much more urgently needed than the proposed Newport Centre and is taking steps to assist the Committee organising the Mona Vale project. It expresses the hope that both Centres will eventually be constructed.

At the Meeting held January 23rd, 1961: J.W. Paull; 16 Garthowen Avenue, Lane Cove, 6/1/1961, addressed to the President, stating that the uncompleted Community Centre building at  Mona  Vale would probably serve well as a factory if re-located on a suitable site, and asking to be informed if Council considers this a likely proposition. Resolved, - That Mr. Paull be informed that this Council has under consideration the removal and use of this building. (Crs. Jones/Bertram). 

By February 20th, 1961 meeting:  War Memorial Hall and Community Centre, "A" Riding, Womens Auxiliary, 9/2/61 - Asking (1) Are we allowed to finish building a Hall if when finished the Council can condemn it; (2) Can the Council take the Hall away without our permission; (3) Would the Council help us monetarily if we started on a brick building, the people would be with us; (4) If the Council takes the building for the sum of £1250 as promised, would they add the £1300 they have in hand from the levy place on A Riding for the building some years ago, if so, we would have over £3,000 towards the building. Adding that the Womens Auxiliary works hard to raise money and think they could get more help if they had something concrete to tell new people. Note: Council decided F/C. 12/12/60 Min. 7 that the Hall be dismantled and transferred to a site at Forestville and that the sum raised, by the A Riding Improvement Fund and the Local Rate be noted and earmarked for suitable purposes in A Riding. 54. Resolved, - That the A Riding Womens Auxiliary be advised that this considers the present building is completely incapable of being finished in a manner suitable to the rapidly increasing' requirements of the area and that the siting of the present building is considered completely unsatisfactory in view of the main road widening and, the lack of suitable parking area in the immediate vicinity of the said. building; that Council will be considering in the coming year what steps can be taken for the provision of a first-class, community baby health centre and library in the district and that before coming to such a decision will invite representatives of the Auxiliary to confer. (Crs.'Brovint Fisher.) '

The Meeting held on 10/4/1961 records; By Cr. Brown: Would you arrange for the implementation of Council's decision with regard to the removal of the framework of the Community Hall at Mona Vale? The President said that he would look-into this matter. 

Warringah Shire Council Records, dated 17/4/1961: SHIRE CLERK'S REPORT: TRANSFER OF "A" RIDING WAR MEMORIAL AND COMMUNITY CENTRE HALL, MONA VALE TO FORESTVILLE. (Copy supplied to each Councillor Moved by Councillor Brown, seconded by Councillor Bertram, that the Hall be dismantled forthwith and stored-at the Warriewood Depot pending a decision as to its future use, and that the-amount contributed by the "A" Riding War Memorial Hall and Community Centre be placed in trust and the Committee be advised accordingly, and that the dedicated land on which it stands be laid out as a Memorial Garden subject to the approval of the Department of Lands. An amendment was moved by Councillor Fisher, seconded by Councillor Wade, that Council request the Forestville Public Hall Section 530A Committee to complete plans and propositions regarding the Hall within fourteen days, and that on receipt of these plans, or at the end of fourteen days, Council to determine the future of the Hall, This amendment was DEFEATED. 12.The motion was CARRIED, a division resulting:- For: Crs.-Berry, BOFFE, Brown, Ellis and Wilson. Crs. Fisher, Job, Jones and Wade. (In reply to a question by Councillor Fisher the President directed that the voting on this-matter be conveyed to the Forestville Public Hall Section 530A Committee with the letter notifying this decision.)

At the Ordinary Meeting 13.6.61: Department of Public Health, 29/5/61 - re proposed Baby Health Centre for Mona Vale - notifying that before any decision may be made the area would need to be inspected by officers of the Division of Maternal and Baby Welfare and as a similar request is under consideration in respect to Elanora Heights, it is suggested that both areas be inspected simultaneously with a view to determining:- (a) the necessity for Baby Health Centres; and (b) The priority of such Centres (if warranted). Reminding Council that Collaroy Plateau has top priority within the Shire for the erection of a Baby Health Centre. Note: Council resolved on 29.5.61 "That two representatives from Council together with the Chief Health & Building Inspector meets officers of the Division of Maternal and Baby Welfare as soon as possible. 56. Resolved, - that the Department of Public Health be requested to review each area with a view to a Baby Health Centre in the area and that the representatives be the "A" Riding Councillors and the Chief Health and Building Inspector. 

On 17/7/1961 Council records show: has reversed the decision to transfer the Mona Vale Memorial Hall to Forestville. Adding that at the present time a large number of people are organizing the Forestville Spring Festival and it is anticipated that the revenue from this function coupled with the Mona Vale building would enable the Community Centre to be commenced early in 1962 and the loss of this structure would be a severe set- back to the-building programme. Further a majority of C Riding Councillors support the original decision of Council and the Committee urgently requests. Council to reconsider and implement the transfer to Forestville of the building. (Note: At ,0/M. 13.6.61 Min.75 Council defeated a notion "that the structure removed, now be transported to the Forestville Community site.") (See also letter before F/C. 17.7.61). Moved by Councillor Fisher, seconded by Councillor Jones, that Council inform the Forestville Public Hall Section 530A Committee, that if satisfactory plans are placed before this Council showing a way in which they would use the dismantled building, fresh consideration will be given to making it available to the Committee. The President declared the motion DEFEATED. A division was demanded which resulted:— For : Crs. Fisher and Jones. Against: Crs. Berry, Bertram, Brown, Ellis,'Job and Wade.: 

July 24th, 1961: - Request by Forestville Progress Association for the transfer of the dismantled Mona Vale Hall to Forestville. Moved by Councillor Fisher, seconded by Councillor Wilson, that this Council agrees to making the hall previously erected at Mona Vale available to the Forestville Progress Association for a community hall. An amendment was named by Councillor Wade,' seconded by- Councillor Job, that this Council carry out an inspection.at the Warriewood Depot of the remnants of the hall previously erected at Mona Vale and that it also invites the Forestville Progress Association to submit plans and specifications for the incorporation of these remnants in a suitable building at Forestville to Council's requirements. The amendment was CARRIED: and upon ‘becoming, the motion was again, CARRIED

So all that left Mona Vale, almost 20 years on, without a Community Hall or Baby Health Clinic. 

Focus now shifted away from Beeby and Kitchener parks to Mona Vale Park, across the road and amid the village shops. Meanwhile, tenders were being accepted for the same elsewhere, and halls and baby clinics being built - although Newport as well as Forestville had problems as well:

Proposed Baby Health Centre Site at Mona Vale The Shire Clerk's Report read as follows: In a report by the Chief Health & Building Inspector, 24.7.61, it was stated that Dr. Grattan Smith considered a site within the Mona Vale Park to be a good one and that she would agree to a Baby Health Centre being erected thereon. The position regarding Mona Vale Park has been examined.. It is Crown land reserved for public recreation and Warringah Shire Council has been appointed trustee for that purpose. In its present state the erection of a Baby Health Centre on the park would constitute an illegal use of the land, as a baby centre does not come within the ambit of Part XIII of the Act, which sets out what a Council may do upon a public recreation reserve. If the Council really decided that a baby centre should go on a section of this land the only legal way in which it may be possible to achieve such an objective would be to have a plan prepared of the part of the park which the Council desires to be excised and to approach the Lands Department to have such part revoked from the public recreation reserve and re-dedicated for the purpose of erecting a baby health centre. 

The Council has already made an application to the Department of Lands (as a result of a resolution) for permission to site a baby health centre on the land where the community hall was formerly located and if it is proposed to proceed with the Mona Vale Park application a specific resolution should be passed cancelling this decision as well as applying for the re-dedication of the section of Mona Vale Park as above mentioned. 

Resolved.: that Council's application to the Lands Department requesting permission to site the Baby Health Centre on land previously occupied by the Community Hall be cancelled in view of the adverse report by Dr. Grattan Smith who is adamant that the site is unsuitable to her Department; that the Engineer's Department survey the Mona Vale Park taking in particular, the westerly boundaries of the playing field and advising in a report, the total area of the residue, up to the intersection of Pittwater Road and Park Street Mona Vale; the Engineer's staff then prepare a line diagram of a layout incorporating a Baby Health Centre, Auditorium and Library and resiting of the present Tennis Courts and Toilets in the most suitable position on the park, this matter to go with a report of layout to be submitted at the October Parks & Reserves Committee Meeting. (Crs. Jones/Bertram). 26. Proposed Collaroy Plateau Baby Health Centre: Councillor Job asked the President to authorise the notifying of Dr. Grattan Smith that work has commenced on the Collaroy Plateau Shopping Centre. -The President replied ,in the affirmative. 

Hon. Secretary Womens Auxiliary 'A' Riding War Memorial ' Community  Centre, 2/11/61 - thanking Council's representative for attending meeting on 18.10.61 and stating they wish to continue working and look forward to further news about the-project mentioned. Resolved, -. That the contents of the letter be noted and a further letter be sent to the Minister for lands asking him to treat this Council's development proposal for Mona Vale Park as a matter of urgency, in view of the coming-year's programme. (Crs. Brown/Bertram;)

Ordinary Meeting, 9/7/1962. Newport Progress Association; as the Surf Club only used the hall at weekends in the surfing season. Adding the Association would welcome the opportunity-to discuss this matter with one or more of the elected representatives of A Riding.  Resolved, - That the writer be advised that Council knows of no area at Newport for a community hall in the Newport district and it is recommended that the association re-open its negotiations with the Newport Surf Club with a view to the usage of the Hall over the surf sheds. (Crs. Brown/Job.) 

The request to use Mona Vale Park as the site was initially refused. The Council Meeting held on September 17th, 1962 records:  MOTION IN PURSUANCE OF NOTICE : PROPOSAL FOR DEVELOPMENT OF MONA VALE PARK. Councillor Brown moved in pursuance of notice that the Minister for Lands be requested to reconsider his decision with regard to the matter of Mona Vale Park wherein Council requested his permission to relocate present tennis courts and other buildings, and construct a Baby Health Centre, modern Community Hall, dressing sheds and toilets, and for this purpose Council request an urgent conference with him to come to a more satisfactory decision. The motion was seconded by Councillor Bertram and 26.- CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.

The tennis courts had formed part of the first iteration of Mona Vale Village Park when it was called 'Taramatta' or 'Turimetta' park - officially gazetted in 1904 and officially opened in September 1905, before the advent of the 1906 inaugurated Warringah Shire Council. The tennis courts were moved across the road into Kitchener park where four courts are still available for community use. More on that in the upcoming Black Swamp Becomes Beeby and Kitchener Parks history page. 

This panorama from circa 1917 and sections enlarged show the siting of those original courts, along with the first cricket pitch for the local club:

Above Panorama of Mona Vale, New South Wales, ca. 1917 - 1930 [picture] / EB Studios National Library of Australia PIC P865/125 circa between 1917 and 1930] and sections from made larger to show detail and location of cricket pitch and tennis courts. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-162044299

Current day Mona Vale Tennis courts at north end of Kitchener Park

At the Council Meeting held August 6th, 1963:

ORDER OF THE DAY: REPORT BY CR. F.N. ADCOCK ON PUBLIC MEETING 30.7.1963, TO CONSIDER MATTERS RELATING TO THE ESTBLISHMENT OF A BABY HEALTH CENTRE, COMMUNITY HALL ETC. AT MONA VALE (copy supplied to each Cr.) 28.Resolved, That the report be received and referred to the Parks and Reserves Committee.. (Crs. Pickett-Heaps/:.Beckman) During discussion on this report, Cr. Mayer announced that he had tendered an apology to the Public Meeting, but it had inadvertently been omitted, and it was thereupon moved by Cr. Jones, seconded by Cr. Beckman, That the apology of Cr Mayer be recorded in the report. CARRIED. The Deputy President, Councillor Adcock, announced that he had received a letter from Mrs. M. Hillier of 126 Waterview Street, Mona Vale, addressed to the 'A' Riding Councillors, expressing thanks' to Council for calling such a Public Meeting, and stating that the Bayview-Church Point-Mona Vale Branch of the Red Cross had £400 in hand to furnish a meeting room in the proposed Community Centre.

At the Meeting held November 25th 1963: BUSINESS WITHOUT NOTICE : INTRODUCED BY a PRESIDENT, PROPOSED COMMUNITY HALL/BABY HEALTH CENTRE AND AMENITIES AT MONA VALE. The President announced that a letter had been received from Clarke, Gazzard,  Yeomans, Architects, dated 19.11.63 reading as follows:- "Verbal advice has just been received from your Mr. Adrian that the Sketch Drawings of the Baby Health Centre in the above project at Mona Vale, submitted to the Public Health Department on September 12, have finally been approved without amendment. We will therefore now proceed with the preparation of Working Drawings and Specifications and calling of Tenders. It is anticipated this will be in 2-3 weeks with Tenders called in the manner outlined in our letter of September 27. As agreed previously with Mr. Stevens and Mr. Adrian it was necessary to obtain the survey information needed from a local surveyor, All the survey information needed for the complete project is now in our hands and has been done in an excellent manner. The bill for the work done by Mr. J. B. Byrne of Warriewood Beach is attached." 125 - Resolved:- that Council confirm the calling of tenders and the payment of £36 survey fee be approved for payment. (Crs. Jones/Lindsay).

