The Yass Soldiers’ Memorial Hall received $10,000 in funding recently to commence work to conserve the historic building from the NSW Government’s Community War Memorial Fund.

Yass Valley Mayor Allan McGrath said it’s a small grant but a very welcome one.

“We’re grateful for the announcement by Wendy Tuckerman,” he said. “Hopefully we may be able to get some more money for the rest of the hall at some stage.”

Deputy Mayor Jasmin Jones said Council applied for the grant with Yass RSL Sub-Branch and it will be used to restore the foyer area between the front door and the door leading into the hall proper.

“We’re very pleased it was successful and Council will certainly be looking for every grant opportunity it can for the Soldiers’ Memorial Hall,” Cr Jasmin said.

“It’s obviously very important for the community,” she said. “It holds several honour roles for various conflicts which are very important to many Yass families because it shows the history of the sacrifices made by many of the young men in their families.”

The Memorial Hall is also swift approaching its centenary after officially opening in March 1923 by Brigadier General H E ‘Pompey’ Elliott. The historic building was built by Walter Macintosh and paid for by public subscription.

President of the Yass and District Historical Society and Yass Valley Councillor Adrian Cameron said the Hall was built as a mark of respect to the soldiers who fought in WWII, many of which didn’t return home.

“Over the years afterwards it was a centre of a lot of social functions, a lot of balls, a lot of presentations, a lot of activities,” he said. “It was the centre of social life for many, many years.”

“The $10,000 will be beneficial but it’s nowhere near what’s required to secure the building.”

The NSW Government’s Community War Memorial fund concurrently delivered $10,000 to Berrima’s Remembrance Grove in the Southern Highlands.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman welcomed the investment in the two local landmarks.

“Our region has a proud military history and I’m thrilled to see locals actively working to conserve sites that recognise this service and sacrifice,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“Both the Yass Soldiers Memorial Hall and Berrima Remembrance Grove hold special significance to our communities, so I am pleased to see this investment.”

The projects received funding with the aim to conserve, repair and protect the war memorials.

Centenary plans for the Yass Soldiers’ Memorial Hall are already in motion by the Yass and District Historical Society.

Adrian said some members of the Society are currently preparing to apply for a grant to write a history of the Memorial Hall and equate that with an educational website.

Applications for the second round of the Community War Memorial Fund will open on Remembrance Day, 11 November 2022. A further $125,000 of funding will be available.

By Brianna O’Rourke