Rural history celebration

Renowned satirist and broadcaster Bryan Dawe will be the guest-of-honour at the Back to Kalangadoo celebrations on October 2.

The Kalangadoo History Group has chosen this date as it coincides almost exactly with the centenary of the Riddoch Memorial Institute which opened on October 4, 1921.

The building has had an important role in the life of Kalangadoo for 100 years.

At the time of the opening, it had the best jarrah dance floor outside of Adelaide and ‘modern’ Gloria pressure-type lights.

Kalangadoo History Group president Sandra Young said it commemorates George Riddoch, who bequeathed 2000 pounds ($4000) for its construction.

She said the land and later institute had been used by the community since 1899 for meetings and functions of various kinds, including as a library, for performances, as a kindy, for the Mothers and Babies Clinic, for billiards, dances, films and roller skating.

“Over the 100 years, the community of Kalangadoo has benefitted tremendously from the presence of the Institute and so with this in mind, the Kalangadoo History Group has organised a celebration on October 2,” Ms Young said.

“While the daytime events are focussed on the local produce, the history of the Kalangadoo township, railway lands, cemetery and two homesteads nearby, the evening session will be centred on the Riddoch Memorial Institute.

“Our special guest will be Bryan Dawe, COVID permitting, who will bring his own humorous anecdotes with a difference.

“We will also have Peter Rymill and Nick Hunt, local historians, to talk about George Riddoch and the Institute’s history.

“On a more casual basis, there will be a panel of local people in conversation with me to recall their personal experiences of living in Kalangadoo with special emphasis on the Institute.

“We hope many people will come to enjoy this day of reliving life in Kalangadoo in the past – it is a way of valuing our past.

“It will also be a time to renew friendships and to share Kalangadoo’s living history with the next generation.”

Among the daytime events are live music, displays, walking tours and rides on a railway line inspection car while the Kalangadoo railway station museum will be open.

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