Opera House strike meeting poster

Opera House strike meeting poster

The strikers held many meetings at Wellington’s Opera House, which was located at 73 Manners Street. (The current Opera House at 111-113 Manners Street was opened at Easter 1914.) Sometimes meetings were so well-attended that the overflow had to go to the Socialist Hall, across the road at 80 Manners Street. At the meeting advertised in this poster, United Federation of Labour leaders Pat Hickey and Bob Semple called for workers to follow the example of Auckland, where a general strike had been declared after special constables invaded the wharves. A farmer from Pahīatua named Fox, who supported the strike, moved a successful motion calling on the government to ‘withdraw all armed troops at once’.

At a meeting in the Opera House on 2 November, leaders of the city’s Protestant churches had spoken in support of the strike. The strike Distress Committee, based at the Socialist Hall, held regular public meetings at the Opera House in which they defended the decisions they had made in distributing food and money donated by sympathisers.

See more images of Wellington during the 1913 strike here (Flickr)

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