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[Xmca-l] Re: Polls are setting to close on article for discussion

In Melbourne, "Labour Day" was always the first Monday in March, and commemorated the struggle for the 8 Hour Day, which was the project which led to the formation of the united union movement in Australian ("Trades Hall Council"). When I came back to Australia in 1986, after a 20 year absence, my first day of work turned out to be Labour Day, so I didn't go in. I didn't realise that the Universties do not recognise Labour Day; it was after all a strike by masons working on Melbourne University which initiated the worldwide 8-hour Movement! But the real coup was the decision of the Victorian Government to declare a holiday called "Moomba" (which is supposed to be an aboriginal word for having fun) which celebrates absolutely nothing except commericalism and the lack of culture of the Australian settler nation, and set the date for the first Tuesday in March! I remember that day seeing the last effort to celebrate Labour Day by a tiny contingent of men with banners walking down the grass reserve in Victoria Parade. The consolation is that May Day is going as strong as ever, celebrated twice in Melbourne: once on 1 May, and then again on the first Sunday in May (so workers can march without having to go on strike!). Recall that the celebration of national days, etc., is one of the techniques used in the education of deaf-blind kids described in Meshcheryakov's book. Also I recall that in Bede's History of England, it seems that the key point in converting the native English to Christianity and incorporating the British Isles into the Roman Empire, was the celebration of all the former pagan holidays according to the Roman calendar. Symbolims is powerful.

*Andy Blunden*