Show Hall and Community Centre, Main Road, Willunga

The Willunga, Aldinga and McLaren Vale Agricultural and Horticultural Society held Shows from as early as 1856. They were popular district events with numerous prizes for horses, cattle, pigs, wheat, barley, dairy produce, fruit, vegetables, flowers, implements, slate, poultry and wine. Until 1888, the early Shows were held in the Oddfellows Hall at 35 High Street and on vacant land between the Hall and the nearby Old Bush Inn.

On Willunga Show Day, 5 March 1890, the Agricultural Hall (now called the Show Hall) on the north side of the present complex was officially opened and the gained a permanent home. The Hall was used for shows, dances, picture shows, concerts and meetings. An Institute Library was conducted in the back room from 1922. The front rendered section was added in the early 1900s, and the Sports and Social Club was added to the back in 1982. At the rear of the Hall is the Recreation Park, the land for which was purchased in 1885 from Mrs. Pethick.

In 1905 the Show Society erected a Luncheon Booth next to the Show Hall but this was demolished to make way for the present Community Centre, opened in 1979, which includes RSL and CWA Clubrooms. An early cottage used by the CWA was demolished to form an entrance and gateway. Note a lintel and seat placed under the pepper tree. The Almond Blossom Festival Committee was formed in 1969 and since 1970 has held the annual Almond Blossom Festival at the Recreation Park in July to highlight the almond industry and the picturesque blossom and to raise funds for the Oval and Community Centre.

This building is on the City of Onkaparinga’s local heritage list (SA Heritage Places database #5493)

References:

R Baxendale & F Lush Willunga Walks Willunga National Trust Willunga 2010 (1989)

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