The Noble Park Progress Association held its first meeting in the Noble Park Public Hall in 1918 and continued until it folded in about 1975. The Noble Park Garden Club too made its home in the hall for almost fifty years.
The hall was also the original home of the Truby King Health Centre, the Noble Park High School, St Aiden's Church of England, the Church of Christ, Combined Pensioners' Association and the Noble Park Football Club. Games were held on an oval behind the hall. The Noble Park Fire Brigade too had its beginnings in the hall.
The boot repair shop started out with Mr Arne Bartlett (known as the "local snob"). Arne was an institution in Noble Park's history, took a great interest in the affairs of the hall and was a stalwart of the football club. He possessed an uncanny ability to treat sporting injuries and his services were always given gratuitously. He was never too busy to help - a man with a heart of gold.The shop was taken over by Jack Healey, who carried on the same boot repairing business and conducted his business until the renovations in the mid eighties. Jack Healey's shop was the gathering place at the end of the week because the Noble Park Football Club teams were placed on the shop window.
Two shops fronted the hall, Jack Healey's shop and also Mystic Studios, a photography business conducted by trustee, Charles Weston and his wife, Pat. They operated their photography business in Noble Park for several decades as well. They also took hall bookings through the 60's and 70's.
Dancing was always a popular 'past-time' at the h all. In 1915 a tailor by the name of William Clarke came to live in Noble Park. Mr Taylor was a talented ballroom dancer and he taught many local children to enjoy the ballroom dances of the 19th and 20th centuries. Later, Mr Tom Copas took over the teacher of ballroom dancing, and like William Clarke, Tom Copas refused to accept payment. In the 1920's Stella Croft, fresh from dancing at the Tivoli established a dancing school, a tradition carried on at the hall for almost a hundred years. The Dawn Lois Dancing school gave enjoyment to thousands of youngsters through the 70's and 80's, and other dance schools at various times, including Karen Stephens Ballet Academy, Vivienne Dance Studio, and Cardee Dance School through the 80's and 90's. Jeff and Angie Beck conducted ballroom and jive classes for almost half a decade from the seventies onwards.
Local musicians, Ted Carter, Tom Blain, Mrs Pyke, Mrs Brewer, Jack Baird and their bands provided stimulating appropriate music for the dances held in the hall for over half a century too.
Euchre tournaments were a weekly feature with players come from near and far.
Table tennis and badminton clubs were formed, as were indoor bowls, and all of them called the 'hall' their home.
Saturday nights were given over to the movies, first the 'silents' and later the 'talkies' until the 1980's when stricter health department no longer allowed the hall to be used as a theatre.
But concerts were always popular and during the depression "Mugs Concerts" were held every week for a number of years. With an entry fee of 2 pence with all proceeds assisting the unemployed these proved to be popular.
At the outbreak of World War 2 a changed attitude in social relationships was apparent in Noble Park. Work became available and unemployment disappeared overnight. The public hall became the centre of long sustained activity by those whose responsibility it was to keep the home fires burning. A "Comforts Fund" was set up to raise funds to provide comfort and succour during the war. Community singing was held every Sunday night for many years and became a popular form of entertainment. Well known stage and radio stars attended. The hall was the scene of a memorable reunion when every enlisted serviceman received a leather Gladstone bag and every service woman received a travelling rug, just a token, but a sincere expression of the hearts and minds of the people of Noble Park.
The tennis courts were in use for over 50 years and the most famous player to use the courts was Frank Sedgman back in the late forties. The hallgrounds were also used by one of Australia's most famous acrobats and trapeze artists, Noble Park girl, Frances Duncan, internationally known as "La Franke".
With the opening of the new hall, in the early 1980's, the annexe named the Paddy O'Donoghue Hall, more groups were able to use the facility, including Dawn Lois Dancing School, Karen Stephens Ballet Academy, Vivienne Academy of Dance, Starbelle Dance Studies, Koala Olympic Gymnasium, Noble Park Table Tennis Club, Buckley Park Tennis Club, Topic Clubs, Noble Park Horticultural Club, Noble Park Stamp Club, Machine Knitters Club, Southern Early Holden Club, Ford Car Club, Springvalley Country Music Club, Mavis Corbett Art School, Paul Fitzgerald Coaching Clinic and the Rotoract Club. (if your group has been omitted, please contact us so we can include you).