The Cromwell RSA is backing the decision to demolish the Cromwell Memorial Hall.
At a meeting last month, the Central Otago District Council (CODC) decided it would knock down the hall and look to proceed with a new venue with a price tag of more than $40 million.
The council said the decision to demolish the hall had been met with enthusiasm by the Cromwell RSA.
The hall would be the RSA’s new home.
RSA president Denis Ryan said the hall stood as a testament to the sacrifices and achievement of past generations.
‘‘While the RSA appreciates the important role that the hall has played in the lives of many in the community since it was built in 1958, especially to our own members, they are ready to bid good riddance to the building,’’ he said.
‘‘Our members have been involved in the engagement process from the beginning and we’re pleased to see evidence that change is under way.’’
Treasured RSA photos and memorabilia had been locked away in storage since the building was closed last year due to earthquake strengthening requirements.
Moving into the new facility would allow those items to be on display once again and be accessible to the entire community, not just those connected with the RSA.
Mr Ryan and RSA vicepresident Michael Carroll were looking forward to moving into a space that served their group and the larger community.
While many people were nostalgic about attending Anzac events atthe hall, ‘‘the prospect of a new facility that will attract residents and visitors year-round, allowing our stories to be told to a broader audience, is definitely appealing’’, Mr Carroll said.
The proposed community space, auditorium, cafe, museum and display opportunities that would create anenvironment where there would be something for everyone was just what the town needed, he said.
There was a sense of urgency for RSA members, Mr Carroll said.
‘‘We must move quickly because we’re all getting older.’’
Planning for a farewell ceremony to the former Cromwell Memorial Hall is under way.