Entertaining a Community
The hall was built in 1924 by local voluntary labour and opened with a ball on 19 June 1925.
The hall held every type of event for the community and became the hub for the town.
In the early years, the lighting for the hall was by acetylene gas, which was made in containers that sat outside. Lauder can get pretty cold in winter and the containers invariably froze. A person was assigned to keep the water from freezing during a function so the lights would stay on! On many winter evenings, the frost could be seen glistening on the inside of the walls.
Electricity came to Lauder in 1930 and a celebration was held in the hall where the electricity was officially switched on.
“The busiest hall in the county”
Out of the West it Comes, “My Darling Clementine”, only one of the various moving pictures Mr Wilson Hull showed over the many years in the Lauder Hall.
Alexandra Herald And Central Otago Gazette, 4 February 1948, Page 8
The local and surrounding community engaged themselves in regular events and activities, such as roller skating, boxing, housie, euchre, indoor bowls, tennis, badminton, Women's Division of Federation Farmers meetings, weddings, dances, the local Library, miniature rifle shooting and school concerts.
In 1935, the hall was hired by the Education Board to use as an extra classroom as the school roll grew as the Public Works Scheme families moved into the community.
After the railway line was closed in 1985, there was less demand for the hall. In 1998, there was no further use for the building and it moved into private ownership. The hall stands today as a private residence across the rail trail from the station.
Alexandra Herald And Central Otago Gazette, Issue 1723, 5 February 1930, Page 4