Several proposals to provide playgrounds for city children were discussed in the early twentieth century. In September 1918 Adelaide’s mayor, Charles Glover, told the city council that to hold the annual Mayor’s Ball ‘while the War is still taking heavy toll of so many of the best of our younger citizens’ would be inappropriate. Instead he proposed to ‘promote the happiness and well-being of the children of the city’. The council cancelled the ball, and spent the money on a playground in Park 20 in the South Parklands, close to Gilles Street School. Glover Playground was opened in December 1918. Glover’s commitment to children’s playgrounds saw him build two more at his own expense in the 1920s, on Le Fevre Terrace, North Adelaide (also Glover Playground) and East Terrace.

By Peter Bell

This is a revised version of an entry first published in The Wakefield companion to South Australian history edited by Wilfrid Prest, Kerrie Round and Carol Fort (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2001). Revised by the author. Uploaded 25 June 2014.

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Glover Playground in North Adelaide

Image: A group of girls perform exercises in a grassy ground surrounded by trees and playground equipment

Glover Playground in the South Parklands

Image: A group of girls and boys play on playground equipment, including see-saws and swings
Image: Several children play at a playground with a large shelter, flagpole and equipment
Image: A group of children stand near the edge of a pond in a playground. One child balances on the edge of the pond. A flagpole and playground equipment are visible in the background


Image: Lord Mayor Charles Glover
Image: Black and white photograph of a young August Wilhelm Pelzer with a moustache
Image: A man in glasses stands at a podium delivering a speech. A group of male and female dignitaries sit on seats on the stage behind the speaker. The roof of a building is visible behind the stage
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