Combined Children's Libraries of Manly-Warringah, 21.2.64, asking Council to consider the erection of an additional room on to the proposed Community' Hell at Mona Vale for the purpose of using it as a nucleus of an adult library. 71. Resolved, That the Shire Engineer investigate this matter in conjunction with the Architect and report back on the cost and practicability; the Shire President to bring forward a Presidential Minute on the question of the adoption of the Libraries Act. (Crs. Beckman/McLean).

March 2nd 1964 meeting: Mona Vale Chamber of Commerce, 6.2.64, stating they are concerned that the proposed "A" Riding Community Hall, announced in 1963, has not been proceeded with. 88.Resolved, That the Chamber be advised that no action can be taken to commence this Hall in 1964, but consideration will be given to it in 1965. (Crs. Adcock/Beckman). 

Warringah: A Riding Combined Progress and Allied Association, 5.9.64 -Stating at their last meeting the Association resolved; ''That in the proposed Community Centre to be built at Mona Vale, an Auditorium with a seating capacity of approximately 500 be included, and that this could serve the needs of the whole of A Riding.''; They are also anxious to know when this project is proposed to commence and to what stage the plans have reached. Moved by Cr. Beckman seconded Cr. Mauer that the Association be advised that this project is listed for consideration for inclusion in the 1965 estimates arid : that a public meeting be called in the near future to form a 530A Committee to act as the hall's trustees for the proposed project and that the following organisations especially be invited to be represented in the A Riding War Memorial -Committee: Pittwater R.S.L. Club, Mona Vale Chamber Of Commerce, Mona Vale Sports Club,. Mona Vale' P. & C. Association, Winji Jimmi. Progress Association,--Bayview-Church Point Progress Association and the A Riding Combined Progress Associations and any other Hedy that the Shire Clerk nominates would assist in a formation. such as this. An Amendment was moved by, Cr. Clark seconded Cr. ?? -  that the Association be advised that this project is listed for consideration for inclusion In the 1965 estimates. . 

The Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 28.9.64 - Page 10, record not an easy time for anyone representing their community, with a hall for Mona Vale in the centre of the 'debate':

During discussion on this item Cr. Wilson stated that he had heard that they were going to put the community hall at Mona Vale in the middle of the oval. He further stated that the council was facing a financial crisis and that council was taking from the ratepayers almost £2,000,000 in rates and out of that sum they would have the princely sum of £134,000 to split up three ways from revenue for work in the Shire and that the council was over borrowing. If certain action is taken next year there will be nothing left for works, he further stated that council would have to take very close stock of its finances in 1965. During further discussion Cr. Maver stated that the only reason he was referring to pressure groups was that Cr. Wilson had the same habit as Cr. Gold of referring to progress associations and similar bodies as pressure groups and that they will be pressure groups and it will get stronger and that's what is worrying these councillors. Point of Order. on Cr. Maver Cr. Gold took a Point of Order/and stated "I am not worried about progress associations and never have and never will be." President - "Both sit down please.' This is not a question of the relative merits of progress associations or 5304 committees or such things." Cr. Maier - "I accept your ruling. I think that I should be permitted to say that it is not propel for councillors to get up and refer to pressure groups when the names of such bodies as the Mona Vale R.S.L., Mona Vale P. & C. Association and other bodies in the Shire are mentioned." Point of Order. Cr. Gold took a Point of Order on Cr. Maver and stated "We are not dealing with individual groups, we are dealing with a group which is proposed to be formed and it is distinct from the people who create it at this stage. It cannot be said that I called the R.S.L., such an august body, a pressure group, which I would never do." President - "I uphold the Point of Order because the 530A Committee, whilst it will be made up of representatives of those groups would not be necessarily identified with them, although of course there is some integration there." President - The President stated "I want to make a couple of points about Cr. Wilson's remarks in case the gallery or the press is mislead. (1) This council is not facing a crisis and there is no suggestion that it is facing a crisis, (2) We are not over-borrowing (3) To say there will be nothing left if certain action is taken next year for works is not true." During further discussion Cr. Beckman stated "I will.say I have seen the pages in the press and I didn't see any version of being bankrupt next year." Point of Order. on Cr,. Beclomul Cr. Wilson took a Point of Order//''I didn't say that the council would be bankrupt at all." President - "Sit down Cr. Wilson." Cr. Wilson - "Oh I'll sit down all right." President - "sit down." Cr. Wilson - "Get your cane out and get your cap on." President - "Sit down Cr. Wilson and don't interject." Cr., Wilson - "I won't." President - "You weren't referred to as saying the place was bankrupt." Cr. Wilson -"Put your cap on, you're doing well." President - "Sit down. Cr. Wilson and don't make any more remarks such as this or this meeting will be adjourned and you will be removed." During further discussion Cr. Beckman stated "IF these people get together - if this committee is formed they will be enthusiastic and their enthusiasm will be infectious and it will inspire council to get fully behind this in 1965,:but the defeatist: attitude of Lindsay and Adcock to be deplored: h Point of Order. Ore. Lindsay and Adcock took a point of order on the statement by Cr. Beckman. Cr. Lindsay stated "I never took a defeatist attitude whatsoever." • - The President then asked Cr.Boakain to withdraw the remark, against the two, which he did. 

The year 1964 was when Bernard "Midget" Farrelly won the first World Surfboard Championship at Manly Beach, The Beatles toured Australia in June and Melbourne woman Judy Hanrahan became the first female teller appointed by the Bank of NSW since World War II. It was also the year Donald Campbell set a new land speed record of 429 miles per hour in his jet-propelled car "Bluebird" at Lake Eyre, South Australia.

Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced the reintroduction of National Service on November 10th. Earlier, on July 6th, Warrant Officer Class 2, Kevin Conway of the Australian Army Training Team died; he was Australia's first Vietnam War battle casualty.

