Tuesday, May 01, 2012

May Day (very much more is at Wilson's Almanac, much of it new. this year.)

1891 "The first May Day processions and demonstrations were held in Australia during the 1891 Shearers strike in Barcoldine [sic: Barcaldine – PW] and Ipswich in Queensland. Over 1,000 people took part in Barcoldine demonstrations, over 600 were mounted on horseback. The May Day procession was led by four of the leaders of the Shearers strike, they were followed by the Odd Fellows Band. Behind the band, the shearers and their supporters marched behind the Australian Labor Federation banner. Eureka flags were flown, possibly the first time since 1856, by participants in the first May Day march. The end of the demonstration was brought up by a wagon driven by a shearer, in which a young woman vigorously waved a Young Australia flag."   Source
Wikipedia says: One of the first Mayday marches in the world took place during the strike on May 1, 1891 in Barcaldine. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that 1340 men took part of whom 618 were mounted on horse. Banners carried included those of the Australian Labor Federation, the Shearers' and Carriers' Unions, and one inscribed 'Young Australia'. The leaders wore blue sashes and the Eureka Flag was carried. The "Labor Bulletin" reported that cheers were given for "the Union", "the Eight-hour day", "the Strike Committee" and "the boys in gaol". It reported the march:
"In the procession every civilised country was represented doing duty for the Russian, Swede, French, Dane etc, who are germane to him in other climes, showing that Labor's cause is one the world over, foreshadowing the time when the swords shall be turned into ploughshares and Liberty, Peace and Friendship will knit together the nations of the earth."
This is Eight-hours day in Queensland, and the unionists in the district took advantage of the occasion to make a demonstration ...
  The feature of to-day has been the great demonstration by the unionists, in which 1340 took part. Of this number 618 were mounted. Not included in the count was the Oddfellows' band, which headed the procession. Then came the banner of the Australian Labour Federation and the men carrying samples of the trades in which they were employed ...

Sydney Morning Herald, May 2, 1891


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker