GREAT NIGHT: At the Mayor's Ball in Monto on Saturday, March 2, raising money for Mulgildie Hall and the Cancer Council.
GREAT NIGHT: At the Mayor's Ball in Monto on Saturday, March 2, raising money for Mulgildie Hall and the Cancer Council. Alex Treacy

Mayor has a ball in support of small hall

THE organiser of Saturday night's Mayor's Ball in Monto is still coming down from the "brilliant success” of the night.

Ivan Dunkley, who works at a funeral home in Gladstone but travels "home” every weekend to his farm in Mulgildie, said he would like to see the ball become an annual event, with the assent of Mayor Rachel Chambers.

People travelled up from as far as Brisbane and down from as far as Mackay.

Mr Dunkley said one of the attendees approached him to say that if the event was held next year, he would be bringing a table of friends with him from Brisbane.

"All that matters is that people enjoyed themselves, woke up the next morning and said, 'What a fantastic night',” Mr Dunkley, who is also vice-president of Mulgildie Hall committee, one of two beneficiaries of the night alongside the Cancer Council, said.

$1750 was raised for the hall and $1097 for the Cancer Council.

The money raised for the hall will go towards installing new ceiling fans.

Mr Dunkley said another aim of the ball was to establish a sense of camaraderie between the fellow "small halls” of North Burnett, which include Degilbo, Coalstoun Lakes and Kalpowar.

"I am trying to bring small halls together in the sense of not having events on the same night and not running against one another,” Mr Dunkley said.

"It's important we keep these halls as there is a lot of history attached to them.

"Once halls go, you lose the opportunity to host small dance classes or little birthday parties of 20 to 30 people.”

Cr Chambers also highlighted the importance of "small halls” in country life.

"I've heard many a story of young love blossoming at dances in our town and community halls and even though the use of these halls may have changed over the decades, many of our community halls are actively used as meeting places and as such council started a separate fund last year to support these small halls,” she said.

"If the community would like to make it an annual event, I would love to attend again and dance the night away.

"I may even learn to tango.”


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