28 October this year was the 100th anniversary of the 1st anti-conscription referendum during WW1. One of the activities organised by the Brunswick-Coburg Anti-Conscription Commemoration Committee was a workshop to create a new song about peace, then two weeks later attend a workshop to learn it.
The song is inspired by the campaign in Brunswick and Coburg which voted down conscription during WW1; and the gaoling of leaders like Adela Pankhurst. This is in commemoration of when prominent suffragette Adela Pankhurst was jailed in Pentridge Prison for her anti-war and anti-conscription activities and a women’s choir sang outside the prison while Adela was stuck in her prison cell.
Most people who catch trains at the Anstey Station would have no idea who the station was named after because there’s no plaque. The station is named after Frank Anstey. Frank was a key figure in the anti-conscription and anti-war campaign during WW1. Frank was both a member of the ALP and the Victorian Socialist Party and he was a member of parliament at the time. Frank played a key role in persuading the senate to block conscription, forcing Billie Hughes to hold a referendum. Frank was an interesting character and his political principle was extremely important. Australia was the only country to hold any sort of vote on the war. There’s lots more to know about Frank Anstey so come along to this event being hosed by the Brunswick-Coburg Anti-Conscription Commemoration Committee if you are free on the 22nd of August at St Ambrose Hall.