Programme for the Opening Ceremony of the Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition, held in the (Royal) Exhibition Building on 1 August 1888. The programme includes arrangements for the Governor's arrival, the prayers recited, a program of music with the names of the composer, conductor, soloists etc., and words to the Centennial Cantata.

Lord Loch, governor of Victoria, arrived at the Carlton Street entrance to the north of the building at 12.15. The vice-regal party were met by the Exhibition Commissioners and conducted along the Grand Avenue of Nations, the main north-south axis of the temporary annexe, to the dais under the dome. As they marched bands played a selection of national anthems. Following a prayer, a series of compositions written specifically for the occasion were performed, speeches were made, and telegrams were despatched to the Queen and Prince of Wales. The governor was presented with a gold key to symbolise his authority to declare the exhibition open, and Lady Loch was presented with jeweled passes for herself and daughters. After a performance of the Hallelujah Chorus the national anthem (God Save the Queen) was performed and three cheers for the Queen were called.

Official proceedings over, the vice-regal party made its way back to Carlton Street along the Grand Avenue of Nations, stopping at each court to be presented to the commissioner responsible for it. The vice-regal party left the building at 2.30, giving the invited guests and the 11,000 members of the public who had purchased tickets to the opening ceremony 30 minutes 'alone' in the exhibition buildings before the doors were open to the world.

Physical Description

Printed on fawn paper in brown ink, 2 pages, 4 sides. At the top, the crest of the Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition.

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