Rangiora Town Hall
The Town Hall, including library and reading room, was opened by the Mayoress, Mrs R McIntosh, on 27 May 1926. A music festival including a choir and orchestra of performers was held in the evening to mark the milestone.
It was designed by architect H St A Murray and built by F Williamson of Christchurch, seating 600 people, at a final cost of £10,850.
At the ceremony the Mayor read out apologies from the Prime Minister and members of the cabinet of the time. Rangiora’s new hall sparked jealousy from the Christchurch Mayor, Mr Archer, who commented that Rangiora "… certainly could show Christchurch something in the way of finance, and it was most remarkable that it would not cost the ratepayers anything". He concluded by congratulating the borough on possessing such a very fine building.
(The above information was courtesy of D N Hawkins, and ‘The Press’ dated Friday 28 May 1926.)
The Town Hall has been home to many local cultural activities – The Rangiora Musical Society and Rangiora Dramatic Society Productions; “Pictures” since 1926, first in the main hall and more recently in the small theatre upstairs in what was once the library; children’s recitals; massed choir festival of the North Canterbury primary schools; band recitals; Anzac Day services; and many other community events. The Rangiora Borough Council was housed in the building from 1966 to 1981.
The Town Hall was celebrated with the presentation of a plaque on 27 May 2010. The ceremony included guest speakers whom have had a long relationship with the building:
Fred Read (early projectionist and leaseholder)
David Ayers (MC and Landmarks Committee member)
Dave Sanderson (long term Town Hall performer, Musical Society)
Pat Walsh (lessee of the Regent Theatre, Rangiora)
Songs from the era of the Town Hall’s beginnings were sung by the North Canterbury Musical Society, vintage cars were on display courtesy of Mr and Mrs Peter Bayler and Mr and Mrs Alan Hill. A silent movie entitled ‘When Comedy Was King’ played in the auditorium whilst members of Council showed interested parties around the hall.
The Landmarks Team was present to witness another favourite heritage building celebration.
The Town Hall has a Historic Places Trust Category II registration.