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Title:  Henry Lawson Labor College
Author: Anonymous
* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 2001071h.html
Language: English
Date first posted:  September 2020
Most recent update: September 2020

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 Official Inauguration
of the
Henry Lawson Labor College


Henry Lawson Belongs to Us
Poet's Widow and "Old Mates" at the Ceremony
Henry Lawson's Statue
Henry Lawson Labor College
The Labor College—Its Purpose and Programme
Methods and 1945 Programme
First Year Schedule
Original Documents


Under the Auspices of the Australian Labor Party

* * * * *

Official Inauguration

of the

Henry Lawson Labor College


The Hon. W. J. McKell, M.L.A.
Premier of New South Wales

* * * * *

The Right Hon. F. M. Forde,
Deputy Prime Minister of Australia

Chairman: The Hon. FRANK KELLY, M.L.C.,
President, A.L.P. (New South Wales)

The Hon. R. J. HEFFRON, M.L.A.
Minister for Education

Mr. GUY ANDERSON, President, N.S.W. Labor Council

Message from the Prime Minister of Australia,
The Right Hon. JOHN CURTIN, P.C.

FEBRUARY 4, 1945, 2.30 P.M.


* * * * *

After the speeches in the conservatorium the entire assembly will march to the Henry Lawson statue, where a short oration on Lawson will be given by Dr. Lloyd Ross, and special Lawson poems will be declaimed.

* * * * * *

Henry Lawson Belongs to Us

We belong to him and to his traditions

During the wild, turbulent decades of the last century, when the great questions were being decided—whether Australian Trade Unionism was to survive the attacks of employers and reactionary Governments, whether an independent political Labor Party was to be formed, whether the people were to build their strongholds before the trusts massed for the death-blow—Henry Lawson inspired the Australian masses with his poetry, wrote for Labor Journals, talked with Labor leaders, infiltrated our country with his creed of mateship.

Henry Lawson belongs to the people, not to the money-bags; to the masses, not to the monopolists; to the shearers, not to the squatters; to rouseabouts, not to the overseas investor; to the spirit of Eureka.

Lawson was the people’s poet, not merely because he sympathised with the people, but because he supported Unions with them, agitated and organised during the crisis of the last century.

When Lawson was born in 1867, women were breaking stones to earn money to support their families; men were tramping for work; the Benevolent Society was caring for 5880 families; a city night refuge and a soup kitchen had been opened.  Immigration continued and unemployment increased.

Mass meeting of unemployed demanded work—their protests against starving in city or country were the significant cries heard at the birth of a man who was to hear the echo of these cries throughout his life.

So the direction of Lawson’s experience was set. Amid all the temptations of fame, and the disillusionment of mistakes, Lawson never deserted the people.

He linked the hardship of the small farmer to the sufferings of the city unemployed. He walked this continent. Before one clerk, shearer, railway worker or miner had been brought into a Labor League, Lawson had brought them into volumes of poetry, made them see their unity, pressed them within the covers of his understanding into a mass force. He sowed the seeds of inspiration in the hearts of many of the Labor pioneers of 1890.

Against poverty, inequality, snobbery and injustice, Lawson railed with all the vigor and hopes of the ’nineties.

There is a melancholy strain in Lawson’s work. It comes both from the sadness of the Australian Bush and from his own feeling of frustration that the people were not responding rapidly enough to the demands of the moment. There is a note of despair mixed with anger as he records the “sallow, sunken faces that are drifting through the street.” There is also sustained loyalty—“Yes, I’m too old to rat!”—and a rebellious faith that the day would dawn when the workers would assume their rightful place as the rulers of State and industry.

It is because his genius was able to fan the embers that blazed into the undying fire of the Australian Labor Movement. . . . .

Henry Lawson Belongs to us.

Henry Lawson’s Statue

To hand through time, through future years,
    Remembrance down to men,
Who shall in bronze, with magic art,
    Make Lawson live again?
Who does so, must remember him,
    As one who trudged lone ways,
Lone ways and dry, with weary feet,
    Through hot and dusty days.

Who does so must an image carve,
    Of one who did his best,
His vivid best, to sing and tell,
    The Story of the West,
And something there of pity, too,
    Who carves his image must,
Contrive to hint of tears for folk
    Cast down and in the dust.

Who carves his statue must reveal
    What all Australia knows,
And all Australia hails him for,
    That, in his song and prose,
For love of kind he did his best,
    For justice ever stood,
And dipped his pen into his heart
    To write of Brothergood.

           Roderic Quinn

* * * * *

I wonder would the apathy of wealthy men endure
Were all their windows level with the faces of the poor?
Ah! Mammon’s slaves, your knees shall knock, your hearts in terror beat,
When God demands a reason for the sorrows of the street;
The wrong things and the bad things
And the sad things that we meet
In the filthy lane and alley, and the cruel, heartless street.

* * * * *

But the curse of class distinction from our shoulders shall be hurled
An’ the sense of Human Kinship revolutionise the world

Then we all will meet amidships on this stout old earthly craft,
An’ there won’t be any friction ’twixt the classes fore-’n aft.
We’ll be brothers, fore-’n aft!
Yes, an’ sisters, fore-’n aft!
When the people work together, and there ain’t no fore-’n aft.

