Winner, winner: Malachi Revival takes out National Trust award

SUCCESS: Lucy and Jon East with their National Trust Award for best event, the Malachi Revival.

SUCCESS: Lucy and Jon East with their National Trust Award for best event, the Malachi Revival.

THE Malachi Revival has won a National Trust Award as one of the state's best heritage events.

The prestigious awards, now in their 25th year, recognise and celebrate conservation projects that protect Australia's built, natural and cultural heritage.

The Malachi Revival was named a joint winner alongside the City of Sydney's Custom House in the Events, Exhibitions and Tours section of the awards, announced at Doltone House in Sydney last Friday night.

The Malachi Gilmore Hall in Oberon is being restored by its new owners, Lucy and Johnny East.

The careful refurbishment of the State Heritage-listed hall began with the Malachi Revival last October.

Held over a weekend, the Malachi Revival included six events giving the Oberon community the opportunity to relive the vibrant heyday of the Malachi.

The weekend was made possible through funding by the NSW Government.

For 80 years the Malachi has caught people's attention in the centre of Oberon Street. For the first 40 years the hall was the town's centre of social gatherings, from balls to cinema to roller-skating, and now the plan is to reopen the Malachi as a visual and performing arts venue.

Lucy and Johnny East have partnered to develop the reactivation of the Malachi through an artist-run initiative called Oberon Live Projects.

"This award from the National Trust is a wonderful accolade from this important heritage organisation. We are thrilled and so very grateful to everyone who got involved in the Malachi Revival," Ms East said.

"Being shortlisted alongside so many remarkable institutions in Sydney and then receiving the award, is such a boost to the project."

The project has a strong connection to Oberon and to the Malachi. The original projectionist in the theatre was Les Anstiss, husband of Grace Cunynghame, Ms East's great aunt.

The Cunynghames have been in the area since the 1840s.

The Malachi Revival was two days of events, each based on historic events held in the hall from 1937 to 1977.

About 700 revellers attended, enjoying a long lunch, an afternoon tea dance, a swing dance night, film screenings and more. The event was a unique opportunity to collect stories from the Hall's vibrant past .

"A series of short films has been made telling the tales of the early days of the Malachi," Ms East said.

"Community support has been vital to the success of the Malachi Revival."