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  Issue No 23 Official Organ of LaborNet 23 July 1999  





Eveliegh Rail Reunion

By Dr Lucy Taksa

Former workers and their families from the historic Eveleigh Railway Workshops in inner-Sydney are holding a picnic reunion and folk music festival on the site on Sunday, August 29.

It's part of a major effort to research and record the rich history and culture of the workshops.

The event is hosted by the Australian Technology Park which now controls the buildings of the former workshops. The main location is the ATP Atrium, formerly the "new" loco workshop.

From the Steam Age to the Information Age

The Eveleigh Railway Workshops were built during the 1880s, and operated for just over one hundred years. Recognised as one of the most advanced railway workshops in Australia, numerous conservation plans have documented their heritage value.

A new multi-media and virtual reality project is helping build a bridge between Eveleigh's railway past and its current role as a Technology Park.

With an Australian Research Council grant, labour historian Dr Lucy Taksa of the University of NSW has begun to develop a number of inter-related multi-media products using the latest information technologies, to provide greater understanding of Eveleigh's industrial and social history, and the people who once worked there.

Re-connect to Eveleigh - oral history, mementos, family history

A focus of the reunion will be the display of lists of people who worked at Eveleigh between 1887 and 1950, as published in the NSW Government Gazette. People will be able to start to trace theirfamily members who once worked at the heritage site. Former employees can register to recordtheir oral history of working at the site.

People with memorabilia from Eveleigh will be able to display their historical materials and register their willingness to loan them for future display at Eveleigh or donate them to organisations like the State Library of NSW.

Important groups of former workers are expected to join other participants in reunions, including:

Many of the thousands of trades people who completed part of their training in the Workshops

Members of Eveleigh Returned Services Association

Officials from trade unions that once covered those who worked at Eveleigh

Families of 25 Labor Party figures who began their working lives at Eveleigh

Retired Railway Employees Association

A Railway Song and Poem Competition, sponsored by the Rail Tram and Bus Union, will be launched at the picnic, with entries closing at Easter 2000.

There will be a display of models of every steam locomotive built at Eveleigh. Entertainers taking part in the Australia Wide Folk Week of Music Song and Dance will perform at the picnic.

The NSW Folk Federation has welcomed the Eveleigh Workshops event because of the important contribution that railways have made to our country's rich folk culture.

Former Eveleigh workers who want to register for a reunion, to participate in the oral history project, or bring along memorabilia, can give their details by phoning 02 9668 9914.

The register will form part of a commemotative wall at the Eveliegh site.

For further information: Peter Murphy 0418 312 301


*    To contribute to the History Page, contact Dr Lucy Taksa

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 23 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: An Economic Wet
Dr Christopher Sheil on economic rationalism and the 1997-98 water failures in Adelaide and Sydney.
*  Unions: The Stench from the South
In 1997 the entire Adelaide metropolitan area was drenched in foul, sulphorous, sewerage odours, emanating from the Bolivar waste water treatment plant.
*  Environment: Trading into Trouble
Seattle, USA, is shaping up as demonstrator mecca in the lead up to World Trade Organisation talks.
*  History: Eveliegh Rail Reunion
Former workers and their families from the historic Eveleigh Railway Workshops in inner-Sydney are holding a picnic reunion and folk music festival on the site on Sunday, August 29.
*  International: Bosses Use Armed Gangs to Break Russian Picket
On 9 July 1999, eighty masked, uniformed gunmen accompanied by the local prosecutor and other officials tried to storm the Vyborg Pulp and Paper Mill, under occupation by workers for the past eighteen months.
*  Satire: New Refugee Crisis: Journalists Flee Peace Zone
The camps are once again full in the Albanian border town of Gruntiez.
*  Review: 10 Reasonably Interesting Moments in Film
Cultural theorist Snag Cleaver flies off the handle again..

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