FITTING TRIBUTE: Clarrie Hall Dam was named after Cr Hall in recognition of his work securing a reliable water supply for the region.
FITTING TRIBUTE: Clarrie Hall Dam was named after Cr Hall in recognition of his work securing a reliable water supply for the region. Blainey Woodham

Clarrie helps Tweed flourish

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TALKING HISTORY with Tweed Regional Museum, written by Max Boyd

WHILE the project to raise Clarrie Hall Dam is still in its early planning and land acquisition stage, it is worth looking back at the name behind the dam.

Clarrie Hall, former council shire president, left a lasting legacy in the Tweed.

Former councillor and mayor Max Boyd researched and wrote this article about Cr Hall, a man for whom he has the highest respect. He regarded him as a true friend and mentor. This is the second and final part of the article.

Part Two: Transforming Mud flats

ANOTHER decision made by the Tweed Shire Council, led by Clarrie Hall as council shire president, would change the face of Tweed forever and achieve what was considered to be the impossible.

The State Government owned what was known as Greenbank Island at Tweed Heads, a land mass of about 250 acres of sand and mud flats which stood between what was then the Pacific Highway (now Wharf St) and the Tweed River, with a shallow channel running parallel with the highway. In those days, it was a haven for mosquitoes and sandflies.

The State Government had advertised it internationally as being for sale and received no response, so they agreed to council developing the site, on the condition that council would have to resume the lands from the Crown, pay the government £100,000 for the land and also fill and develop a site of 10 acres for a hospital.

UXS000167 Clarrie Hall as a young man, C.1935.
Clarrie Hall as a young man, C.1935. Tweed Regional Museum

Council agreed to those terms and bought its own dredge and started filling.

It took a number of years to complete, but this major development changed Tweed Heads from a small fishing village into the major urban complex it is today.

It can be said that this decision, along with the decision to build Bray Park Weir, were among the most important and far-reaching in the council's history and Clarrie's wise counsel played a significant part in both.

MUS2014.41.58 Construction of the Clarrie Hall dam, 1980s. Photograph by NSW Department of Public Works
Construction of the Clarrie Hall dam in the 1980s. Tweed Regional Museum

In recognition of his work in obtaining the excellent water supply that the Tweed is fortunate to have, it was unanimously voted to name the dam built by Public Works of NSW in 1982 the Clarrie Hall Dam.

No greater honour could be bestowed on a man than to have his name attached to such a major public utility.

Part 1: Where did Clarrie Hall dam get its name?

Clarrie was regularly at the forefront of so many other projects too, including as director of NORCO, as representative on weed control and flood mitigation associations and in the development of the local tourism industry.

He was president of council when it was awarded the A. R. Bluett Memorial Award in 1971 and again in 1975. This is a special award for the most outstanding local government council in the state each year.

There are a myriad of other organisations he supported. His name will go down as the doyen of Tweed Local Government and as a dedicated and remarkable citizen of the Tweed.

M5-6 Clarrie Hall at the opening of the new Murwillumbah Bridge, 1968. Photographer unknown.
Clarrie Hall at the opening of the new Murwillumbah Bridge, 1968. Tweed Regional Museum

* Talking History is a column supplied by the staff of the Tweed Regional Museum. It features the stories behind their rich collection.