History of Woodstock Community Centre

Woodstock was built in 1873 by Mr Edwin Penfold, one of Australia’s largest tobacco manufacturers. In 1914 it was sold to Mr Keep, who renamed the mansion “Broughton”. The Keep family resided there until 1941.

The property was then transferred to Burwood Council for a short time until it was acquired by the Commonwealth Government in 1942 for use as Army divisional headquarters. After the war, the property remained vacant until 1949 when it was used as a migrant hostel until 1974.

In 1976 Sir William McMahon arranged a long lease for Burwood Council on the property and the council restored, renovated and converted it to the community centre it is today. It was officially opened by the Governor General, Sir Zelman Cowan on November 11, 1979.

Before his retirement from politics, McMahon the former Prime Minister and then Federal Member for Lowe, negotiated a sale, whereby the Council bought the property from the Commonwealth Government in April 1982 for $40,000.

The 100 square building set in several acres of land is home to at least 40 organisations and community groups. In an year, more than 80,000 people use its multitude of facilities. There are 5,000 members of the centre and at least 3,000 people who are members of groups who use it for their activities. It also houses the studios and offices of the radio station 2RDJ-FM.

The name “Woodstock” was derived from Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. The town crest consisting of an oak stump symbolised the “wood” or “tree-stock”. Incidentally, the town of Woodstock in Oxford, UK has it’s own running club, the The Woodstock Harriers (http://www.woodstockharriers.com).

Our logo depicts not just a tree stump, but the whole tree – in fact a Port Jackson fig tree of which there are a number in the grounds. The magnificent specimen in the car park represents “Woodstock”.

The tree symbolizes “life and growth” contrast to the deadness of a stump. Woodstock is alive and growing because “Woodstock is people”.

The larger roots signify Woodstock’s history, the branches – the various groups and activities that make up the Woodstock community.

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