Morpeth Hall history, continued…
According to a newspaper article by Victor Lauriston 1936, the Morpeth Community had pioneered a movement which became province-wide and which was definitely legalized, by the Provincial Government in the Community Hall Acts 1920. Morpeth Hall was some years in advance of the legislation.
Many and varied are the events that have taken place in Morpeth Hall down through the years. The following are only a few remembrances of those times which make us recognize how vital the hall has always been to the people in this area.
For the St. John’s Church people, it served as their first church meeting place and down through the years has been used extensively by them, since they had no basement or church hall. Many fund raising events and social times were sponsored by their Guild and the A.Y.P.A. groups. There were quiltings, card parties, bazaars, dances, dinners, fish and oyster suppers. The fish suppers were back in the days when whitefish were plentiful and were supplied by the local fisheries. The ladies would assemble early in the day to get everything prepared before the big pans, in which those large pieces of white fish would be fried just to perfection, would be put on to cook.
Groups from the United (Methodist) Church likewise found the hall a necessity at times. There were their large turkey suppers, amateur shows, etc.; but probably best remembered are their plays produced with all local talent. The hall platform would be extended, various pieces of scenery assembled, and curtains put up. Many of these plays were directed by A. B. Kimmerly with Mrs. Leroy Kimmerly supplying special music for intermissions. For all involved those plays have always had many happy and rather amusing memories.
A custom that has been carried on in many rural areas is that of having a community shower for all newlyweds of the area. It is a time of getting together to wish the recent bride and groom well in their new life together. The Morpeth Hall has been the meeting place for many such community affairs. Mrs. Goldie Coll remembers well, when her friends arranged such a shower for her and her husband David, back in 1928. Many similar celebrations have been held for wedding receptions, special wedding and birthday anniversaries.
Prior to 1967, an annual event in the hall was the Christmas concert presented by the pupils and teachers of the Morpeth School. Several weeks before Christmas the teachers would be busy gathering material and deciding what would be new and different for that year. Practice soon began and with eager anticipation the children looked forward to the big night. It was usually held just preceding the Christmas holiday. The program of music and songs, drills, recitations, skits and plays was not only entertaining but gave the children an opportunity to perform before a very attentive audience. The chairman for the evening was usually one of the local ministers or a school board member. Similar concerts were held in Trinity and Slabtown.