A historic former Dardanup church built by one of the South-West’s early European pioneers is set to undergo a $500,000 revitalisation thanks to the McGowan Government.
Thomas Little Memorial Hall, built in 1857 and situated on the Our Lady of Lourdes school site, is of considerable significance to the early European history of the South-West region.
The upgrades will improve the hall’s ability to host events, functions and performances – providing the people of Dardanup with a much-improved local community facility.
The hall is named after notable South-West pioneer, public administrator and farmer Thomas Little who was instrumental in establishing the Dardanup and Australind settlements, and advocated for a road to Perth and bridges over the Collie and Preston rivers.
He donated land and building materials – and drove fundraising efforts – towards the church’s construction. Our Lady of Lourdes School was later built on the site, before the church was deconsecrated in 1938 and handed to the school.
The works will begin shortly and will address damp and structural issues, preserve the hall’s heritage value and improve accessibility and amenity.
The project will see the restoration of an important State Heritage asset and an asset for local historical tourism. Works are expected to be completed in 12 months.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“The Thomas Little Memorial Hall is an important piece of local history, and I’m pleased my Government has been able to give the building a new lease of life through this $500,000 election commitment.
“It’s important that we do all we can to preserve these buildings, so future generations can continue to learn about the history and legends that surround the areas in which they live.”
As stated by Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray:
“In 2017, I committed to assist the Dardanup community to restore the hall – not only to mark a slice of South-West history, but to provide an improved community facility for local people.
“Danny Harris and the Thomas Little Memorial Hall committee have been strong advocates for this project, and they should be commended for their commitment to preserving this piece of history.
“Dardanup is rich in both indigenous and European history, and the revitalised hall will add to the historical tourism offerings of area, for the benefit of tourism operators and local small businesses.”