Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A very Port commemoration

Perce White, many times mayor of the City of Port Melbourne and veteran unionist, speaks to a gathering celebrating 140 years of maritime union history in Sangster Reserve in Nott St.
George Sangster was a founding member of the Seaman's Union at its first meeting in 1872 and President of the Trades Hall Council in 1894/5. He was briefly a councillor of the City of Port Melbourne between 1893/4 and represented Port Melbourne in the Legislative Assembly between 1894 and 1915. 

He was also president of the Port Melbourne Football Club - though chess was apparently his preferred game. He opposed Federation and the Boer War and wars in general. An anti-monarchist, he also opposed the teaching of the bible in schools.*

Perce White, Sangster Reserve, Nott St: picture Martin Foley

This house, formerly the New Great Britain Hotel was where that first meeting of the Seamen's Union took place in 1872 - the world's very first maritime union*.

* sources: Chartered Scoundrels: A brief history of Port Melbourne hotels by Pat Grainger p60 In Safe Hands: Presidents of the Port Melbourne Football Club by Terry Keenan pp41,43 both books available from the Port Melbourne Town Hall, 333 Bay St, Port Melbourne  

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