The Batlow community got a glimpse of the realisation of a dream when the Batlow Development League held a cocktail party at the refurbished Batlow Literary Institute on Friday night.
BDL chairman Ray Billing thanked everyone involved for their work in transforming the Literary Institute to the picturesque and functional facility it has become, and special guest, Wagga Wagga MP Dr Joe McGirr spoke in front of the 70 people who gathered there.
“I am looking forward to being good to Batlow, as Batlow has been good to me,” he said.
“The BDL is to be congratulated on what they have done to make the institute what it has become,” he said.
“Back in 1935 it was built by the community for the community, and now the BDL has taken it forward and it is great to see it open and refurbished. It will be great to see it thrive and host many events.”
Snowy Valleys Mayor James Hayes said the BDL had got “a great deal of value” from the $300,000 funding it received for the project.
“The BDL made sure it happened,” he said.
The money came from two different NSW government grants, a club grant of $267,000 and NSW Regional Cultural Fund grant of $44,393.
The club grant was used to make the institute habitable and secure with the likes of the installation of heating and cooling.
The kitchen was upgraded to a commercial standard with fire rated walls and ceilings, new appliances, utensils, crockery and cutlery.
It is now the only hall of its stature in the region with the ability to hold a capacity crowd of 150-plus people for formal functions and be able to have catering from its kitchen.
The NSW Regional Cultural Fund grant, Jazzing up the Lit, successfully applied for by BDL member Justine Wilkinson, made it possible for events such as the cocktail party to be held, with the likes of stage lights and sound equipment, and this will be followed by exhibition panels.
Aimee Zappia and the St Mary’s School Choir’s performances were well received on Friday night, so the vision is well on its way to becoming a reality.