Activity Held to Commemorate the Dalfram Dispute
    2014-02-13 23:16:24     CRIENGLISH.com       Web Editor: Luo Dan


 

It has been 75 years since the men at Port Kembla in Wollongong Australia were forced to load the Dalfram or face starvation. These men and their families were out of work for 10 weeks to protest the loading of war materials for Japan, which was invading China during that period.

The local labor union has just held activities to commemorate the Dalfram Dispute. Our Australia correspondent Wang Xiao has more.

The South Coast Labor Union held a ceremony for the launch of a booklet titled "Against Fascism and War ĘC Pig Iron Bob and the Dalfram Dispute at Port Kembla" to commemorate the event.

Michael Donaldson, one of the authors of the booklet, explained that he and his partner assembled many historical documents to finish this booklet. He said the booklet tells the story of how the Australian people cared about the Chinese who were suffering from Japanese Fascism thousands of miles away.

"The horrible things Chinese people were suffering at that period are unspeakable. That's why the waterside workers took action and support the Chinese people."

93-year-old Arthur Chang is one of the last people living who witnessed the event.

"The man that supported this movement in Port Kembla was Fred Wang. He was my friend and my teacher. And he came down truckload of fruit and vegetables from the city market that the Chinese donated to him and ask him to load everyday he would come down to port kembla. What a great man he was!"

Arthur was 17 years old when the dispute occurred. He was an apprentice at a Chinese store in Sydney.

In January 1939, Robert Menzies, an Attorney-General of Australia and Prime Minister afterwards, came to Wollongong to sort out the dispute. He met with an angry crowd of over 1-thousand demanding "No pig iron for Japan". A woman in the crowd first called Menzies "Pig Iron Bob", a name that stuck even after he had ceased to be Australia's longest-serving Prime Minister.

The nickname of the former Prime Minister is also the name of the documentary made by Sandra Pires.

"There were a couple of people that said to us to look at the story and to try to tell it. We started to research it. We just found that it was an amazing story. The courage of that community to stay out of work for 10 weeks over something they believed in was an amazing story. That's something we know that we can do again if we believe that something is not right."

At last, the local labor union made an agreement with Robert Menzies for the wharfies to load 10 thousand tons of pig iron on Dalfram, which was less than one-thirtieth of the original contract. In return, the Australian government assured that no more pig iron would be shipped to Japan.

The Wharfies' victory not only supported the Chinese against Japan, but also made the Australian government make a stand against the anti-fascism war.

"We need to remember the history of Japanese imperialist aggression. 35 million Chinese people were killed by Japanese Army during that 8-year war. We also need to remember the affection and support of Australian people of the day. Today we need to cooperate with Australian people to stop the reviving of militarism and prevent the war which will devastate the people's lives."

He called for the people of Australia and China to join hands and maintain regional peace and stability, which has not come easily.

For CRI, I'm Wang Xiao in Australia.

Share

               


CRIENGLISH.com claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. No person, organization and/or company shall reproduce, disseminate or broadcast the content in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of CRIENGLISH.com.

CRIENGLISH.com holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

 
Listen
 
 

 
 
Highlights
CHINATALKS
Video
• C4: Bad Boys
Join us for the latest episode of CRI's hilarious comedy news show.
• C4: World Cup Fever
Join us for the latest episode of CRI's hilarious comedy news show.
In Depth

News
China
World
Politics
Business
Sports
Showbiz
Sci-tech
Photo
Recommended
China
World
Sports
Showbiz
Travel
Video
C4
The Sound Stage
Showbiz
Travel
China Revealed
My Chinese Life
Travel
Destinations
Photo Gallery
Recommended
Learn Chinese
"In" Chinese
Chatting in Chinese
Pop Culture
Traditional Culture
Living Chinese
Chinese Studio
Chinese Class
Learn English
Special English
Pop Chart
Everyday English
Fabulous Snaps
CRI News
China.org.cn  | Xinhua  | People's Daily Online   |  CNTV.cn  | China Daily  |  Global Times  | China Job  |  China Tibet Online  | Taiwan.cn  | eBeijing  | Beijing Today  | China-Eurasia Expo  | APEC Yiwu Conference  | Chinese Embassy in S.Africa  | Chinese Embassy in Australia  | Chinese Embassy in NZ