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Science and the making of VictoriaRoyal Society of Victoria
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Royal Society of Victoria 1854-1959


Victorian Institute for the Advancement of Science

Philosophical Society of Victoria

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Royal Society of Victoria



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Royal Society of Victoria (continued)

With the object of bringing members of the Society together at an annual gathering, the council in 1896 decided to re-inaugurate the conversazione which had once been a feature of the annual life of the Society. This was held in the Society's hall in October in place of the normal monthly meeting; two short lectures were given, followed by a musical programme from students of the Conservatorium. This annual reunion of members was later to become an important part of the year's activities, bringing together, as it did, all interests of the Society.

The reduction of the government grant again hampered publication but, more particularly, attention to the library where, through inability to carry out book-binding, serious losses of parts of publications were resulting.

The prevailing financial difficulties of 1897 which contributed largely to a sharp reduction in the number of financial members brought about a financial crisis which was met in a threefold way. A special sub-committee reporting on 'ways and means' prepared recommendations, which were later approved by the Society, for the following:

  1. The letting of the present hall for a period of years, together with the securing of rooms more central in the city which would probably retain existing members and help in obtaining new ones.
  2. The holding of an annual dinner, at which all members would be invited. (In later years this became a feature of the annual activities of the Society.)
  3. The abolishing of the entrance fee for new members to the Society. This was approved for a trial period of 3 years.

Actual experience soon showed that the first of these recommendations was impracticable, but the others produced some improvement in the membership of the Society. However, the reduction of the government grant in the following year to £50 only aggravated the position, and the Society continued struggling.

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Pescott, R. T. M. 1961 'The Royal Society of Victoria from then, 1854 to now, 1959', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, vol. 73, no. 7, pp. 1-40.

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