The Premier of New South Wales was New Zealand born Robert James Heffron (10 September 1890 – 27 July 1978), also known as Bob Heffron or R. J. Heffron, until April 30th 1964, when worn out, and aged 73, he retired as Premier with Renshaw taking over.  After resigning as premier, Heffron remained in Parliament as member for Maroubra, retaining his seat at the 1965 election, thereby witnessing his Labor Party enter opposition for the first time in twenty-five years. He stayed for one more term until his retirement in January 1968, marking thirty-seven years in Parliament. In his valedictory speech, Heffron remarked:

"In looking back on my life, I express happiness that I did go into politics. If anybody had then said to me that I would become a Minister of the Crown, I should have thought that I would be the last card in the pack. When I see these young fellows in the Ministry, it reminds me of when I was beating about back in the dark days of the depression. Had anybody then suggested that I would become a Premier of New South Wales, I should have considered that man a suitable candidate for Callan Park. However, with the passage of time, these things happen, and it then becomes a matter of doing one's best. That is what I have tried to do over the years." — Parliament, 7 December 1967.

John Brophy Renshaw AC lost the May 1st 1965 State Election to  Liberal leader, Bob Askin. This was the first time in 24 years a Labor government had not been the incumbents in New South Wales. 

Mr. Askin quickly rose through party ranks, eventually becoming Deputy Leader following Walter Howarth's resignation in July 1954. When long-serving party leader Vernon Treatt announced his resignation in August 1954, Askin put his name forward to replace him. At the vote, he became deadlocked against Pat Morton and Askin asked his former commanding officer Murray Robson to take the leadership instead. Robson did not live up to expectations and was deposed in September 1955 by Morton, who then became Leader. Askin remained as Deputy until, after leading the party to a second electoral defeat in 1959, Morton was deposed and Askin was elected to succeed him. At the May 1965 election, Askin presented the Liberal Party as a viable alternative government. He won a narrow victory, ending a 24-year Labor hold on government.

Despite a hostile Legislative Council, an extended drought and a fair amount of industrial disputes, the Askin Government passed several reforms. Among them were the removal of trading-hours restrictions on small businesses, abolishing juries for motor accident damage cases, extending the hours for liquor trading, thereby bringing an end to the "Six o'clock swill". The Askin Government also moved into legal and local government reforms, attacking pollution and restoring the previously abolished postal voting rights in state elections. 

The Sydney metropolitan area at the time was marked by increasing strains on state infrastructure and Askin's Government's pro-development stance was attributed as an attempt to alleviate these problems. Despite this, the newly established State Planning Authority were continuously criticised for not being totally accountable to the public, particularly as the pro-business Sydney Commissioners worked side by side with the Planning authority to increase developments in the Sydney CBD to their highest levels ever, embodied by the construction of the MLC Centre, the demolition of the Theatre Royal, Sydney and the Australia Hotel. Other controversial schemes proposed by his government were a massive freeway system that was planned to be driven through the hearts of historic inner-city suburbs including Glebe and Newtown and an equally ambitious scheme of 'slum clearance' that would have brought about the wholescale destruction of the historic areas of Woolloomooloo and The Rocks. This eventually culminated in the 1970s Green ban movement led by Unions Leader Jack Mundey, to protect the architectural heritage of Sydney.

Despite the surface show of prosperity those raising a family were still doing so on small incomes. Although they would 'go without' in order to save for a deposit on land and then build a home, those of us who grew up in the 1960's will recall our parents watching every penny and then cents as the currency changed, wearing hand-me-down clothes, earning our own pocket money through doing paper runs and holidays that were mucking about on the foreshores and in the bush or at a cheap shack a bit further down the coast. Not that we knew any different - there was no endless reel of social media posing the 'have and have nots' as the only narrative for the young - we were rich anyway; sun on our faces, food in our bellies, the whole big outdoors to explore as long as you were home by sunset.

By the end of 1964 the Council was also looking at its finances and the ongoing missing infrastructure along with the still missing local facilities how to allocate funds to establish these, a public community hall, which in Mona Vale's case, was now a 20 years old still not completed project with one version already dismantled to be used elsewhere.

Those still alive today who recall these ongoing attempts to have a local hall state it was very frustrating for residents. This would have been the same for those representing them.

The Minutes of Meetings held in December 1964 record a careful consideration of what is available and indicate Councillors who were looking at the details and counting every penny. The December 1st 1964 records show a growing cost for a hall at Mona Vale along with some of the frustration being vented by Councillors: 

BUILDINGS AND DEPOTS. (Page 21). Mona Vale Surf Clubhouse. Resolved to recommend, That this item, standing in the Draft Estimates at £9,000, be deleted. Public Library. 33. Resolved to recommend, That the item - "Book purchases to be ordered late 1964 for delivery 1965", standing in the Draft Estimates at £15,000, be deleted. A Further Motion was submitted recommending, That the item - "Books to be purchased in 1965", and standing in the Draft Estimates at £20,000, be deleted. An Amendment was submitted recommending, That the item - "Books to be purchased in 1965", and standing in the Draft Estimates at £20,000 be reduced to £15,000. (See Minute No. ST) 4. AMMENDMENT CARRIED, and as MOTION, CARRIED. Library Staff. A Motion was submitted recommending, That the item "Chief Librarian for a full year", standing in the Draft Estimates at £2,300 be reduced to £1,150 to provide for a Chief Librarian for 6 months; that the item "Library Assistant for a full year (female), and standing in the Draft Estimates at £1,975 be reduced to £279 to provide for a Library Assistant for 3 months; and that the item "Lib2ariarfor a full year", standing in the Draft Estimates at £1,500 be reduced to £375 to provide for a Librarian for 3 months. An Amendment was submitted recommending, That provision be made for the services of a Chief Librarian, Librarian and Library Assistant for a period of three months, and the Draft Estimates be adjusted accordingly. DEFEATED. 35.MOTION CARRIED. 36.Resolved to recommend, That the item "Additional staff for second half of 1965, standing in the Draft Estimates at £3,000, be deleted. Administration stations minor element and other incidentals. 37.Resolved to recommend, That this item, standing in the Draft Estimates at £1,500, be reduced to £500. Expenses - Development of Library. 38.Resolved to recommend, That this item, standing in the Draft Estimates at £2,500, be reduced to £1,000. Subsidies - Books. 39.Resolved to recommend, That this item, standing in the Draft Estimates at £24,000, be reduced to £6,000. Elanora Heights Baby Health Centre. 40.Resolved to recommend, That this item, standing in the Draft Estimates at £1,500, remain.  Mona Vale Community Hall. A Motion was submitted recommending, That this item, standing in the. Draft Estimates at £27,393, be deleted. An Amendment was submitted recommending, That this item, standing in the Draft Estimates at £27,393, remain. DEFEATED. A Further Amendment was submitted recommending, That this item, This is page four of the Minutes of the Special Meeting of Warringah S Council held on 1st December, 1964. … CAPITAL EXPENDITURE. Public Buildings. (Page 21).  Mona Vale Community Hall. A motion was submitted recommending, That the item listed in the draft estimates at £27093, be reduced to £17,393. An Amendment was submitted recommending, That the item Mona Vale Community Hall, standing remain; and that the amount of £15,000 as shown be reduced £8000 for the construction of the first stage of this project. Further, that the item Elanora Heights Community Kindergarten, standing in the Draft Estimates at £7415 remain; and that the item French's Forest Community Hall - Stage one standing in the Draft Estimates at £25,000 be reduced to £20,000. DEFEATED. A Further Amendment was submitted recommending, That the rate be 5/1d. in the on the Unimproved Capital Value of all ratable land in the Shire, and that the Riding Funds be increased by one third of the resultant surplus, the allocation of this money to be determined by the Riding Councillors. 

