1956 - 1983

Getting back on deck

Through the sixties and seventies numerous offers were made to the trustees to sell the land for commercial purposes however the residents of Noble Park endorsed the policy of the trust.  

The hall has been the home of most local organisations at one time or another. 

In 1971 a Ladies' Auxilliary was formed to assist with fundraising. Drawing on experience gained by working in local organisations the ladies soon  made their presence felt. Their street stalls became very popular.

The trustees were always ready to co-operate with the public. Situated in the prime part of the town the hall and its environs were synonymous with all that fond memories conjure up of an era rich in experience, good fellowship and togetherness.

Almost every organisation in  Noble Park had its origin in, or developed from  meetings organised in the hall. Many have established their own headquarters elsewhere, others have stayed.

In the late seventies the trustees, Messrs. John Bush, Paddy O'Donoghue, Bob Bell, Ray Fullerton and Mrs Pat Kampl, called a public meeting of residents interested in developing the complex. With over 22 organisations using the hall it was hired out to its maximum capacity and many groups were on the 'waiting list'.  The meeting was held on June 24th, 1979, and resolutions were carried unanimously to establish a hall co-operative. Interested residents were asked to take out shares.

It was soon realised that the $30,000 co-operative loan wouldn't be sufficient to fund the building program so the trustees themselves had to sign a personal guarantee to cover the extra amount of $10,000. 

Considerable delays in obtaining building permits caused the project to be held up for approximately eight months. However in March, 1980, earthworks began. Under the watchful eye of Trustee, John Bush, the foundations were laid in May and work progressed rapidly. Seldom a day passed when Trustee, Paddy O'Donoghue didn't stroll over to the hall to check progress.  

It was decided to celebrate the official opening of the new hall with a dance and a gala fair, however, just as the building was nearing completion, Paddy O'Donoghue died suddenly.  In his memory, the trustees decided to name the new hall the "A.J. "Paddy" O'Donoghue Hall, as a tribute to his 47 years tireless devotion to the Noble Park Public Hall.    

With the opening of the new hall a greater number of groups were able to join the hiring family.With the completion of the new hall it was decided that the grounds needed improving to enhance the appearance of the complex. 

Members of the Buckley Park Tennis Club and trustees and their families joined together in levelling the ground, planting trees and shrubs, erecting fences and enclosing the playground area, as well as installing an electric barbecue. Finance for part of this project was provided by the State Government's Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation.

Several years later a fire broke out in the upstairs area of the main hall causing several hundred thousand dollars damage.  This was devastating for the local community and it took a long time for the trustees to get the hall back up and running.   Many groups were relocated and to enable the renovations funding was sought from the local government.