Gleniffer celebrates centenary

The tiny Gleniffer Community Church made popular by the novel Oscar and Lucinda.
The tiny Gleniffer Community Church made popular by the novel Oscar and Lucinda. Promised Land Cottages

AN estimated 300 people visited the Gleniffer Hall at the weekend to celebrate its centenary and join in a range of festivities.

Events at the hall, which included a car boot sale and markets, sausage sizzle, morning and afternoon teas and a bush dance, also raised more than $13,000 for several charities.

Bellingen mayor Mark Troy spoke at the centenary and Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker was among the special guests.

Nicholas Keough Jnr, who emigrated from Wessex with his brother John in the 1800s and was the district's second settler, donated the land for the hall and adjoining church.

A reunion of the Keough family was a feature of the weekend as was the unveiling of a plaque commemorating Nicholas Keough's contribution to the community.

Before moving to Gleniffer, Nicholas Keough selected a 100 acre block at Pine Creek off Archville Station Road, where his name also lives on in the naming of Keoughs Road.

One of his grandsons, 70-year-old Barry Keough, who lives about 500 metres from Gleniffer Hall, said about 20 members of the family had gathered at Gleniffer from as far away as Brisbane, Sydney and Kiama.

A church service on Sunday saw a full congregation at the tiny Gleniffer Community Church, the centre of a controversy 20 years ago which saw the community buy the building back from the Anglican Church.

It was made famous by novelist Peter Carey, who found inspiration in it for the church in his novel Oscar and Lucinda.

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