Sutton amenities opened at village hall anniversary

It was a busy Saturday in Sutton with the opening of new sporting amenities and 100th anniversary celebrations of the village hall.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman, Yass Valley deputy mayor Nathan Furry and Sutton and District Community Association president Alison Walker officially opened the amenities building on September 7.

Dozens from the community came to witness the opening and tour the amenities which include changing rooms, showers, toilets, a kitchen and storage space.

"We know how important sports and events are for our communities, they're the lifeblood of villages like Sutton," Yass Valley deputy mayor Nathan Furry said.

"We know this will be actively used by the community."

The amenities will benefit soccer, cricket, Australian Football League and tennis players and Sutton Pony Club members.

They will also be used by Sutton Public School's 250 students, principal Claire Pritchard said.

"This will be fantastic for students. We always hold our sports days, activities and fundraisers on the oval," she said.

This is the second of three amenities buildings opened under a $1.65 million Yass Valley Facilities Upgrade Program, funded by the NSW Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund.

A new amenities building was opened at Binalong Recreation Ground in May and the construction of Gundaroo's new amenities building is set to take place in the 2019/2020 financial year.

"Sporting events are important to who we are and what we do," Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said.

"Congratulation to the council for delivering three of these across the shire."

Sutton and District Community Association president Alison Walker said the new amenities would provide many more opportunities for sport and recreation.

Yass Valley Council will landscape the area between the amenities and oval to create a better walkway between the two and trim back trees to provide better visibility of sport on the oval, Cr Furry said.

The Community Association is also looking at constructing a fence around the oval, Mrs Walker said.

Local tradespersons and materials were used to build the amenities building, Gundagai Constructions' Bill Smart said.

100th anniversary bash

Residents, old and new, came together for an afternoon tea and evening bush dance to celebrate Sutton Hall's 100th anniversary on Saturday.

The hall has been a central place for dancing, Christmas plays, school lessons, weddings and birthdays in all those years.

David Hobson grew up in Sutton and travelled from Canberra for the afternoon tea.

He recalled painting the floor hall with wax as a child, so people could slide from one side to the other at dances.

His father, Ainslie Hobson, was the Sutton Public School principal from 1939-48.

"I remember Mum and Dad coming up here often for dances. Dad had a pair of patent shoes. My two sisters and I would sleep in the car while they were dancing," Mr Hobson said.

Sutton resident Barbara Kershaw comes from one of the village's oldest families and also remembered dancing in the hall.

She said the hall was lit by Gloria lamps and that men and women would drink outside the hall until they were called in for a dance and supper.

"There was no alcohol inside the hall so people stayed outside," Mrs Kershaw said.

Her daughter, Deidre Robinson nee Kershaw, talked about performing in the school's annual Christmas play, Christmas Tree, inside the hall.

"In this corner, there would be a tree with presents underneath it. The performances always included a gymnastic pyramid when teacher Chris Bayllis was running them," Mrs Robinson said.

Jack and Gwen Kershaw ran the village shop for many years and would collect money from parents to make sure every child had a present, Community Association president Mrs Walker said.

Mrs Walker had been interviewing Sutton residents about the village's history to compile Sutton Stories in the Words of the Locals, 1867-2017.

The book was also compiled by Alan McNeill and the first print of 300 has already sold out.

A tree was planted outside of the hall by some of Sutton's oldest residents on Saturday, to commemorate the past 100 years and hopefully the future 100.

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