Day Shift – 19/04/2011 – 02:10 PM
Presenter: Carol Duncan
Interviewee: Gionni Di Gravio, Archivist, Newcastle University
University of Newcastle Archivist Gionni Di Gravio discusses the University of Newcastle’s recent inclusion into the UNESCO Memory of the World, which is the Minute Book of the Friendly Trades Society of Iron Moulders (Newcastle Branch) 1885-1886 and explores an exciting new project of the Humanities Research Institute called ‘Radical Newcastle’.
Back in March 2011 we received the great news that one of our Minute Books from the Friendly Trades Society of Iron Moulders (Newcastle Branch) had been successfuly inscribed on the Australian Memory of the World Register.
It formed part of a nomination prepared by the Noel Butlin Archives Centre at the Australian National University in Canberra to acknowledge the Minute books of pre-federation Australian trade unions. An official ceremony was held in Hobart on April 1.
The pre-Federation minute books document the formation and decision-making of early Australian trade unions, as workers came together to achieve better working conditions through collective action.
The beginnings of the campaign for the 8-hour day and early strikes by stonemasons, shearers and others are documented in these records.
Unions were locally-based in capital cities and regional centres and later amalgamated to form state and then federal unions, the first federal registrations occurring from 1904.
Current trade unions, who have a key role in our workplace relations system, all trace their origins to pre-Federation unions.
Our contribution is the minute book of the Friendly Trades Society of Iron Moulders (Newcastle Branch) that records the formation of the Branch at the Glascow Arms in Bullock Island (now Carrington).
The photograph taken above by Ralph Snowball shows the Hotel as it looked at the time.
The title reads “Minutes of Meetings of Friendly Trades Society of Ironmoulders Newcastle Branch”
The official stamp reads “Friendly Trade Society Iron Moulders New South Wales Newcastle Branch”
First Meeting of Ironmoulders Newcastle Branch
August 6/ 1885
Messrs Talbot and Shinnick the Delegates from Sydney being present, the delegates explained the reason for which they were called together. The Delegates then proceeded to the election of members into the Friendly Trades Society of Ironmoulders Newcastle Branch the following gentlemen were duly elected members
The Branch was then declared duly opened by the delegates: the members then proceeded to the election of Officers the following were appointed
President Mr D Scott
Vice-President Mr James Doran
Treasurer Mr J Ford
Secretary Mr G Asquith
The officers being duly installed the Meeting then proceeded to the consideration of By Laws when the following were adopted subject to the Approval of the Executive.
Moved and Seconded By Messrs Talbot and Shinnick that the Treasurer have the power to have in hand the sum of (10) ten pounds for the purpose of Defraying incidental expenses all monies over and above the said (10) ten pounds
shall be forwarded to the parent Branch Sydney.
Moved and Seconded that this branch receives contributions from August 11th
Moved by Mr Miller Seconded by Mr Shinnick that all necessary stationery required for the good of this Branch be purchased by the said Branch
Moved by Mr Talbot Seconded by Mr Shinnick that the secretary shall prepare and forward a balance sheet at least once every quarter in time to be inserted in the general balance Sheet of the parent Branch Sydney
Moved by Mr Shinnick seconded by Mr Doran that the President shall receive as payment for services the sum of 2/6 two shillings and sixpence per quarter
Moved by Mr Talbot seconded by Mr Shinnick that the treasurer shall receive for services the sum of 2/6 two shillings and sixpence per quarter
Moved by Mr Talbot seconded by Mr Shinnick that the secretary shall receive for services the sum of (10) ten shillings per quarter
Moved and seconded that for the present the place of meeting shall be the Glascow Arms Hotel Bullock Island the time of meeting shall be from 7/30 till 9 oclock ordinary meeting order of business as per rule adopted
Moved by Mr Ford seconded by Mr Doran that Mr D Scott be appointed as Delegate on the Eight hours Demonstration committee
Moved by Mr Patmore seconded by Mr Taylor that all expenses incurred by the Delegates in Newcastle re formation of the said Newcastle Branch be deducted from the funds of the said Branch
Moved and seconded that the Secretary communicate with the parent Branch about the Society Branch
Moved By Mr Asquith Seconded by Mr Tomlingson that we accord Messrs Talbot and Shinnick a Hearty vote of thanks for their kind services in Helping us along with the Branch
The President Mr Scott put the motion to the meeting and it was carried unanimously by acclamation
Mr talbot then addressed the meeting giving them good advce and thanking them for their vote of thanks Mr Shinnick also responded in an elaborate address calling on all members to work in Harmony togather and in concluding called on a vote of thanks to the president this Being done by acclamation after the President returned thanks this Being the only Business the meeting closed
Friendly Trades Society of Iron
Download the Complete Minute Book here [36.6MB PDF File] Digitised by Melanie Patfield:
Minutes of Meetings of Friendly Trades Society of Ironmoulders Newcastle Branch 1885-1886
Such records relating to labour history, environmental activism, human rights and the fight for better services and infrastructure are currently being researched as part of the Radical Newcastle Project. (http://radicalnewcastle.wordpress.com/)
The Project is an initiative of the University’s Humanities Research Institute and aim to unearth and document Newcastle and the Region’s radical past. Two public meetings have been held and a concept map of potential topic has been drafted. (see it here: http://radicalnewcastle.wordpress.com/concept-map/) The ideas range from Aboriginal Reconciliation initiatives, the Rothbery Riots, the push for a University of Newcastle, the formation of Blackbutt Reserve, the Star Hotel riot in the 1970s and onto local environmental campaigns by Rising Tide and Climate Action Newcastle.
People who are interested in the Project, and wish to contribute are welcome to contact its convenor Dr James Bennett firstname.lastname@example.org