First step back in time, then celebrate!

At the opening of the foundation stone in July are (from left) Dick Nicholls, Joy White, Jody Wallis, Jim and Beryl Nicholls, Shaun Nottle, Kathy Nicholls, John Nicholls, Wendy Carter and Trevor Duncan.
Lochiel Hall will be receiving a mini revamp over the next four months in preparation for the hall’s centenary celebrations on March 27 and 28 next year.
Lochiel resident John Nicholls is part of an unofficial planning committee for the event and said it would be a great chance for current and former residents to catch up on a more positive note.
“It will give people a good excuse to catch up, rather than funerals being the main thing to bring people back here,” he said.
The weekend is set to feature a dance and entertainment evening on the Saturday, while Sunday will be a lunch get together featuring more of the local history.
A community lunch was also held in August this year to mark the centenary of the hall’s foundation stone being laid.
A time capsule, found behind the hall’s foundation stone in July, was also opened.
The small bottle was unearthed by Blyth builder Craig Lloyd in front of a small gathering.
Lochiel Progress Association president Nick Ottens opened the capsule in front of about 100 people at the event.
Inside was a newspaper, a few coins of mainly English currency, and a letter penned by JH Nicholls.
The letter was only brief, mentioning names of trustees at the time.
Not in the capsule itself, but still in the wall behind the foundation stone, was a reciept from a local draper, showing the cost of various grocery items at the time.
Later at the event, video screens were set up in the hall showing a selection of historical movies based around Lochiel. “It was pleasing to see amongst the crowd were fifth and sixth generation family members of LC Nottle and JH Nicholls, who were original trustees,” Mr Nicholls said.
John and wife Kathy are also looking for contributions to assist with displays for the centenary weekend.
John said any information, historic photos and articles, family photos or anything to do with Lochiel and surrounds were welcome.
“So far, we have received copies of photos, (some) information and a salt encrusted ram’s head, donated by the Uppill family, of which we are most grateful,” he said.

PHOTOS BELOW, from left:. Holly Cowan, Bonnie Nicholls and Nick Ottens with items from the time caspule and RIGHT, building continues on the hall in 1911.
. Contributions and queries can be made to John and Kathy Nicholls, Box 1, Lochiel SA, 5510. Alternatively, call 8866 2273, 0428 662 273 or email nichollsjd@hotmail.com.