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Social events and sport

Part 1

From its earliest days, The Gordon's sports and social activities have provided welcome relief from studying, and much entertainment for students and staff.

The earliest formal event was the 1905 Annual Student Dinner held in the Davidson Hall but more popular was the long-running Annual Ball. A lack of money didn't stop students from having a good time; in the 1930s, students not only brought their own supper to the ball but often their own crockery as well. The Annual Ball moved to the newly built Wool School in 1947 when the suggestion that its greater size and highly waxed floors were more suited to dancing was enthusiastically accepted.

By 1964, the ball had again outgrown its premises and the Palais Theatre in Moorabool Street became the new venue. Aside from the safety aspect of the number of people at the ball, there was also concern about the effects that the vibrations caused by the Mexican Hat Dance had on the building. The 1965 ball was notable for the dry comment in The Gordon Council minutes that the event was well-organised, though the noise level was not for those with sensitive hearing.

The 1950s and 60s, in particular, were renowned for events showing off student accomplishments. The dressmaking course held fashion parades before they were in vogue. The forerunner of the School of Hospitality prepared dinners for the Geelong Wine and Food Society in the late 1950s, with the wine waiters having to get permission from their parents before they were able to serve alcohol. In a typical collaboration between Gordon schools, art students designed and printed the menu with the commerce students taking on the typesetting.

Around the same time, staff and students combined to produce The Gordon Gaieties. Consisting of comedy sketches along with songs and dances, the concerts were a group effort between Gordon departments with the art and architecture courses combining to produce the sets with assistance from carpentry and engineering. The Gaiety evenings were sold out well in advance with the first concert containing an all male ballet corps and the Crescent City Jazz Band. Though the performance material was under strict control, occasionally the performers tried to make things a little more exciting with one act letting off firecrackers on stage.

While the Gaieties finished production in the early 1970s, student activities continued unabated with events such as raft races on the Barwon and rock concerts. Showcasing student accomplishments is now often organised within courses, on our website or via events and social functions, including O Week at the start of each year.

Part 2