The site of the Meadows Memorial Hall has been an important focus for the community for more than 120 years. Originally it was a dairy factory. Later, it becames the towns hall.
The Kondoparinga Butter Factory Company was official registered in 1890. Farmers from around the district brought their milk to the factory on Mawson Road. It was very noisy and dusty with the clatter of milk cans, and the sound of horses and carts on the dirts roads.
Part of the original stone factory remains in what is now the kitchen of the hall. A new red brick factory was built around the old one in 1937 for the SA Farmers Union. Many local men worked here producing cheddar and romano cheese for export.
In 1939 when the Black Friday bushfires threatened the town women and children sheltered in the factory.
“On the day that Meadows was really under threat, all the women and children were evacuated down to the Farmers Union factory and they’d emptied out all the vats and filled them up with water and the kids all got chucked in the cheese vats to keep them cool and keep them out of mischief” Quote from Barry Ellis
The SA Farmers Union Factory closed in 1967. In 1975 local man, Mr Ken Secker, suggested that the factory be converted into a town hall. An impressive community driven project involving much fundraising and hard work, supported by the local council, transformed the factory into the wonderful community facility that exists today.
The Meadows Memorial Hall was officially opened in 1978. The previous town hall was a wood and iron building near the entrance to the recreation grounds. It was pulled down in the early 1970s because it was termite ridden.
“The Opening was a “grand gala night, standing room only. Nine hundred odd people we had there. It’s only licensed for two hundred and sixty, so you can imagine how crowded it was, and it hasn’t got all the rooms on the back that we’ve got nowadays, so it was very crowded, very busy – big night.”
Quote from Pat Rowe (nee Parker), inaugural Life Member of the Meadows Memorial Hall
Today the hall is used for a large range of community and private events such as, the award winning Meadows Easter Fair, the Meadows Country Market, meetings, concerts, dance classes, parties, health and fitness classes, meditation sessions, Yoga sessions, and other health advice sessions. It is managed by volunteers on the Meadows Memorial Hall and Community Association Incorporation on behalf of the Mount Barker District Council.