Amphitheatre Mechanics' Institute. Established here in 1901. 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 Amphitheatre Mechanics' Institute was first instigated by Headmaster, Albert M. Barry. It was constructed by a local builder, Mr. William Whitley, at a cost of 179 pounds. The official opening was on 19th November 1901. The Free Library was established soon after. Many original books remain, including the 1900 edition of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica. In 2011 the library was renamed the 'Glenlogie Room' and is used for meetings and displays of historic memorabilia. The Mechanics' Institute continues to be well utilised by many groups and prides itself on its community support and spirit. This plaque, No.54 in the MIV series, was placed here in 2016.
by Mechanics' Institutes of Victoria Inc. #0054 of the MIV Historical Plaques Program series