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Information Plaque: 29-July-2015
Information Plaque: 29-July-2015

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams
The portrait bust commemorates Henry Copland, member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for his assistance to trade unionism. 

Henry Copeland, (1839 – 1904) was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly. Copeland was born in Hull, Yorkshire, England. Aged 18 years, he arrived in Williamstown, Victoria and spent around 15 years on the goldfields as a digger, farmer and contractor. Copeland was elected unopposed to the New South Wales Mining Board in 1874. He entered the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in 1877. 

Although he never joined the Labor Party Copeland always strongly supported the working class. He fought for the eight-hour movement and introduced it in all the mines with which he was connected. A vigorous opponent of Sunday closing of public houses he argued that 'if Providence had intended that people should forego their customary beverages one day a week, men would have been provided with pouches like camels in which they could lay in a supply till Monday'. He fought for the opening of the Art Gallery on Sundays for the benefit of the working classes; in 1882 when Parkes protested that 10,000 people had petitioned against Sunday opening and none were for it, Copeland collected 24,000 signatures in its favour and persuaded the assembly to reverse its earlier decision. 

Copeland was an active and 'distinguished advocate' of Federation, although he only came thirteenth out of forty-nine candidates for the 1897 Federal Convention. He was a trustee of the Australian Museum and of the Art Gallery. In March 1900 he was appointed agent-general for New South Wales. He represented the Commonwealth on the Advisory Board of the Imperial Institute and at the International Telegraphic Conference in London in 1903.

A marble bust of the late Henry Copeland (Agent General) was unveiled at the Trades Hall on Saturday afternoon. The bust was secured at the instigation of the land trustees and executive in oprder to perpetuate Mr Copeland`s assistance to trade unionism, he having over 20 years rendered very substantial aid in securing funds to obtain the site on which the Trades Hall stands. The work was executed by Mr. James Fillans in Coloola marble, and he has presented a very faithful likeness of the well-known politician.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 18 September 1905.



Address:4 Goulburn Street, Foyer, Trades Hall Building, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.877524
Long: 151.204033
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial
Artist:Mr James Fillans


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 16th September, 1905
Front Inscription
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au