BLOCK 9 | On this day in 1847, The Melbourne Argus reported that progress was being made on the construction of The Protestant Hall and Schoolroom.
Melbourne Argus, 14 May 1847:
The Workmen are proceeding rapidly with the erection of the Protestant Hall and School Room, the walls having already attained a sufficient height to give an idea of the goodly proportions of the building, which, when completed, will form one of the principal ornaments of the town. The subscription is still progressing, the sum in hands of the Treasurer, falling short of the amount required for the completion of the building. At the meeting of the Loyal Irish Lodge No. 1, held on Wednesday last, the sum of £10 was voted from the Lodge Fund as a donation in aid of the building, the sum being given irrespectively of the very liberal sums previously subscribed by the members individually.
Land was purchased specifically for a Protestant Hall in 1846 by the Loyal Orange Institution of Victoria at the SW corner of Exhibition Street and Little Collins Street on Block 9.
The Foundation stone of the first Protestant Hall was laid on the 5th of April 1847 and opened for business on the 24th of April 1848. Due to the phenomenal growth of the city, the old building was found to be too small and it was scheduled for demolition on the 5th of December 1881. The new Hall [ which appears on our lead image ] opened on the 9th of November 1882. The Centenary Hall, completed in 1935, now stands on the same site.
Where once upon a time Protestant children went to School and The Loyal Orange of Victoria held Meetings and Balls – we now buy air tickets, eat foot longs and top-up our Myki Cards. It is most unfortunate that I couldn’t find an image of the first Protestant Hall, if anybody has one please share it with us.