Ingham Daily Press

Keeping People Connected

Pour a cup of kindness

Life is like a cup of tea,

to be filled to the brim and enjoyed with friends.

A very popular landmark, nestled amongst the canefields in Long Pocket, Ingham, is the well renowned QWCA Hall, also known as the Finn’s Hall.

The Queensland Country Women’s Association, Long Pocket branch, was formed in 1952.

Meetings were held in the Finn’s Hall, which served as a popular meeting place for many activities enjoyed by local residents.

It was orginally built on land which was donated by local Finnish families.

In that time, the Long Pocket Branch purchased a small house for their meetings in the early part.

When this building burnt down, they resumed using the Finn’s Hall, till this unfortunately burnt down also.

In 1975, the Abergowrie and Long Pocket branches amalgamated joining forces.

On completion of the new hall in 1977, it was officially opened by QCWA State President, Dorothy Schienpflug.

This hall was built by voluntary labour, on the supervision of Pat Clancy, where the hall still stands today.

This community hall, is so rich in history, and to the locals it’s so much more than just bricks and mortar.

Many local residents who were apart of this venture of rebuilding the hall, still reside in the local area.

It’s a place which brings the local residents together and help connect them with others from around the region.

Official opening of the new QCWA Abergowie/Long Pocket Community Hall in 1977
Construction of the new hall by local residents donating their labour

In 2014 ,the local Abergowrie/Long Pocket branch of the Queensland Country Women’s Association was on on the verge of closing its doors, due to the dwindling numbers of members.

Fortunately, the branch was saved by a group of local women, who wanted to keep the local Long Pocket community hall open. They wanted to continue to carry on the legacy and allow for current and future generations to enjoy.

The new committee have gone from strength to strength with further developing the existing building.

They have been successful with numerous grants, which have enabled the committee to renovate the hall, which is a favourite spot enjoyed by the locals.

Just recently they were successful once again, securing further funding, to refurbish the amenities block and install new roofing to that area.

The QCWA Abergowrie/Long Pocket branch President Marion Martin said,

‘We’ve been able to rejuvenate the hall and enable the community to experience the great atmosphere and good old country hospitality at our events.

‘The branch has been successful over recent years securing various grants, which has enabled us to get a new ceiling, purchase new round tables for functions, stainless steel cabinets in the kitchen and get the hall fully airconditioned.

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‘Cuppa in the canefields’
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The hall was painted by Long Pocket local, Jeff Biasi who kindly donated paint and his services

The organisation has held quite a few events over the years, including social barbeques, Christmas family events, Country Girls Night Out and the Annual High Tea, which is always very well supported event by the community.

In 2019 the branch was awarded with Community Event of the Year at the Hinchinbrook Shire Council Australia Day Awards for their Annual High Tea they held in 2018.

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The QCWA Long Pocket Branch members Vivien Martin, Amanda Griffiths, Marion Martin and front Daisy Griffiths. Accepting the Community Event of the Year Award, at the Hinchinbrook Shire Council Australia Day Awards in 2019 ,for their Annual High Tea.
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QCWA Long Pocket Branch committee and volunteers pictured at the Annual High Tea event in 2018.

The next event is the Girls Night Out which is happening on Saturday 19th June. 

More details to follow shortly regarding this event.

Branch President Marion Martin added,

‘We are always looking for new members, who would like to assist with community events. It allows members to meet new people, enables women to be showcase their creative flair and help create functions for everyone in the district to enjoy.’

Any enquiries in regards to private function hire please call Vivien Martin on 0400 552 733 or to find out more about becoming a member contact President Marion Martin on 0439 774 141.

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