Inner West Independent

Former Marrickville Mayor warns that Town Hall is ‘struggling to keep its relevance’ ahead of 100-year mark

The Marrickville Town Hall (pictured) has lost its relevancy to some during the past 100 years. Photo: Hidden City Secrets.

By SEJA AL ZAIDI

A former Marrickville mayor has said that the community’s town hall is “struggling to keep its relevance” ahead of its 100-year anniversary this month.

In 2020, the heritage-listed Marrickville Town Hall was voted to be converted into a live music, performing arts and cultural centre. Council aims to transform the Town Hall into a venue that hosts multicultural and creative events and garners a greater amount of use by the community.

“It’s a very significant building, but it’s struggling to keep its relevance to the community given it’s a bit underutilised,” Victor Macri, a former Marrickville mayor and Inner West deputy mayor, said.

When asked how the Town Hall can maintain its levels of use, Macri said that “we need to encourage people to have their birthday parties [and functions] in there … because that’s what it was initially all about”. 

The Town Hall continues to host polling booths on election days, as well as community workshops and election debates.

Macri says that moving forward, greater investment in amenities and better use of the building’s resources are crucial for maintaining the Town Hall’s place in the community.

“It’s relevant for so many things, but it just needs that extra tender love and care to be able to engage with the community even more,” Macri said. 

Inner West Council is celebrating the 100-year anniversary of Marrickville Town Hall this month, which was officially opened on 11 February 1922. 

The centenary celebrations will include history talks covering the events that have taken place at the site over the last decade, as well as tours and music performances by the Theatre Organ Society of Australia.

One of the talks that will take place will be held by Victoria Johnstone, Council’s Arts Projects and Partnership Leader, to discuss the restoration and history of Winged Victory, which was an “integral part of the Marrickville Town Hall corner”. 

“The event I was heavily involved with was the 100 year anniversary of the ANZAC commemorations [in 2015] where we made sure the war memorial was restored and the Winged Victory was put up there. It’s now gone down to Canberra, but that was a tremendous community event that resembled the actual opening of the town hall,” Macri said.

Inner West Council will hold its first ordinary meeting of the council term on February 8 following December’s elections. Macri was a councillor on the previous term of council, having narrowly lost his seat in the Marrickville-Midjuburi Ward to Zoi Tsardoulias, who ran second on Labor’s Marrickville ticket.

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