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Photographs supplied by Bryan Cole

The Workers Memorial is a white marble Statue of “Justice” which stands on a massive grey granite base. At first it was intended to honour the name of the labour veteran, Mr. H. Garland senior. Later it was decided to record the names of departed labour leaders, some of whom had died in the First World War.  Funds for the Memorial came from many parties, including unionists, businessmen, lodges and other organisations.  The completed memorial was unveiled in 1921.

Only people who have made an outstanding contribution to the working class people of Port Adelaide are eligible to be immortalised on this memorial. Names are generally added to the memorial on May Day.

The movement for the erection of a lasting memorial to the workers of Port Adelaide who have rendered valuable service to the Labor movement in past is meeting with encouraging success. Mr. Frank Condon, secretary of the Port Adelaide Workers Memorial Committee, explains the proposal in the following letter, and "The Daily Herald" will be pleased to receive and to acknowledge donations:— "The object of the Workers Memorial Committee are to raise £200 for the purpose of erecting a drinking fountain monument at the corner of St. Vincent Street and Commercial Road, to perpetuate the memory of prominent workers in the Labor movement at Port Adelaide who have since been laid to rest. A suitable position for erection has been secured, and the fountain will be an improvement to the town.
Daily Herald (Adelaide), 11 July 1918.

There was a large gathering of Port Adelaide residents at the corner of Commercial Road and St.Vincent Street, Port Adelaide, on Friday afternoon, to witness the unveiling of the completed Workers Memorial. The result of the efforts of a committee formed at Port Adelaide on January 1917, Mr. R.H. Smith (late Mayor) became Chairman of the committee and in November 1919, had the honour of laying the first stone of the massive grey granite base which stood about 12ft high with a tiled approach and a modern sanitary drinking fountain placed on each of two dais’s. It was intended that a marble, statue of “Justice” should complete the monument, but difficulties created through the war delayed the carrying out of this portion of the work. Then Mr. and Mrs B. Winter came forward and offered to provide the money necessary. The work was put to hand in Italy, and carried out in white marble.

The figure, is now erected, in a beautiful piece of sculpture and brings the monument up to a height of 18ft. A large platform erected at the Police Station corner was occupied on Friday by members of the State and Federal Parliament, the Mayor and Councillors of Port Adelaide and Labour leaders with thoughtfulness, the Mayor (Mr.J. Anderson) called on Mr. Scholz at hospital for the ex-Mayor (Mr. R.H. Smith) who has been confined to his bed for nearly 18 months, and driven down so that he might have the pleasure of seeing the memorial completed.

At the request of the committee Mr. F. Condon (The Secretary) acted as Chairman. The Largs Orphanage Girls Brass Band played selections during the afternoon in a most creditable manner. In introducing Mr. Winter, who performed the unveiling ceremony Mr. Condon outlined the formation of the Committee and the work it had done. He said the money for the undertaking had been contributed by all parties and in addition to unionists, businessmen, ledges and other organizations had greatly helped.

They had desired to honour those who had battled in the interests of the workers in the early days. They were all glad to see ex-Mayor (Mr. R.H. Smith) present, and see that his health was showing improvement (cheers) They were grateful to Mr and Mrs Winter, whose generosity had made possible the completion of the beautiful monument, at which the relatives of the Labour pioneer, .whose names .appeared there, would be gratified (cheers) Mr. Winter having performed the ceremony to the accompaniment of Cheers, briefly responded.

Mr. Gunn M.P. moving a vote of thanks to the donors for their handsome gift to the people of Port Adelaide said the citizens had shown their appreciation by attending in thousands to take part in the ceremony.

Mr. Winter had known many of the men whose names appeared on the monument and knew of the sacrifice they had made on behalf of the citizens and the workers of Port Adelaide, he joined Mr. Condon in expressing pleasure at the presence of Mr. R.H. Smith, who was in the best of health when they last gathered there for a similar ceremony. He knew he expressed the wish of all present when, he hoped he would soon regain his former vigorous ‘health (cheers).

The memorial was unique, as it was, to honour the men who had worked unceasingly in an everyday way,’ sacrificing much that their fellows might enjoy a little more of the better things’. Some of the younger generation had little conception of what the pioneers of the Labour movement had to sacrifice as they blazed the trail for those who came after them.

The Hon. J. Jelley seconded the motion. He said Mr and Mrs Winter had made it possible, to erect such a fine memorial to the heroes of the Labour movement who had gone before. Mr. Condon then asked the, Mayor. To accept the monument on behalf of the citizens. Mr. Anderson briefly replied. The singing of the National Anthem concluded the proceedings.
The Register ( Adelaide), 17 September 1921.


Address:Commercial Road & St Vincents Street, Black Diamond Corner, Port Adelaide, 5015
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.844196
Long: 138.505082
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 8th November, 1918
Front Inscription

Presented by Mr. & Mrs. B. Winter to Workers Memorial Committee September 18th 1921.  

Workers Memorial 

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Left Side Inscription

Workers Memorial

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Back Inscription

Workers Memorial

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Right Side Inscription

Workers Memorial

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Source: MA, NRUM
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