To fight against the horrible evil of Communism' : Catholics, community and the movement in Rockhampton, 1943-57
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Barbara WebsterBarbara Webster
During the 1940's and 1950's,Rockhampton had the reputation of being one of the foremost centres of organised anti-communist activity conducted predominantly by the Catholic Church and its clandestine industrial organisation, the Movement. Historians have not explained this particular phenomenon nor have they undertaken much research into the post-World War II anti-communist hysteria in regional Australia in general. This article aims to redress this omission in Australian labour historiography by exploring the origin, organisation and operation of the Movement in Rockhampton. It ocates the roots ofRockhampton's reputation as a 'hotbed' of Movement activity in the socio-economic, political, demographic and cultural characteristics of the city in general and of the Catholic community in particular. It demonstrates the role of'community', both subjectively and structurally, in mobilising Catholics against communism and the significance of 'place' in the production of community identity and maintenance of authority.