In the Court of Arbitration of New Zealand, Canterbury Industrial District - In the matter of the Canterbury Shearers and Canterbury Sheep owners award, dated 12th March, 1906; and in the matter of an application to join parties to the award, made by the Canterbury Shearers; Industrial Union of Workers Monday 13th August 1906. H.M. Lee, Clerk of Awards, Canterbury District.
Reference: Awards, Agreements, Orders, Etc., Made Under the Industrial Conciliation, by New Zealand Dept. of Labour - 1907 - Page pg 390.
Otago Witness, 15 October 1896, Page 41
NO. XVI.- SHEARING'S COMING.
There's a sound of many voices in the camp and on the track.
And letters coming up in shoals to stations at the back ;
And every boat that crosses from the sunny "other side"
Is bringing waves of shearers for the swelling of the tide.
For the shearing's coming round, boys, the shearing's coming round,
And the stations of the mountains have begun to hear the sound.
They'll be talking up at Laghmor of the tallies that were shore,
And the man who broke the record is remembered at Benmore ;
And the yarns of strikes and barneys told be told till all is blue,
And the ringers and the bosses will be passed in long review.
For the shearing's coming round &c.
The great Orari muster and the drafting of the men
Like a mob of ewes and wethers will be surely told again ;
And a lot of heathen places that will rhyme with kangaroo
Will be named along with ringers and the things that they can do.
For the shearing's coming round, &c.
At last the crowds will gather for the morning of the start,
And the slowest kind of, jokers will be trying to look smart ;
And a few will get the bullet, and high hopes will have a fall,
And the bloke that talks the loudest stands a show of looking small.
For the shearing's coming round, chaps, the shearing's coming round,
And the voices of the workers have begun to swell the sound.
—David M'Kee Wright, New Zealand's 'Outdoor Laureate', bio
Puketoi, October 1896.
Wright books include:
Aorangi and other Verses (1896) 20 pages
Station Ballads and other Verses (1897) 147 pages
Wisps of Tussock (1900) 56 pages
New Zealand Chimes (1900) 9 pages
Otago Witness , 27 July 1899, Page 45
WELCOME BACK AGAIN TO DAVID M'KEE WRIGHT.
Oh, David, we have missed you
Welcome back again.
Long we sought for tidings;
Alas! we sought in vain.
We thought that you had left us,
For fields and pastures new ;
Where laurels of poet's glory
Perchance wore brighter hue.
But we hear once more your song
Of mountain, hill, and plain.
Oh, David, how we've missed you -
Welcome' back 'again.
With joy and childish glee,
We hear your song once more,
Of New Zealand's home and beauty,
Of New Zealand's rich and poor.
Of the scrub, the fern, and tussock,
That decorate our land;
Of the shearer, of the trapper,
And the happy digger band.
For although you've long been silent,
We've cherished well your name.
Oh, David, we have missed you —
Welcome back again.
Yes, old chap, we've missed you—
Missed your tuneful lay ;
And I'm sure the chaps will join you,
There are few but what will say ;
May success attend your rambles,
And glory crown your days,
Long to love New Zealand —
Long to sing her praise.
May fame and fortune wait you,
And honour bless you name.
Oh, David, we have missed you—
Welcome back again.
—THOMAS SHORT. Wedderbura, July, 1899
Combs and cutters.
Timaru Herald, 2 November 1892, Page 4
AN ODE ON LABOUR DAY.
An item of the programme of the Labour Day Demonstration at Wellington was the awarding of a prize for the best ode of not more than 30 lines on the holiday. The prize was won by Mr Tom L. Mills, a son of Mr Anthony Mills, of Timaru. Mr Mills is a compositor in the New Zealand Times office, and he served his time in the HERALD office here. The odes were judged by Mr W. J. Weston, a Wellington schoolmaster, who in his report says : — . Twelve odes were handed to me for examination, and the majority of them were very good as regards the sentiments conveyed. Some, though exceedingly good in sentiment, were very faulty in construction. I have decided that the ode bearing the nom de plume 'Mona,' and written by Mr Tom L. Mills, is the best, and therefore adjudged the prize to that gentleman. The following is a copy of Mr Mills' ode : -
HAIL, LABOUR DAY!
Hail, Labour Day ! the yearly rest from toil
Which workers and their sons enjoy upon this soil!
Tired of the Old World's bonds, longing to be free,
Parnell, the workers' pioneer, set out upon the sea—
Braving its dangers, bound for a distant shore
Whose people were cloth'd in but a mystic lore,
Whose lines were cast in places bright
Where Labour almost ceased to be, in hours light,
And Nature cries with Toil in this fair Southern State,
'Eight Hours for Labour, Sleep and Recreate!"
New Zealand ! Thine to inaugurate
New Freeland ! Thine is a happy state.
Britannia of old still keeps her children down !
But Britain of the South, with Natives brown,
Leads in this day. October Twenty-eight —
Labour is free ! This do we celebrate
T'is Eight Hours' Day ! the workers all cry.
Send forth the sound, the world to satisfy !
Hail, Labour Day ! may next year's rest from toil
Show reformation on the whole world's soil !
Timaru Herald, 9 May 1893, Page
3 Letter to the editor
Mr Boreham in his address on Unionism, as reported your columns of Saturday, had a good deal to say about the treatment of shearers. I will first take the question of shearers' huts, and ask Mr Boreham what is the kind of accommodation required to please him and other leaders of labour? Is a runholder expected to lay out a large sum of money in a building that is only required for two or three weeks during the year? If so, why do the labour leaders confine their demands to the run-holder? Answer : Because he is "a social pest." Why not ask every farmer who requires the services of a threshing mill to provide suitable buildings for the mill hands? Is the man who goes out with a threshing mill of a lower order of creation than your shearer? The threshing mill hand sleeps in a tent at a season of the year when the weather is less pleasant than at shearing time. Why does not a shearer do likewise at a season of the year when camping is rather pleasant? He would still have the advantage of the mill hand in having the hut to retire to of a wet day. I admit there may be some stations where the accommodation is bad, but on the whole I am convinced there is far more said against it than there is any need for. Your shearer is a despot if he can only manage it.
The conditions he will accept without a murmur when competing in other kinds of labour are iniquitous when offered him by the back country squatter who pays him wages that he cannot earn at any other kind of labour in the country with nearly twice the hours of work. It is unreasonable of the labour teachers to expect that a runholder should sink a large sum of money in providing elaborate accommodation for men who are only required two or three weeks during the year. With regard to "tucker" I do not think the squatter is to blame if it is not good. Generally the rations are of good quality and the squatter is only too glad to employ a first class cook by contract or weekly wages if he can only get him. The Union should turn its attention to the establishment of a cookery school for shearers' cooks. They would find no difficulty in getting situations for any skilled they turned out. What Mr Boreham says of the " fleeecepickers and rouseabouts," would lead those who know nothing about shearing sheds to think that they are treated like slaves. Fancy a fleecepicker not being able to eat from being overworked! I haven't come across this curiosity, although I have had twenty-five years' experience of sheds. If the boy is off his feed, it is not because he is overworked ; the cause will be found most probably in the atmospheric condition of the shed, which sometimes puts more than " fleecy" off his tucker. Mr Boreham knows nothing about the management of " rouseabouts " or he would not speak of them as he is reported to have done. But the less a labour leader knows of the subject on which he ventures to give an address he is the better qualified to be a leader. I am, &c., Back-Blocks
South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project