In 1913 the village of Chung Kok, population 11,000, decided to build a community hall. The original purpose of the hall was to dispense medicines but since then it has been used for many other purposes. It currently houses an exhibition of the history and economy of the village and the area around it.
The interior of the hall showing its current use as a village museum
The hall was built largely with donations from Chung Kok folk who had migrated to distant places, including Hawaii, San Francisco, Sydney, Melbourne, Port Darwin, and the Atherton Tablelands in Queensland. A plaque fixed to the side of the building at the time it was opened is inscribed with a list of 222 donors. These include 63 donors from Sydney, 32 from Melbourne, 20 from Atherton, 13 from Cairns, and 24 from Port Darwin.
A plaque on the exterior of the hall showing the names of donors
The hall was built in the second year of the Republic and represents a commitment to modernity on the part of the village.
The exterior of the hall was extensively remodelled in the early 2000s. This included elevating the height of the façade and changing its outline. The red star motif was replaced with a clock which has Roman numerals.
The community hall as it was in 2001, prior to being remodelled
This information comes from Michael Williams, Returning Home with Glory: Chinese Villagers around the Pacific, 1849 to 1949 (Hong Kong University Press, 2018).