White Park community clubrooms almost finished

New digs: Murray Bridge Lions Club secretary John Filmer and building committee chairman Hylton Moritz inspect the clubrooms at White Park. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

New digs: Murray Bridge Lions Club secretary John Filmer and building committee chairman Hylton Moritz inspect the clubrooms at White Park. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

In the space of a few months, White Park has gone from an afterthought to a jewel of the community.

The park, tucked away on Mulgundawah Road, Murray Bridge, has long been home to a small, Besser brick building which hosted Murray Bridge Lions and University of the Third Age meetings.

However, the recent construction of a new hall there is already making more locals take notice.

The White Park community clubrooms can now accommodate up to 100 people, five times as many as the old building.

There is a large garage for storage of the Lions' barbecue trailer and other odds and ends which have, until now, been scattered at different people's homes; modern air conditioning inside; and all the necessary cabling for a sound system, TV, overhead projector and internet.

As building committee chairman Hylton Moritz surveyed the empty hall, the smell of paint in the air, he reflected on the almost three years it had taken to reach this point.

"It was just a note we sent to the council saying we were having trouble with the site we had, would it be possible to put a shed on the back of it," he said.

"We got a letter back saying it's not possible, they didn't have the funds.

"Since then the council have been very, very helpful; we've been knocked back twice or three times before we got a grant from them, a substantial grant, to go ahead and build this place."

In fact, he said many groups had contributed to the building project: the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion, the Australian Lions Foundation, the two key tenants through fundraising of their own, and even Kookaburra Homes, the RAA and Solomon's with discounts or donations.

"A lot of people put in a lot of time to achieve what we have," he said.

"We want to thank everyone sincerely."

A bit of finishing-off still needs to be done around the premises before they can be officially opened in October: construction of a car park will be the big job.

This is a community building for the betterment of the community. A need was identified and they've got on board. - Hylton Moritz

But they are already filling a local need for a place like-minded people can catch up and work on projects that give back to the community.

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