August 14, 2018
A 60-year connection with Kumbia will come to an end soon when the Peace Lutheran Hall moves to a new home on the Sunshine Coast.
The hall – located on the Bunya Highway at Benair – has been a familiar site to generations of passers-by since it was added to the former Lutheran Peace Church complex in 1958.
It was the property of the church’s congregation, which formed in 1917 just three years after the Benair area was opened for settlement.
The congregation built the first St Paul’s Lutheran Church and opened a cemetery on the site in 1921.
The church served the community until 1950, when it was replaced with a newer building.
The hall – an ex-army building from Gregory Terrace in Brisbane – was added to the complex in 1958.
However, the second church closed in 1997 due to declining attendances and was relocated to Mt Tamborine to be used as a chapel.
This just left the hall, a memorial to the old church, a timber rotunda, a timber amenities building and the cemetery on the block.
The area was renamed the Peace Lutheran Hall and Cemetery after the church was removed.
Last October, after several years of debate about the building’s future, the congregation reluctantly elected to sell the hall rather than face potentially steep maintenance costs to keep the disused building on site.
They obtained a permit from the South Burnett Regional Council to remove the hall and demolish its foundations on the proviso the work be carried out within 12 months of the approval being issued and no other building would be erected on the block.
Contractors have now separated the front of the hall into three units ready to be transported to a development near the Sunshine Coast’s Ettamogah Pub.
On Tuesday, they were hard at work on the remaining rear section of the building.
Once the hall sections have been removed, the building’s brick base will be demolished and any remaining connections to utilities shut off.
But the cemetery, which is the final resting place for many of Benair’s pioneer families, and its associated parkland will remain.