Committee holds hope for Waikoikoi hall

A West Otago hall looks to have been spared the chop, following an upsurge in community interest after its plight was made public this week.

On Tuesday, the Otago Daily Times revealed the Waikoikoi Public Hall could face closure, unless a turnaround in its finances occurred.

But following the 62-year-old facility’s annual meeting on Tuesday night, hall officials say its future looks much brighter.

Hall secretary Geoff Stark said 12 people were at the meeting, tripling the usual attendance of four committee members.

"It was really positive. People had heard the news of our struggles, and came to see where we were at and offer their help.

"The overwhelming feedback was, ‘keep it running’."

He said several steps now needed to be taken to secure the hall’s financial future.

"We need to remove the big heaters from the main hall, which have stuffed our electricity costs, and on the other side of the balance book, raise some funds."

Representatives of other hall committees from across the district had been in touch to share fundraising ideas.

Further ideas put forward at the meeting included a stock drive, family donations, and a "social", he said.

"It could be a dance and supper. Something like the old days."

Although a few nostalgic anecdotes were shared by those attending on Tuesday, Mr Stark said the clear focus was on ensuring the hall did not close.

"The committee’s grown to 10 now, and we’ll meet again next month to thrash out some details."

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