Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Mural, Trades Hall, Sydney

Yesterday, October 1st was a public holiday in NSW for Labour Day. It celebrates the introduction of the 8 hour working day (ha!) , won first by striking masons at Holy Trinity Church, in Millers Point, in October 1855. The major success came in 1856 in Melbourne, where the 8 hour day was won across the building trades.The first Monday in October holiday was gazetted across all NSW in 1963, not without controversy in areas like Newcastle, which had a strong May Day tradition. Read more about Newcastle here. The ACT and South Australia share the NSW Labour Day date; in Victoria, it's the 2nd Monday in March, as well as in Tasmania, where it's called eight Hour Day; in Western Australia, it's the 1st Mon in March. Queensland and the Northern Territory have their Labour Day holiday on the 1st Monday of May, the traditional European day of celebration.

PS - for pedants, "Labour" is sometimes spelled the 'American' way - Labor - in Australia, because that was the spelling adopted by the Australian Labor Party in 1912. According to the ALP's own history, it was because of the influence of the American labor movement.


  1. Beautiful mural. So it's more than 8 hours, how strange?. At least we have Labour day to recover some extra hours :)

  2. I really liked your cemetery picture, Sally. And I have to agree with everyone that the view is special.

    And the mural is nice too for today. I think sometimes we spell Labour and Theatre those ways when we try to be different. People correct me on it all the time.

    Your photos are very nice.

    Thanks too for visiting my blogs and for the comments you make there.

  3. WOW, great advantage of the time difference; at least in Sydney we are already out of cemiteries... ;))
    Just one detail: the traditional European Labour day is May 1st, whatever day of the week it falls...
    But now I know why Mao Tse Tung (or Zedong) choosed October 1st to establish People's Republic of China... ;))
    Have a great week!

  4. Labor is not as strong as it used to be in the USA. Pity! Yesterday someone mentioned (perhaps you on another blogger's post?) that you were interested in the number of military cemeteries that North Americans posted for Theme Day. Yes, Iraq is on our minds, but visit my post today and perhaps the motivation may be clearer. This is not a plug for war; very much opposed to it.

  5. A lovely, colourful mural Sally!