Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer


The Federated Railway Loco Engineman's Association of Australia


The Federated Railway Loco Engineman's Association of Australia

Object information

Physical description

Unissued, colourful and patriotic, lithographic, trade union certificate of appreciation. "The Federated Railway Loco Enginemen's / Association of Australia" is in a broad green scroll across the top, below the Australian coat-of-arms. In the centre of the scroll, an Australian soldier is depicted protecting a fallen comrade-in-arms with the Australian flag billowing behind him, and surrounded by a circular white garter that contains the slogan "TELL THE BOYS TO PULL TOGETHER". The garter is superimposed on the Australian flag crossed with the Union Jack. Australian state emblems are in small medallions in the corners, and one each in the middle of the vertical sides. The lower two thirds of the certificate is printed in imitation of a parchment that continues on from the heading in the scroll, and it is printed with; "Hereby resolve to show their appreciation / for services rendered on behalf of his Country / by Brother... / a member of the... / Division / who enlisted and served in / His Majesty's / Australian Imperial Forces / in the Great War 1914-1919". Below that is a poem in two columns "You have nobly done your duty, / You have helped to bring us peace, / which will stand a thing of beauty, / And war for ever cease. / You have helped to bring your country fame, / Thus honor [sic] you may justly claim. / Under one flag we stand, / At home or in another land, / The ties that bind are strong and sure. Ties of heart that will endure. / Closer knit the bands of comradeship, / Through the years that come and go". / Following that is the authorisation "On behalf of the above Federation, / We have the honor [sic] to subscribe ourselves, / Geo. Crossman / Federal Secretary / H. P. Butterworth / Federal President". The artist's[?] initials "A.R.A." are on the bottom proper right side edge of the certificate.

Statement of significance

The Andrew Reeves collection consists of twenty-three trade union certificates used in Australia from 1860-1970. They are generally in good condition considering their age, use and material (paper based). They cover a range of Australian worker's unions, including a number which either were amalgamated into larger unions or ceased to exist.

The period between the 1850s and the 1970s spans a key time in the development, working condition gains and various ebbs and flow of Australian trade unions. Certificates in this collection document achievements including the eight hour work day but also allow reflection on the dwindling support for unions during the 20th century. In addition, as the designs of Australian certificates follow the centuries old British tradition of union emblems they provide examples of links between worker's organisations in Australia and England.

Object information

Back to top