KURAREE – THE HEART OF PERTH
KOORARI – BOORLOO KOORT-AK
Perth Town Hall is turning 150. An exhibition commemorating the opening of the building was planned to be held at the Town Hall. Due to the COVID-19 situation this has unfortunately been cancelled but instead there will be an online exhibition, launching on June 1st, to commemorate the opening of the building
Kuraree is the Nyoongar name for the ridge of land where the Perth Town Hall stands – an important meeting place for Whadjuk Nyoongar people between the Swan river flats and the wetlands, where the railway station and cultural centre now stand.
Begun in 1867, the building was finally opened on 1 June 1870. About a thousand people crammed into the opening ceremony, which featured speeches by anyone who was anyone in the Swan River colony. A few days later, 900 people who hadn’t got into the opening ceremony had a ‘monster tea meeting’ – more speeches, of course, while the Perth Congregational Choral Society and Volunteer Band provided the entertainment.
The Town Hall was always intended to be more than just a civic centre. As a meeting place for the people of Perth it has hosted a bewildering variety of gatherings – from civic receptions to wedding receptions, public meetings to private parties. Boxing matches and lotteries, competitions, concerts and plays, exhibitions and shows, even roller skating – the town hall has seen them all.
And of course, before dating apps there were dances! No doubt many a Perth couple found romance at a dance at the Town Hall.
All the while, the clock kept time for the city and made an easy landmark for a meeting.
Kuraree – the Heart of Perth / Koorari – Boorloo Koort-ak will showcase the contribution of the Perth Town Hall to the community life of the city and its people.