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Celebrating the 'Great Boon' : Eight Hour Day and early Labour Day in Rockhampton, 1909-1929
chapterposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Barbara WebsterBarbara Webster
Unionists in Rockhampton first celebrated Eight-Hour Day in 1909. Drawing on records of the organising committee and participating unions, and from contemporary newspaper reports, this section of the book considers the dual character of Eight Hour Day in Rockhampton: the public face of demonstration and celebration and behind-the-scenes inter-union organisation. The chapter demonstrates and explains how the significance and nature of the day changed over two decades; examines the role of the Eight Hour/Labour Day Celebration Committee in the early Rockhampton union movement to illustrate the contribution such bodies made; explores the internal dynamics of the organisation which ultimately brought about its demise in 1930; and considers why the organising committee remained independent during its lifetime and why it did not give rise to a peak industrial body as often happened elsewhere in Australia.