The Committee, lead by Treasurer Kevin Quigley, has undertaken a revision of the rules which govern the operation of the Melbourne Athenaeum, last revised and registered in 2007. Members will have an opportunity to raise any questions about these draft rules at the AGM, which will take place in the Library at 1pm on 17 April.

You can read an annotated version of these draft rules here.

You can view the current rules of the organisation here.

1840Land Purchase

Thomas Osborne purchased two allotments of land on behalf of the newly formed Mechanics' Institution in 1840, at an auction, for a low £142/10/- per allotment, the upset price being pre-arranged with the auctioneers.

The land fronted Collins Street and extended to Little Collins Street.

When knowledge of the transaction was revealed at a meeting of the Legislative Council in Sydney, the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Charles Gipps, regarded the transaction as similar to a 'celebrated land conspiracy case' to defraud the land fund. At the next meeting, on 2 September 1840, this serious matter was discussed resulting in Gipps (grudgingly?) approving the transaction. Click here to see the transcript from the Sydney Herald report.

Gipps considered doubling the upset price for future sales, to prevent a similar situation.

With the land secure, the new, yet still small, group of interested citizens of Melbourne set about raising money to erect a building. One of the allotments, half of the land, was sold at auction at a generous profit and, together with donations from groups such as the Debating Society and the Masonic Lodge, it funded a two-storey rendered brick building, which graced the town to the delight of its culturally-starved citizens.