In 1888 Lady Carrington presided over the Exhibition of Women's Industries in Sydney, held during October at Prince Albert Park, Redfern, housed in the 1870 Intercolonial Exhibition Building (demolished 1954). The Exhibition was the closing event in centenary celebrations. Lady Carrington formed a committee that elected her president; she also formed other organizational committees. She was depicted on the prize-winners' medal. Lady Mary Elizabeth (Bolton) Windeyer (1836-1912) was a principle organiser. She was a philanthropist and charity worker, and Foundation President of the Womanhood Suffrage League of New South Wales.
The Exhibition was structured with Patrons, including the Governor, Chief Justice and Sir Henry Parkes. The seven competitive departments within the Exhibition were each open to school pupils, girls and women of all backgrounds. The departments comprised needlework and lace, knitting, domestic industries (cooking and confectionary), mechanical work (typewriting, box and toy making), educational (especially sick nursing and ambulance work), horticulture and floriculture and fine arts (paintings, drawings, photography and pottery). Each department and an assigned delegate. Lady Carrington was delegate for horticulture and floriculture.
The Exhibition's motto was 'Patience, Work and God's Grace'. It included a series of auctions, cooking demonstrations, lectures on food and temperance, concerts of singing and other music, dramatic performances, comedies and award ceremonies.
The Exhibition opened on Tuesday 2 October, with a ceremony performed by Lady Carrington. A 100-voice choir sand, accompanied by the Permanent Artillery Band.
The Exhibition received considerable praise. It was free to children, although too expensive for working class women who also faced a rail fare to the venue. One newspaper correspondent commented that women touted their wares at the exhibition as if it was a common flea market. Nevertheless, it drew close to 3,000 people each day, and its nett profit of 6,000 pounds financed the Temporary Aid Society, which lent money to women in financial difficulty. Competitive prize medals were struck by W.J. Amor in gold, silver and bronze. About 15 gold, and 250 each of silver and bronze were struck.
Smith, R. A. (1997). Sydney Women's Exhibition Medal. Australian Coin Review
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