Centenary of Leongatha Mechanics InstitutePrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Nancy Alford/ Sandra Brown

Mechanics Institute of Victoria plaque commemorates the centenary of the Leongatha Mechanics Institute.

The new Library, Member's Room and Billiards Room of the Leongatha Mechanics' Institute was opened by local member, the Honourable J. E. Mackey MLA on 26 March, 1912. The architect was HV & A Champion of Melbourne, and the tender of Messrs. Loring & Speers to construct the Hall for £1,188 was accepted at a meeting of the Institute on 3 April, 1911. The library and reading room occupied the room at the front, the members room was in the middle, while the billiards room was at the rear.

The Leongatha Mechanics' Institute opened in a wooden building on the adjacent site (now occupied by the Memorial Hall and former Shire Offices) on 9 March 1891. The first library was established in this building later in that same year and the demand for the facilities was so great that a two storey addition was made to the Institute in 1891. All of these original buildings were destroyed by fire in 1924.

The purpose of the MIV Historical Plaques Program is to inform the public of the history of Mechanics' Institutes in Victoria and also give a snippet of history about the individual Institute. The idea of putting a plaque on Mechanics' Institute Halls was advanced by Committee member Alan Tonkin in 1999. Committee member Paul Permezel brought it to reality in 2003 and since then plaques have been installed to mark special occasions within Institutes all across the State. These plaques have been used to commemorate a significant date in the history of an Institute or town; be it an anniversary, or a significant renovation or restoration project.


Address:10 McCartin Street, Leongatha, 3953
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.476498
Long: 145.94563
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture
Approx. Event Start Date:1912
Approx. Event End Date:2012


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2012
Front Inscription

Mechanics Institute of Victoria (MIV)

The Leongatha Mechanics' Institute.

The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community.

The original Leongatha Mechanics’ Institute was erected on the Memorial Hall site in 1891. The present building, consisting of two large rooms and a billiard saloon, was opened by The Hon. J. E. Mackey on 26 March 1912. It functioned as a library, meeting room and billiard room until 1982. The Leongatha and District Historical Society was given the use fo the building by the Shire of Woorayl in 1983. It received a National Trust classification in 1984. This plaque, No. 30 in the MIV series, was placed here in 2012 to celebrate the centenary of the building.

Source: MA,MVIC, VHD
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au