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Bertha McNamaraPrint Page Print this page

29-July-2015
29-July-2015

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams
A bas-relief portrait tablet commemorates Bertha McNamara a pioneer of the Labour movement in New South Wales. 

Bertha McNamara Bredt (1853 – 1931), was a Sydney-based Australian socialist agitator, feminist, pamphleteer, bookseller, and mother-in-law of Australian writer Henry Lawson.

Born in Germany, she migrated to Victoria in 1869. After the death of her husband Peter Hermann Bredt, she became a political activist and published Home Talk on Socialism (1891), one of Australia's first pamphlets on socialism. On 9 July 1892 she married William McNamara.

In Castlereagh St, Sydney, she ran a boarding-house in conjunction with McNamara's Book and News Depot. Bertha McNamara, who has been called 'The Mother of the Labour Movement', carried on agitating for social reform for 25 years after the death of her second husband.

A bronze tablet to the memory of Mrs. Bertha McNamara, who died last year, was unveiled at the main entrance to the Sydney Trades Hall last Saturday afternoon. A large audience was present to pay tribute to the work of a well-known pioneer of the Labor Movement in New South Wales. The tablet was unveiled by Mrs. L. Lynch, and appreciative addresses were delivered by Messrs. J. B. Steel, Roderic Quinn, J. C. Eldridge, J. Keller, Dr. Maloney, Rev. A. Rivett, Senator Rae and Mrs. Mary Gilmore. Messages were read from Don Cameron, President of the Victorian State ALP. Executive, and Mr. H. E. Holland, leader of the New Zealand Labor Party.
The Australian Worker (Sydney), 30 March 1932.

Location

Address:4 Goulburn Street, Foyer, Trades Hall, Sydney, 2000
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.877524
Long: 151.204033
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Humanitarian
Monument Designer:Lyndon Dadswell
Link:http://adb.anu.edu.au/

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 26th March, 1932
Front Inscription
        BERTHA McNAMARA
KINDLY AND GRACIOUS IN HER SPLENDID WAY
SHE KNEW NO NATIONHOOD
AND HER RELIGION EACH AND EVERY DAY
WAS THAT OF HER OWN DOING 
                                    R.J. Cassidy

BORN 28th SEPT 1858  Died 1st AUG 1931
Source: MA, ADB
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