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Report - Australia Hall and Raffles Nightclub, Pembroke, Malta - November 2015

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Bertie Bollockbrains, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Australia Hall was built in November 1915 as an entertainment and recreation venue for convalescing Aussie and Kiwi troops from the Gallipoli campaign. By the end of the war, almost 58000 ANZACS from the Gallipoli campaign were taken to Malta to be treated for various wounds. The hall, then surrounded by a number of field hospitals was built for the men as they recovered and could be returned to the frontline. In it’s heyday the hall could accommodate up to 2000 troops as stage productions, dances and other forms of recreation were regularly held there. Later a library and reading room were introduced and around 1921 a projection room was added so that the hall could also be used as a cinema. The chiseled distinctive Australian Coat of Arms is still there, as is a stone declaration stating that it was built on donations from the public believed to be predominantly from new South Wales.

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    British military facilities in St Andrew’s barracks were closed down in 1978. The building was owned by the Maltese Labour Party, after it was handed the property by the Malta government in 1979. Some months later a fire, the cause of which police were unable to determine, gutted the heritage listed building.

    It has remained derelict ever since and last year was sold to private developers for AUD$860,000 by Labour to pay off its party debts. The Australian Government has yet to step in financially but has made it clear it would like to have the building restored as a meeting or conference centre as a continuing memorial to the thousands of Anzac troops who used the hall.

    Final decisions are not expected to be made for some months.

    Just around the corner is a large building said to have been some sort of mess building for the troops. It was used as the Raffles nightclub in the 1980s, hosting big name stars such as Sam Fox (wow!). It has computerised lighting (wow!) and an illuminated dance floor (wow!). It too lies derelict and gutted by a suspicious fire.

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    REPORT

    Australia Hall lies on a road appropriately named Triq ANZAC
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    The Australian Coat of Arms
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    And dedication plaque
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    Inside the roof is gone and the place gutted
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    Graffiti line the walls
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    Outside we the projection room that was added in 1921
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    Just around the corner is the former Raffles Nightclub
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    This too is trashed and showing signs of fire damage
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    The bar area
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    and lets compare that with how it looked in the 1980s (WARNING: Bad fashion follows, sensitive viewers may want to turn away)
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    Heading into the kitchens
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    A safe lies buried in the rubble
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    Hallway
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    Stairs leading up
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    Mmmm burgers only 30cents
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    Thanks for reading
     

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