Berry School of Arts

World War 1 Memorials Project

Berry School of Arts Honour Roll. Image courtesy of Shaolhaven Shire Council.

Berry School of Arts Honour Roll. Image courtesy of Shaolhaven Shire Council.

 Berry is a town of 2000 people located in the Shoalhaven region, 145 km south from Sydney.

The Berry School of Arts was opened in 1906 and provided rooms for billiards, a library, lodge meetings, and the Berry Council chambers as well as a large hall. The supper room and kitchen came later.

In 1921 a lead-inset Marble plaque commemorating those who had served in the war was fixed to the righthand side of the main entrance to the hall. The plaque stands approximately 1 m high x 1.5 m wide. The plaque is unusual in recording the names of all those who had enlisted, not only those who had served overseas, as well as those who served on ‘home duties’ in such things as the Comforts Fund.

Over the years the School has housed music, drama and social events. There have been classes for millinery and needlework and boxing and chess were introduced as part of the program. A natural history museum was set up in the library. The ladies organised balls, fashion displays, flower shows and card parties. The hall was hired for social functions, both private and community. Between 1920 and 1965, it also served as the local cinema.

Today, a local not-for-profit group, The Berry Community Activities Centre Inc., manages the hall. All profits raised are used to maintain the building and support the local community.

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