Try Boys Brigade & Percy StevensPrint Page Print this page

Plaques commemorate the Try Boys Brigade and Percy J.D. Stevens who was manager for 46 years.

There are three plaques on the east wall inside the entrance to the building. The first plaque comes from the original building in Corio Street which was erected as a memorial to Charles Shannon. This plaque, unveiled by his son, Archibald, was moved to the present building in 1985 with another plaque indicating that the former site was occupied from 1910 to 1976 by the Brigade. The third plaque, a bronze patina relief plaque, commemorates Percy J.D. Stevens, Geelong Try Boys Brigade manager for 46 years, died 30 March 1945, aged 84.

The Geelong Try Boys Brigade was founded by Charles Shannon in 1897. Shannon was involved in community life in Geelong and held office in civic and sporting organisations.

Shannon convened a meeting at his house on May 8th , 1897, with the purpose of forming a "poor boys' club" which would provide boys who usually spent their evenings on the streets with something to do.  He told the meeting the club would have to find a suitable building and provide activities which would entice boys to come in off the streets and suggested that games, gymnastics and illustrated papers would be a start.  Records show there were almost 15,000 attendances during this first year which obviously confirmed the need for such an institution.

Two years after its inception P. J. D. (Percy) Stevens was appointed manager / secretary after the untimely death of Joseph Yeowart and the Brigade reported that "the up-lifting of the boys of Geelong is steadily being accomplished."

After 46 years as manager, Percy Stevens died in March, 1945. More than 5000 boys had come under his control during this period - and the 1st Geelong Shannon's Own Group of scouts had flourished.

The Charles Shannon Try Boys Memorial building in Corio Street which has been completed, will be formally opened this afternoon at 2 o'clock by Mr. A. N. Shannon, who will unveil a tablet in the vestibule. Invitations have been sent to public men and subscribers and it is hoped the interest of the Geelong public in the work of the Try Boys Brigade Mill be reflected in a large attendance at today's function.
Geelong Advertiser (Vic), 13 July 1927. 


Address:501 Ryrie Street, Try Boys Brigade Basketball Stadium, East Geelong, 3220
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.155815
Long: 144.386351
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture
Source: VMR, RHSV, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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