Point of Order. 

A Point of Order was taken, "That this amendment did not refer to the motion and therefore it was out of order. The President upheld the Point of Order. A Further Amendment was submitted recommending, That  Mona Vale Community Hall,-standing in the-Draft Estimates at £27;393: be reduced to £13,500 net.' DEFEATED. Mona Vale Community Hall. Resolved to recommend, That this item, standing in the Draft Estimates at £27,393, be deleted. Cr. Jones returned temporarily. Public Buildings. A motion was submitted recommending, That an amount of £24,000 be allocated for the construction of public buildings, this amount to include the provision of £7,415 for the construction of the Elanora Heights Kindergarten and Community Hall; the balance to be allocated during 1965. DEFEATED. Elanora Heights Kindergarten & Community Hall. Resolved to recommend, That this item, standing in the Draft Estimates at £7,415, remain. Cr. Jones returned. French's Forest Community Hall. A motion was submitted recommending, That this item, standing in the Draft Estimates at £25,000, be reduced to £10,000 for the construction of stage one of this project. DEFEATED. Public Buildings. A motion was submitted recommending, That an amount of £50,000 be set aside for the construction of public buildings. DEFEATED. Narraweena Progress Hall. A motion was submitted recommending, That an amount of £5,000 be provided in the Estimates for the extension of the Narraweena Progress Hall  and the connection of the toilets to the sewer. DEFEATED. Narrabeen  Community Centre. Resolved to recommend, That no provision be made in the 1965 Estimates for extensions to the Narrabeen Community Centre. French's Forest Community Hall. Resolved to recommend, That this item, standing in the Draft Estimates at £25,000, be deleted. Public Library - Books to be purchased in 1965. Resolved to recommend, That this item, standing in the Estimates at £15,000 be now reduced to £10,000. PUBLIC WORKS EXPENDITURE (Page 8). Construction Work. Resolved to recommend, That this item, standing in the Draft Estimates at £143,000, be increased to £160,000. PARKS AND PUBLIC RESERVES -EXPENDITURE. (Page 9). Improvements. A motion was submitted that this item, standing in the Draft Estimates at £27,000, be increased to £37,000. DEFEATED.' PUBLIC SERVICES - EXPENDITURE. (Page 14). Motorised Surf Boat. Resolved to recommend, That this item, standing in the Draft Estimates at £1,000, remain.

Later that same month at the Ordinary Meeting 21.12.64: 

defer until 1966 the liquidation of the debt of approximately £30,000 An Amendment was moved by Cr. Aill, seconded by Cr. Beckman, That subject to the Local Government Department agreeing to Council deferring until 1966 the liquidation of its deficit balance of approximately £30,000, this Council resolves to allocate money for the erection of public buildings in the following way:- French's Forest Community Hall £20,000; Mona Vale Community Hall £27,000; Curl Curl Youth Club £15,000; and that £25,000 be allocated from loan money to partly defray the total expenditure of £62,000 involved for these three buildings. AMENDMENT CARRIED and became the MOTION. At this stage - time 7.46 p.m. - Cr. Jenkin arrived at the meeting. Cr. Miles and Maver called for a division on the motion, resulting:- For:- Crs. Clark, Mill, Adcock, Beverly, Job, McLean, Alder, Beckman. Against:- Crs. Knight, Jenkin, Niles, Gold, Wilson, Lindsay, Jones. An Amendment was moved by Cr. Miles, seconded by Cr. Jenkin, That the three projects as listed be included in the 1965/66 loan programme. DEFEATED. Ors. Nibl and Clark called for a division on the amendment, resulting:- For:- Crs. Knight, Jenkin, Niles, Gold, Lindsay, Jones. Against:- CRs. Clark, Mill, Adcock, Maver, Job, McLean, Alder, Beckman, Wilson. 9; --- MOTION CARRIED. Note; Overvote of £62,000. At this stage - time 8.40 p.m. - Cr. Adcock left the meeting.

The Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held 18.1.65 record that there is still no community hall in Mona Vale but Forestville's is ready to open: MONA VALE COMMUNITY CENTRE. Resolved, That all previous reports and plans relating to the Mona Vale Community Centre be referred to the next meeting of the Works Committee. (Crs. Beckman/Adcock). OPENING OF FORESTVILLE COMMUNITY HALL.  The President announced that the 530A Committee of the Forestville Hall had requested the Council to give consideration to inviting the State Governor to open the Forestville Community Hall on a date suitable to the Governor - probably some time in March. 81.Resolved, That an invitation be extended to His Excellency, the Governor. (Crs. Job/McLean). At 11.25 p.m. the Council went into "Committee of the whole" to discuss certain confidential matters, and on resuming its Ordinary Meeting no recommendations were made. The meeting concluded at 11.50 p.m. This is page eleven of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Warringah Shire Council held on 18th January, 1965. 

Finally, and as local anecdotes tell a state of 'fed-up-ness' and lots of rumblings about taking away what the community had paid for, caused action and Architecture firm Donald Gazzard, Clarke Gazzard and Partners were commissioned with drawing the plans and overseeing the project. 

