One Trammie to Another, 1916 and 1969: Tom Barker to Clarrie O’Shea


Dear Brother O’Shea

I have been following your case, with the interest of an old tramwayman and that was long ago, partly in Auckland, New Zealand and before that in Liverpool. I am also one who has his old Australian history in the period of World War One when I was in and out of jail fighting conscription. Finally Hughes shipped me with others to Chile. We had a police escort all the way.

I knew your Melbourne Trades Hall 60 years ago. I wish you and your pals everything well in the struggle yours and other Unions are engaged in. This struggle of yours serves as a pointer to our position here, when our Labour Government finds itself proposing penalties for various unofficial strikers. Some years ago I myself and 22 found ourselves guilty of under charging on old houses in the private section heavily surched (sic) which I believe has not yet been discharged. Barbara Castle and her colleagues are doing the same as Hughes and Co.

My best wishes for your militant stand – solidarity makes you strong.

TOM BARKER (82 years)

Source: Tramway Record May 1969