People’s History Talks 2013
People’s History Talks 2013
Wellington institutions combine their talents to present a series exploring the lives and times of Wellington workers during and after the pivotal 1913 Great Strike.
The Museum of Wellington City & Sea, Labour History Project and National Library of New Zealand present People’s History 2013, every Tuesday at 5.30pm, from 1 October until 19 November. This series explores the lives of Wellington workers, the possibility of revolution, key personalities, and the issues and conditions they fought for then and now. The worker’s history is revealed through stimulating presentations by Wellington’s foremost researchers, historians, unionists and political activists.
Mark Derby, a labour historian with the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, will present the penultimate talk in the series, What happened to them afterwards – Savage, Fraser, Freyberg and Cullen. He says, “working conditions a century ago were not the best. Some people had no job security and zero-hour contracts. It’s almost unbelievable that we are looking at bringing back these conditions today. I hope people come and see just how far we’ve come – and are reminded why it’s so important to make sure that our society focuses on looking after each other.”
The People’s History 2013 talks complement other activities commemorating the 1913 Great Strike. These include a photo display at the Museum of Wellington City & Sea in partnership with the Maritime Union of New Zealand and launch of a new downtown walk ‘Sites of Struggle’. A significant event in the calendar is a parade of mounted special constables (Massey’s Cossacks) and striking workers through the city from Queens Wharf to Parliament, commencing at high noon on 5 November.
“The issues that so many confronted 100 years ago during the strike are still relevant. It’s timely to remember the events that changed the political landscape of New Zealand. The Museum, with its location on the wharves, is a fitting place to launch the talks, set off on the Sites of Struggle walk and act as the departure point for the November 5th street event”, says Rachel Ingram Learning and Programmes Manager Museums Wellington.
People’s History 2013 ends at the Museum of Wellington City & Sea with international acclaimed historian and writer Melanie Nolan, the Maritime Union of New Zealand and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, all looking at the 1913 Strike 100 years on.
For a full list of talks and events, visit www.museumswellington.org.nz/assets/A5-1913-Strike-image.jpg
The talks examine working conditions a century ago, when people choose political avenues for social change over revolution. Talks include:
• Songs of work and workers – 5.30pm,
Tuesday October 1, at Museum of Wellington City &
• A century of remarkable women in the PSA – 5.30pm, Tuesday October 8, at National Library of New Zealand.
• Māori in the Māoriland Worker – 5.30pm, Tuesday October 15, at National Library of New Zealand.
• Reds & Wobblies- 5.30pm, Tuesday, October 22, at National Library of New Zealand.
• Dreadnoughts, picture palaces and revolutionists - 5.30pm, Tuesday October 29, at National Library of New Zealand.
• Flashpoint of history: 1913 Great Strike – high noon, Tuesday November 5, departing from Museum of Wellington City & Sea.
• What happened to Savage, Fraser, Freyberg and Cullen? - - 5.30pm, Tuesday November 12, at Museum of Wellington City & Sea.
• 1913: still relevant after all these years? - 5.30pm, Tuesday November 19, at Museum of Wellington City & Sea.
In 1913 the government, led by Prime Minister William Massey, recruited over 1,500 young farmers and other civilians. Their role was to act as special constables to protect the wharves and to put down the trade union demonstrations. The violence with which they confronted the strikers earned them the name ‘Massey’s Cossacks’
From 1 October the Museum of Wellington City & Sea hosts a photo display that chronicles the 1913 strike in Wellington. This display was made possible by the support of Maritime Union of New Zealand.
The 2013 People’s History Series is presented by Museum of Wellington City & Sea, in partnership with the Labour History Project and Alexander Turnbull Library. It is supported by the Maritime Union of New Zealand and the Rail & Maritime Transport Union.