[Editor: A report on a meeting of the Central Queensland Carriers’ Union in Barcoo, September 1889. This is an extract from a column of news reports, entitled “The Barcoo”, which consisted of various news items regarding the Barcoo area of Queensland. Published in The Morning Bulletin, 10 September 1889.]
[Meeting of the Central Queensland Carriers Union, Barcoo]
A considerable amount of unpleasantness was caused among the carriers in town on Thursday by a report which spread through “the camp” like wildfire that “Mick Roberts” had joined the Union, having registered and paid for eight teams. The result was that a meeting was called by Mr. Parnell, Secretary, for that evening, in the Town Hall, and which was attended by thirty-two bona fide carriers and a few hon. members. Mr. Roberts was also present. Mr. H. Ellis, as usual, filled the chair.
At the outset Mr. Claxton proposed, “That Mr. Roberts’ money be returned to him, and the matter of his admission be dealt with by the whole of the members at the annual meeting.” This was seconded by Mr. Walker. A discussion followed, lasting for nearly two hours.
To give a synopsis of the whole matter: Mr. Roberts came here with his teams some eight or ten months ago to carry in opposition to the Union ; but although opposed to the Union, he received Union rates, and could prove by his waybills that the wool he had just unloaded had been carried at Union rates. Still, the fact of Mr. Roberts opposing the Union caused a certain amount of bitterness against him, and several spoke strongly upon it, contending that were it not for the agreement come to with the Employers’ Union, that none but Union teams should be employed, Mr. Roberts would still keep outside the Union, and endeavour to cut down the rates. Mr. Roberts said financial arrangements primarily prevented him from joining the Union in the first instance, but now he had joined them, they would have no reason to complain of him in the future.
The Chairman and Secretary appealed to the better feelings of the members, asking them to overlook the past, and to allow the name to remain on the roll to the end of the year, when, if the general meeting opposed Mr. Roberts, no ticket would be issued him for next year. The Secretary said that under the role affecting the Secretary (No. 12), he had no power to refuse a ticket, if he considered the applicant was “a fit and proper person.” It was impossible for him to decide whether an applicant was a fit and proper person. In this instance Mr. Pent, a committee man, had introduced the candidate, and all the committee in town favoured Mr. Roberts’ admittance, thinking it was a very good thing for the Union, for all disagreements would cease.
Mr. Claxton then withdrew his motion, and the chairman called for a show of hands, as to whether Mr. Roberts should be allowed to remain in the Union or not to the 31st December. The voting was: for, twelve; against, eight. Mr. Walker on behalf of the non-contents, demanded a ballot upon the grounds that all did not vote. The Press representative present (Mr. James) was asked to take charge of the ballot, he being a totally disinterested person. The ballot was conducted by papers, upon which was written the words “for” and “against.” Messrs. Ahern and Clarke were appointed scrutineers, and the voting was found to be even, thirteen each side. The Chairman said he would exercise his right and give a casting vote. He recorded it among the “for,” amid some applause. Mr. Roberts returned thanks, and promised to work harmoniously with all the members of the Union.
The Secretary exhibited a copy of the badge to be placed upon Union carriers waggons, and which was being registered. The design is extremely neat, and in the form of a disk. The words “Central Queensland Carriers Union” run round the outside, while the inside contains the motto in three lines, Labor omnia vincit — something for Mr. Bullocky to study over. The emblem will be in black on a white ground.
It was resolved to fix the rate to Powella Grazing Farm at £2 14s., the distance being fifty-four miles, or fourteen miles beyond Aramac. Mr. Gray, of Alice Downs, complained that he was paying for seventy-five miles to Jericho from the wool shed, while the station, upon measurement, found the road seventy and a half miles. It was resolved that no steps could be taken to alter rates until the end of the year.
After some formal business the meeting closed, with votes of thanks to the Chairman and Secretary.
The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld.), Tuesday 10 September 1889, page 6
bona fide = Latin for “in good faith”, often used regarding offers that are made in good faith and sincere (without fraud or deceit), or in relation to items that are genuine (not counterfeit or specious); in this instance, it refers to members of the union who are working in the industry, as distinct from the honorary members
labor omnia vincit = (Latin) “labor [work] overcomes everything”, or “labor overcomes all difficulties”, or “labor conquers all”; from “Georgics”, book 1 (line 145) by Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro, 70 BC – 19 BC) [the extended quotation is “labor omnia vincit improbus”, translated as “persistent work conquers all” or “hard work conquers all”]
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]