Tamworth celebrates the 8-hour day and war efforts

Tamworth celebrates the 8-hour day and war efforts
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Rain poured and cold winds blustered, but that didn’t dampen Tamworth’s annual 8 hour day festivities and patriotic parade on 23 October 1916.

The street parade included elaborate banners and war-related displays such as a mounted soldier in a slouch hat, and a fruiterer’s pony cart paying tribute to ‘Little Belgium’. A motor vehicle towed a large model boat labelled Emden, named after the German light cruiser that was sunk by HMAS Sydney on November 9, 1914. The Sydney had sunk the notorious German vessel as it attacked a British wireless station on the Cocos Islands.

Local cinema managers, siblings Henry Ison and Rose Thompson, hired a cameraman from Australasian Films, the country’s largest film producer, to film the parade.

The presence of the NSW Governor, Sir George Strickland, was one reason for filming events, but the celebrations were especially significant in 1916 because the NSW State government had passed the Eight Hours Act in April.