From the moment Caroline Lodwick walked into the hall at Kilmore’s old Masonic Lodge, she knew people had been happy there.
“The hall has always been a place for community,” Caroline says. The space, which in the past was used for social dances, is fresh and open. “Locals would come here and do the Mexican Hat Dance and the Pride of Erin,” she says, picking up two original wooden boards with dance names on them and smiling.
Today, the hall is still used for dance, but the dancers are mostly small ballerinas. There are also regular pilates and dance fit classes. The front half of the hall is Caroline’s office and art studio. It is occasionally rented out to community groups. “I’m a big believer in shared community spaces,” Caroline says.
“The studio serves to encourage and support creative businesses, young entrepreneurs and community projects.”
Caroline and her husband Bill have been involved in many community projects. In the aftermath of the Black Saturday fires they filled the studio with donated books to help families to replace their books when ‘everything was lost’. “Creating a drop-in centre where people could have a cup of tea and walk away with a box of books was our way of helping,” Caroline says. “Today, we have a street library outside the front of the old Church where anyone can leave and take books. It’s about sharing and connecting.”