The Ordinary Meeting of 26.7.65. re Item 59, records: – Mona Vale Community Hall. - Submission of amended plans and sample of brick from Architects, Clarke, Gazzard and partners. Moved by Cr. Knight, seconded by Cr. Wilson, That Council allow the Section 530A Committee to peruse these plans before actually approving of them. DEFEATED. The President issued a direction that the amended plans be referred to the Chief Health and Building Inspector for examination. Cr. Jenkin arrived at the meeting - time 7.50 p.m. Adoption of Works Committee's Report 20.7,65. 14.Resolved, That the report of the Works Committee, as written and amended, be adopted. (Crs. Job/Gold). TOWN PLANNING COMMITTEE'S REPORT 5.7.65. The report of the Town Planning Committee, as contained in the Minutes of that Committee's meeting 5.7.65, was received and dealt with as follows:- • ro Item 7 - Proposal re 'Open Space' respecting land at the rear of "Arlington Hall" building. 15.Resolved, That the Town Planning Committee's recommendation be adopted. (Crs. Adcock/Mill). 

The Meeting held on 6.9.1965 records a:  Contribution by Elanora Heights Community Centre Section 530A Committee towards the cost of construction of the Community Hall. With permission of the President Cr. Lindsay handed in to the Shire Clerk a cheque for £1,000 from the Committee, being its contribution towards the cost of the hall.

The next month, during the Meeting held 25.10.1965: 

TENDERS. 74 Resolved,- that the tender box be opened, tenders endorsed and referred to the architects, Clarks, Gazzard and Partners for a recommendation to council. (Crs. Bookman/Job). 
The following tenders were received:- 
Mona Vale  Community Centre – 
W. & D. Houston, Thornleigh £26,743. 1. 6 
B.A. Pickworth & Sons Pty. Ltd., Balgowlah 30,708. 0. 0 
Murwell Constructions Pty. Ltd., Lidcombe ,31, 053. 0. 0 31 
Samson Building Co. Pty. Ltd., Ryde 31,580. 0. 0 
M.S.Rochford, Newport 32,475. 0. 0 
Cleveland Constructions, North Manly 34,958. 0. 0 
P.A. Molinari Constructions, Forestville 37,875. 0. 0 
Crossroad Construction Co. Pty. Ltd. Crows Nest 46,525. 0. 0

B A Pickworth & Sons of Balgowlah were chosen as the contractors. The surname 'Pickworth' is synonymous with Balgowlah and Manly. Bertie Augustus Pickworth (1888-1971) was a son of Thomas and Mary Ann Pickworth and brother to Harold Thomas Pickworth, stonemason (1886-1963). H T Pickworth was the father of Horace Henry Alfred (Ossie) Pickworth (1918-1969), golfer, who was born on January 17th 1918 at Manly, and won every major Australian event: four Opens, three Australian (1947, 1953 and 1955) and four Victorian (1948, 1954-56) Professional championships, six Ampol tournaments (1947-49, 1951 and 1953) and the Victorian Open (1957).

Thomas and Ann had at least three other sons born in Sydney; Percy, born 1882, Darcy, born 1884 and Norman, born 1890. 

Minutes Ordinary Meeting 16.5.66. 14. (A22) Private Secretary to His Excellency, The Governor V.C., 9.5.66, thanking council for extending an invitation to His Excellency to open the Pittwater Memorial Hall at Mona Vale Park in September, but regretting His Excellency will not be able to perform this ceremony. Resolved,- this information be forwarded to the Pittwater Memorial Hall Section 530A Committee. (Crs. Bridges/ Knight). (A23) Avalon Preservation Committee, 12.5.66 - stating they are concerned about the future development of land at 687 Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon. Suggesting council acquire the land for future erection of a Community Hall and Library and until such time as money is available to erect any buildings, the land be used for additional parking. Resolved,- that they be notified of council's decision to-night and they be advised to contact the Avalon Youth and Community Centre Section 530A Committee in regard to the provision of a site for a community hall. 

The Meeting held on June 27th, 1966 records: Mona Vale Progress Association, 16.6;66 — re flats in Mona Vale, again requesting that Council consider "A" Class flats only being permitted in Mona Vale, Town Planner having discriminatory powers as their only aim is to preserve the natural beauty of this beautiful area. Also asking that consideration be given to preserve the eastern side of Surfview Road where possible for "open space" purposes, and that no further high density development be allowed there. Moved by Cr. Knight, seconded by Cr. Thomas that the original petition received from the Mona Vale Progress Association objecting to flats in the area be forwarded to the Minister for Local Government together with all relevant correspondence, and all applications for development in the area be deferred until the Minister's decision on the east side of Surfview Road, Mona Vale. An amendment was moved by Cr. Bookman, seconded by Cr. Creagh that this matter be deferred until the next Town Planning Committee meeting and be brought forward in conjunction with the Town Planner's report on residential flats. The AMENDMENT was DEFEATED. The MOTION was also DEFEATED. Note. At this stage Cr. Knight gave notion of his intention to sponsor a notice of motion at the next Town Planning Committee meeting reading:— "That Council considers deleting the eastern side of Surfview Road, Mona Vale, from the flat area".

Meanwhile, progress on a Mona Vale Community Centre is being made. At the Council Meeting held August 8th, 1966: 

PARKS & RESERVES COMMITTEE REPORT 4.8.66. The report of the Parks and Reserves Committee, as contained in the minutes of that Committee's meeting 4.8.66, was received and dealt with as follows: re Item 22 – Mona Vale Park - Proposed relocation of toilets. Before discussion on this item, the President announced receipt of a letter late this afternoon from Clarke, Gazzard & Partners, Architects, together with sketch plans and a model showing toilets located at a position abutting the northern side of the Community Centre building, and another sketch plan showing the toilets in a free-standing position A little distance away from the Community Centre building. The Architect, in his letter, detailed the arguments for each case. The plans and model were tabled and perused by Councillors. Resolved; That these amended plans marked "Plan X" showing the toilets located in a position abutting the northern side of the Community Centre building be approved and the builder, B. A. Pickworth & Sons, be requested to furnish a quotation at the next meeting of the Finance Committee for the work involved as outlined on "Plan X"

At the Meeting held on August 29th, 1966: Mona Vale Community Centre (b) Consideration of a request by the Architects, Clarke, Gazzard & Partners, dated 29.6.66 concerning the provision of 700 sq.yds. of concrete slabs at the Mona Vale Community Hall. quotation submitted by Messrs. B. A. Pickworth & Sons $1792.39 (Ref.MinL2 P.C. 11.7.66) 10, Resolved, That the Finance Committee's recommendation be adopted. Note: (Crs. Mill/Jenkin) Over-vote of $1792.39.

