Prime Minister Billy Hughes gives a masterly oration on support for the war effort at the opening of the Competition, with profits donated to Red Cross as part of the war effort.

Australia continues to commit hundreds of thousands of troops to the British war effort and its sense of national identity as a newly independent country is forged with the fall of many at Gallipoli.

The first Highland Pipe Band Contest whips up support and enthusiasm at South Street and due to the overwhelming popularity of the contests, special cheap excursion trains are run from Melbourne to Ballarat and schools within a radius of 30 miles are given the day off.

Calisthenics is also a major attraction with over 100 teams entering.

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