1935

The 1935-6 report regretfully announced the death of former President Sir Frederick C. Bowring.

The Committee provided a detailed portrait of the Institute member, and the role the Institute intended to play in his social development:

‘The adolescent boy is by nature an idealist. He is laying aside the solitary pursuits of pre-adolescent childhood and is learning to co-operate with a group. His interests speedily become group interests, and his code of right and wrong is not so much personal and individual, as social. His ideals are social ideals and he conceives himself as a successful individual if he achieves honour in group activities. This is Nature’s preparation for those group activities which will be laid upon him as civic responsibilities in the years of his maturity.

In this regard the Florence Institute is privileged to play an important part in the emotional life of the working-class boy. Environment tends to make him something of a lone wolf and his position in the community denies him culture and a proper social outlook. The tradition of School, Church or Family, which serves to sustain the more fortunate adolescent is not his. He is beset by the danger of feeling unwanted, or at least misplaced, in the vast organisation of business and pleasure, at whose entrances he waits in the hope that he may receive the wherewithal to live.

It is at this point precisely that the Florence Institute serves this class of boy. He is made to feel a not unimportant part in a social organisation, in which, by integrity of spirit and personal discipline, he may achieve what every boy needs and desires- a recognition of his capacity for leadership on the one hand, and his ability to fulfil a command on the other. Citizens are not born, they are made-made by the sympathetic understanding and educational insight which is presented to them at a Club like ours, with the active cooperation, practical as well as sympathetic of all citizens, especially of those amongst whom they work.’

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