The same Meeting shows under Item 60 - Forestville Hall - Plan of extensions to Hall forwarded by Honorary Architect, referred from Parks and Reserves Committee 4.8.66, to Works Committee, with report by Engineer as to estimated cost of the extensions. (Estimated cost $12,000) 12.Resolved, that representatives from the Forestville Community Hall  Section 530A Committee be invited to confer with the 'C' Riding Councillors, bringing with them documentary and other evidence in support of the need for extensions to this Hall at this time. 

And then it was 'hallelujah' time. At the Meeting of October 10th, 1966: Item 21 records:

Official Opening – Mona Vale Community Hall. Resolved, That the Finance Committee's recommendation that the sum of $200 be voted under Section 504 for the provision of refreshments in connection with the Official Opening of the Mona Vale Memorial Hall by the Shire President on 12th November, 1966, be adopted. (Crs.Mill/Dridges) Note: Overvote $200. FINANCE COMMITTEE'S REPORT 4.10.66. re Item in Shire Clerk's Report No.189/66 Purchase of Furniture and Fittings. Resolved, That the Finance Committee's recommendation be adopted. (Crs, Mill/Jenkin) During discussion on this item the President announced that a letter had been received today from the Mona Vale Community Centre Section 530A Committee in which the Committee indicated that it was prepared to forward to Council the funds it is holding, totalling an amount of $1754, to assist in the purchase of the furniture and fittingsNote, Over-vote of $4095. 

Gordon Jones was Mayor, or President as they were then called, of Warringah Shire Council from December 1964 – April 3rd 1967.

The following year Council's records provide:

REPORT OF THE SHIRE CLERIC SUBMITTED TO THE ORDINARY MEETING OF THE WARRINGAH SHIRE COUNCIL TO BE HELD CV MONDAY, 17TH JULY, 1967. ITEM 1 - MONA VALE MEMORIAL HALL. Certificate No.10 from Clarke Gazzard & Partners has been received, detailing cost of this hall and authorizing additional payment of $383.64 to the contractor, B. A. Pickworth & Sons Pty. Ltd. Since there is no further money available for expenditure on this hall, an additional vote of $383.64 is required. Clarke Gazzard & Partners also enclose a memorandum of fees due amounting to $741.88 -- there is no provision for this payment. RECOMMENDATION: That the sum of $383.64 be voted from Parks and Reserves allocation for the additional expenditure on the hall, and authority be given for the payment of Architect's fees amounting to $741.88.

Warringah Shire Council was dismissed in April 1967 by the Askin State Government. This was triggered by the gaoling of two councillors for bribery. The Councillors involved, Dennis Thomas and George Knight, were prosecuted under the Secret Commissions Prohibition Act 1919 (NSW) for receiving bribes from a development company to influence planning and development decisions. Both received gaol sentences. 

C. J. Barnett, Department of Local Government, acted as Administrator April to May 1967. R.H.Cornish, Department of Local Government, acted as Administrator from November 1967 to December 1968 and it was the latter of these administrators who opened the Avalon Recreation Centre on September 23rd 1968.

Mona Vale Baby Health Centre. Pittwater Road. Mona Vale. Sydney. Clarke, Gazzard & Ptnrs. 1966 Wille, Peter, 1931-1971 photographer. 1966. - photos courtesy State Library of Victoria. 

The side view of the new Mona Vale Community Memorial Hall can be seen in this image

Mona Vale Community Hall. Pittwater Rd, at Park Street. Mona - photos courtesy State Library of Victoria. http://www.slv.vic.gov.au › gid › slv-pic-aab53174 - by Wille, Peter 1932-1972 photographer. Mona Vale Community Hall. Pittwater Rd, at Park Street. Mona Vale. Sydney Clarke Gazzard & Ptnrs. 1966-67.

''On the left, clinker brick, white tile roofed Mona Vale Baby Health Centre (C-S No. 148 Feb. '65) on the right, Mona Vale Community Hall, both by Clarke Gazzard & Partners, archts.

''The third part of the Community Centre Complex, a branch library, is to follow. Unfortunately the client refused to allow the Hall to be built in the same clinker brick as the Health Centre, so a manganese face brick was used. An effort has been made to provide a public precinct or "place" between the two buildings, acting also as a pedestrian link between adjacent streets. Against the open space of playing fields this place appears too small amongst the fragmented roof forms. In the reverse of the usual complaint about municipal spaces, that they are arid and monumental, here the result is over-domesticated.'' -  Miller Milston & Ferris, str. engineers. B. A. Pickworth & Sons, builders. From UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE CROSS-SECTION -  Issue No. 179 September 1, 1967

The above photos, taken after completion, show modifications have taken place since. Some of these, taken in February 2023 and earlier, run below.

The Council of the day did get get it done and kept going, along with the community organisations who worked for decades to achieve this and raised funds for the same, until it was done. The work began in November 1944 and culminated in the opening of November 1966.

Once open the Memorial Hall became the venue for local clubs to meet, was where the Dutch club “Neerlandia” had monthly dances, had Ballroom dancing lessons there on a Tuesday night. Sam and Isador had the bands and dances on Saturday nights, residents recall.

A 1968 episode of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo shows the hall in its background, while the 'Best Man' episode that ran on May 12th 1969 features the old Methodist Church which used to be on the corner of Akuna Lane and Pittwater Rd, Mona Vale and has long since disappeared. Screens shots from same:

Above: Methodist Church, Mona Vale, circa 1900 to 1927 - Sydney & Ashfield : Broadhurst Post Card Publishers, Album ID : 823323, Image No.: a106012, courtesy the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW.

Photo circa 1967. Long-term resident Dave Murray coming out of Sunday School at the Methodist Church, Mona Vale. Behind all the parked cars was a horse paddock, which is where Woolworths is now.  Photo: Dave Murray.

Later on the Mona Vale Memorial Hall was the venue for a Normie Rowe concert, an ACDC Concert, and of course the venue for weddings, parties and just about anything that brought the community together.

The next project came just 5 years later, and by the time a Warringah Council existed again, in the form of a library, which celebrated the 50th year of its opening in 2022. 

Pittwater Online News' report from last year shared:

The late Olive Beaton was instrumental in campaigning the local community to support her plight for a library in the northern part of the beaches. The idea for a library was coined when Mrs Beaton found it difficult to get her two children to Warringah Shire Library in Dee Why due to the distance from their school, particularly without a car.

