Clarrie Hall at the opening of the new Murwillumbah Bridge, 1968.
Clarrie Hall at the opening of the new Murwillumbah Bridge, 1968. Tweed Regional Museum

Where did Clarrie Hall Dam get its name from?

TALKING HISTORY with Tweed Regional Museum

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

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

Former 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.

His piece will be published in two parts.

Part 1: Bray Park Weir

CLARENCE Henry Hall, or "Clarrie” as he was known, was undoubtedly the one councillor of Tweed Shire Council whose vision and deep love of this beautiful valley made him pre-eminent amongst his peers, both local and state.

As a dairy farmer and former school teacher from Kunghur, he entered Tweed Shire Council as a newly elected councillor in 1953 and went on to serve continuously on council until his sudden death in October 1979, 26 years later.

During that time he served 16 years as shire president, a mammoth effort in a time some of the most important and far-reaching decisions that have faced the council.

MUS2014.41.59 Construction of the Clarrie Hall dam, 1980s. Photograph by NSW Department of Public Works
TAKING SHAPE: Construction of the Clarrie Hall Dam in the 1980s. Tweed Regional Museum

The first of these came when the council was advised by the local government authority on the Queensland side of the border, which supplied water from the little Nerang Dam to Tweed Heads, that it would no longer be able to continue that service due to not having enough water for its own needs.

This put the Tweed Shire in the position of having to quickly find its own alternative supply.

Tweed Shire Council devised a scheme that entailed building a weir across the Tweed River at Bray Park, Murwillumbah, to prevent the salt water mixing with the fresh water coming down both the Oxley and Tweed Rivers.

It also involved constructing a major pump station, a water treatment plant and water mains from Bray Park to Tweed Heads.

This water supply service not only supplied the present needs of the Shire's population, but also provided the opportunity for the shire to grow.

It was what brought Tweed Shire into a whole new era.

NEXT WEEK: We look at a second decision by Clarrie Hall which changed the face of the Tweed forever.

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