           Henry Lawson

The Labor College
Its Purpose and Programme

The Henry Lawson Labor College has been created by the Australian Labor Party in New South Wales to fill a need; the need to produce more men and women trained to take their places as skilled fighters in the cause of achieving the Objective and Platform of the Party.

Therefore, without overlooking the value of purely educational and cultural subjects, the College will place emphasis on an understanding of the way the economic system works; of the nature of government; of how public opinion is influenced; of the growth and administration of Trades Unionism and of the A.L.P. itself; and, above all, how to alter governmental and economic institutions to provide a better way of life for the Australian people.

Methods and 1945 Programme

  As soon as possible, the college will have it’s own building, with its own class and lecture rooms, club and recreation facilities, library and bookshop.

Meanwhile time marches, and we cannot wait. So in this, its first year, the college will conduct in the evenings at the Trades Hall, Goulburn Street:

  1. Commencing Monday, February 19, four Popular Series of Lectures, each Series consisting of six lectures, details of which may be found overleaf.
  2. Tutorial Clases of a more formal and intensive character, starting on Wednesday, April 4, covering the following subjects: 
    1. English, Journalism and Public Speaking.
    2. A.L.P and Trade Union History and Organisation; and Arbitration Court procedure.
    3. Australian Government (History, Structure, Methods).
    4. Elementary Economics.
    5. Theory and Practice of Socialism.

Those who wish to make sure of being enrolled for one or more of these subjects should contact the A.L.P. Office, Trades Hall, Goulburn Street (MA3848), without delay. Those who wish to attend any one or more of the Series of Popular Lectures commencing Monday, February 19, should also contact the A.L.P. Office, and make sure of a seat by obtaining a Course Card, entitling them to attendance at all six lectures in any one Series. Course Cards are 4/- (half rates to Foundation Members).

Closing date of applications for Foundation Membership of the College has been extended. Application forms may be obtained from Mr. J. Stewart, Secretary, A.L.P., Trades Hall, Sydney.


The Henry Lawson Labor College






(Each Series contains Six Lectures, with questions and audience participation.)

Series 1: Current Australian Problems

(on Six Successive MONDAYS, starting MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 6 p.m.)

Feb. 19: “Money and Banking: Our Servants or Masters?”
Feb. 26: “Populate or Perish!” . . . . Mr. W. D. Borrie
Mar.  5: “How Bring Art and Culture to All?” . . . . Bartlett Adamson and Dorothy Helmrich
Mar. 12: “What Shall Be Done for Ex-Service Men and Women?” . . . . Jack Hooke
Mar. 19: “How Change. Now, Our ‘Horse and Buggy’ Constitution?” . . . . Geo. Weir. M.L.A.
Mar. 26:  “Houses For All?” . . . . Walter Bunning

Series 2: Current International Problems

(On Six Successive WEDNESDAYS, starting WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 8 p.m.

Feb. 21: “A World Survey: Economic and Political” . . . . Prof. Ian Clunies Ross
Feb 28: “How Can War Be Abolished?”
Mar.  7: “A United States of Europe: Dream or Possibility?” . . . . Prof. A. H. McDonald
Mar 14: “The Soviet Union: Its Developing Role”
Mar. 21: “International Aspects of Social and Economic Order in Post-War States”
                 Prof. Julius Stone
Mar. 28: “Coming Developments in the Pacific.”

Series 3: The Australian Labor Party: Its History and Organization

(On Successive THURSDAYS, starting THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 9 p.m.

Feb. 22: “The Party is Born (1890—1918)” . . . . Geo. Weir, M.L.A
Mar.  1: “The Party Grows (1900—1918)” . . . . Geo. Weir, M.L.A
Mar.  8: “The Party Struggles Back to Power” . . . . E. C. Magrath
Mar. 15: “How the Party Functions: In Parliament” . . . . F. Cahill, M.L.A
Mar. 22: “How the Party Functions: Outside Parliament” . . . . W. C. Taylor
Mar. 29: “The Party’s Socialisation Objective” . . . . J. Ferguson

Series 4: Australian Trades Unionism: Its History and Organisation

Feb. 23: “Those Colorful Early Days” . . . . Dr. Lloyd Ross
Mar.  2: “The Unions Win Struggle for Existence” . . . . J. N. Rawling
Mar.  9: “The Story Since Federation” . . . . E. C. Magrath
Mar. 16: “Woman as Worker and Unionist” . . . . Muriel Heagney
Mar. 23: “The Problem of the Miner” . . . . A. C. Willis
April  3: “Present Organisation and Trends” . . . . Guy Anderson

A Course Ticket, covering the Six Lectures in any one Series, costs only 4/- (Foundation Members half rates), and may be obtained from Union Secretaries, Branch Secretaries or the A.L.P. Office, Trades Hall (MA 1833 orMA 3848).

Individual Lectures may be attended (1/- at door).

Worker Print.—2607

* * * * * * * * * *

Original Documents


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