In 1970 she was elected to the General Committee of the Mona Vale Branch of the Friends of Warringah Shire Library which provided much support to the campaign. In addition, she attended numerous Warringah Council meetings, organise deputations and sent letters to campaign for and promote such a facility over a period of five years.

Her daughter, Linda Touw fondly remembers her mother’s adoration when discovering her dream would become a reality.

“She used to also say she felt vindicated by the establishment of the library that she was so passionate about, and in her own words, “it certainly made all those council meeting attendances worthwhile”.

“If she were still alive today, she would say she is very proud that the library has been of such a wonderful benefit to the Pittwater community for all these years and she is thrilled that her dream finally become a reality.”

From April 1970, the Friends of Mona Vale Library formed to help stock the library, including an extensive vinyl record collection, a hit with the youngsters of the time.

Olive Beaton turned the first sod of dirt before the construction of Mona Vale Library on July 10th, 1971. A special ceremony was held in her honour, to recognise her tireless work and passionate advocacy in bringing the project together. 

Olive Beaton turning the first sod of dirt, 10 July 1971. Courtesy Council's Northern Beaches History Hub

The library was created by the same architects who had designed the Sulman award winning Dee Why Library. It was believed to be the best equipped branch library in NSW at the time.

On a sunny afternoon fifty years ago, September 3rd 1972, Mona Vale Library, that bastion of great books and local histories, opened its doors. 

The Reference library was housed on an open upper floor. The high vaulted roof and windows introduced natural light, and the innovative ‘easy pit’ for children’s reading was created. The first librarian was Jane Hunt, and some pesky local problems were addressed by the library’s bookmark inscribed: ‘Please leave the sand on the beach.’

In September 1982, Olive Beaton was guest of honour to celebrate Mona Vale Library’s 10th anniversary. 1982 was also the ‘Year of the Tree’, and a planting took place in the library’s garden in Park Street.

The library officially entered the digital world in 1989 with the introduction of computer catalogues for users.

In May 1992, Pittwater seceded from Warringah Council, and Mona Vale Library became the central library for the new Council area. Pittwater Library Service was officially formed on 7 November 1992 when their computer system came online, with Carol Gerrard becoming the first Library Manager.

Mona Vale Library celebrated its 21st Birthday in September 1993, with a civic reception, followed by a speech from famous local writer Morris West. 

In the year 2000 Pittwater Council voted to construct a new building to house a new library. The old building, with cathedral like ceilings and a great hideaway nook upstairs for reference works and students, was originally a branch of Dee Why library and more space was needed. 

Mona Vale Library, 1978. – courtesy State Library of NSW

From the architects on this structure:

Mona Vale Village Park Civic Centre and Library

by Brewster Hjorth Architects


The new Mona Vale Civic Centre includes the refurbishment and refit of the old Col Madigan designed library building as a Council Customer Service Centre and a large new Library building constructed underground below the adjacent parkland. The complex provides a new Civic focus for the Mona Vale Village and a new home for Pittwater Council as well as a range of places for various experiences including a new Civic Place, outdoor café, a new parkland amphitheatre and an integrated pedestrian link between the two halves of the village. 

The new Library is located in two underground curved pavilions, linked by a central sunken garden which provides light and outlook as well as an external reading area for the library users. The internal spaces of the Library are brilliantly lit by natural light from the courtyard and the long curved lantern which encloses the main entry ramp. The building incorporates a range of innovative and unique ESD initiatives which take advantage of the building’s location to dramatically cut energy use. 

The architect’s work included the design of special shelving, furniture, signage and graphics in addition to their traditional roles to create a completely integrated facility.

Retrieved from: dynamic.architecture.com.au/awards

Then Pittwater Council General Manager Angus Gordon OAM explained during his interview for his Profile:

What were the biggest projects you undertook while at Pittwater Council that you’re happiest with?

The biggest one is probably the Library at Mona Vale. We had a pretty basic old library there to begin with, and the Mona Vale Memorial Hall and a Baby Health Centre to begin with in those days. We needed to upgrade the library, and we also wanted to have a shopfront for the Council in the area. I started to put together a proposal that would minimise the impact and put us on the Village Park, for which we’d have to take over a bit of that space. I got in touch with Crown Lands, who own Village Park, and said, look we need to redo some stuff and we need to use part of Village Park to do so and gave them the list of our works in our proposal. 

Crown Lands came back with a letter which stated they would not authorise the Council to put anything more “on” Village Park. 

So, I said, ok, we’ll put it under – and that’s what we literally did. I sent a letter back stating, ok, we won’t put anything more “on” Village Park, we’ll just make good use of what we already have (the footprint of). The funny thing about that was, as an Engineer, I knew what the fundamentals were in building a good building, but as a General Manager I was empowered to do a whole pile of things that I’d always wanted to do, but previously hadn’t had the authority. Although an underground library is not at first sight a spectacular Public Building it is surprising how soon it is seen as such. We found that once the architectural plans were done etc. it would cost less to go underground than to place some new “imposing public structure” atop the ground. Another aspect of the concept was that the air-conditioning requirements were dramatically less – and what’s more, provided a far more stable environment. For the underground library, one of the big challenges was the waterproofing, and for me, as an Engineer with a background in Water Engineering, I had a ball working through this aspect of the design and construction.

Ultimately it didn’t use that more of the surface of Village Park as the old Baby Health Clinic was removed, and its functions merged into the overall development concept. The new underground library meant we could reuse the old library building and revamp that into a Service Centre for the community and the Early Childhood Centre that replaced the previous Baby Health Clinic. This project, and the way we approached it meant that we could also then revamp the adjacent Mona Vale Memorial Hall and create a multipurpose community centre. 

Mayor Patricia Giles officially turned the first sod as part of the Village Park Redevelopment, Mona Vale on Friday June 6th 2003, along with long time library advocate Olive Beaton.

The library was officially opened by the Mayor of Pittwater Councillor and Mayor Lynne Czinner on the September 15th 2004.  The old building became Pittwater Council’s Customer Service and Planning area. 

During the decades of Pittwater Council the Mona Vale Memorial Hall was where the council held Meetings. The hall was also the venue for the Inaugural Shoreshocked band comp. in February 2016.

Today the Mona Vale Memorial Hall is still a centre for community in Mona Vale, hosting meetings, art exhibitions and any other community event going. For a building that is 57 years young this coming November, it has served the community well for a long time.

A Community Memorial Hall For Mona Vale - A 22 Year Odyssey That Culminated In Victory: November 1944 To November 1966. Threads collected and collated by A J Guesdon, 2023