Historic Hall homestead destroyed by fire
THE Hall family were yesterday still coming to terms with the devastating loss of their historic Kunghur homestead, along with a lifetime of mementos. The former home of late Tweed Shire Council president Clarrie Hall now lies in ruins after fire destroyed the Kyogle Road property on Tuesday. Clarrie Hall's son Jack and wife of 50 years Jenny, along with several other%family members residing at the pro-%perty, lost almost everything they owned in the blaze. Family collectables dating back five generations were consumed in the fire, which swept through the property within minutes. Among them were priceless artefacts including a capstan one of just four in the world cast from an original canon on Captain Cook's ship Endeavour, %gifted to Mr Hall's father at the opening of the Pt Danger lighthouse. Clarrie Hall's Australia Medal, a commemorative Queens silver jubilee medal, an 18th century encyclopaedia set, as well as the family's entire collection of antique jewellery and furniture were x also destroyed. Jack Hall, 75, who has been in Murwillumbah Hospital since last Thursday has yet to see the fire's aftermath. He said although the loss was a huge blow for the family, they were thankful no-one had been seriously injured. "It's a lifetime of collectables up in smoke, just like that" said Mr Hall, who has lived at the property since 1941. "There was stuff there you could never replace...those are the things I'll really miss." The couple's daughter Kim and her 26-year-old son Damien, who were at home at the time of the fire, first noticed smoke billowing from the ceiling about 6pm. But by then it was already too late to save the 88-year-old house. Ms Hall, who was returning home at the time of the fire after visiting her husband in hospital, watched the devastation unfold at a distance after being flagged down by a relative along Kyogle Road. The Halls yesterday remained uncertain about their immediate plans, but will most likely stay with relatives until their home is rebuilt. "We're in limbo at the moment," said Ms Hall. "I've cried every day since and stayed awake every night, so it's fair to say we're still in shock. "But, we'll rebuild, that's what you do, isn't it?" The historic Kunghur property, first built in 1919 by Mr Hall's great grandfather, lies only a short distance from Clarrie Hall Dam, which was named in honour of the family's late patriarch in 1982. Clarrie Hall was named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1976 in recognition of his long involvement in civic life and served as a Tweed Shire councillor from 1954 until his death in 1979.