1900

During 1900 The Florence Institute was open 293 days, with 40,551 attendances, an average of 138 people per day.

During the year particular interest was paid to an Industrial Exhibition to encourage members and their parents ‘the necessity of doing something worthy for themselves’. Unfortunately, the boys’ and parents’ results proved to be not entirely satisfactory, displaying little inclination for ‘systemic work’. However, overall the exhibition was a success attended by the few rather than the many.

Sporting activities were very popular, with the gymnasium often packed with spectators. 1900 also saw the introduction of The Florence Institute’s first football teams with not one, but four teams, which included – Florence, Florence Albion, Florence Athletic and Florence Amateurs. Both Florence and Florence Albion proved to be successful in their own right, with Florence Albion securing their own space, inclusive of dressing rooms, at Wavertree Playground. Unfortunately, the latter 2 teams were dissolved and merged into other local combos who played out the remainder of the season with various success.

Entertainment at the Florence Institute was very popular with 12,301 people attending 23 shows, an average of 535 per event; The Florence Minstrel Troupe remained the most popular of acts.

Educational classes in Ambulance Training and Wood Carving achieved high attendances, the latter resulting in an exhibition. However, it was rather cheekily expressed that ‘although the specimens displayed were not very highly finished, it must be understood that they were the work of the pupils not the Instructor’. It was clear, even in its fledgling days, that it was the members of the Institute that took centre stage.

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