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by John Brant

Bernice Hall
a unique American square dance hall

by John Brant

Bernice Hall (in Ramona California) celebrated its 17th anniversary since it's dedication, this year. The hall was constructed by a small group of dedicated square dancers and other volunteers. It is a full service facility with a large dance floor, stage, kitchen, restrooms, fireplace, covered patio, and an above and below ground barbeque. The Ramona Squares have used the hall continuously since it was dedicated in 1980. Classes and dance workshops are held every Tuesday. Party dances are held the second Saturday of each month. Many top callers in Southern California have been featured at the hall. The club has become well known in the local square dancing world for putting on their famous deep pit barbeque every year to celebrate their anniversary.

Michael's House needed a recreation hall and the Ramona Squares needed a square dance hall. Several of the club members were in the construction business. The club members provided the labor and the property owner provided the materials. The hall was named in honor of the mother of the owner of the land the building sits on. Bernice Murphy worked tirelessly and voluntarily for Michael's House for many years. Michael's House is a home for mentally disabled adults.

Construction of the hall was possible through the volunteer labor and donations of several organizations such as the Ramon Squares and the local chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction. A number of local merchants also contributed food and refreshments during work parties.

Bud Murphy (property owner) has dedicated the use of Bernice Hall, and the other buildings on the property, to help the disabled and for the good of the community. Besides the Ramona Squares and Michael's House, the Hope Vineyard Church, and full and part-time elderly care facilities are housed.

Square dancing is an American invention that is now popular throughout the world. Bernice Hall was built by people with the true American spirit of getting together and raising a building for the good of the community.

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