TRADES HALL’S HISTORIC EUREKA FLAG
This flag originally flew from the flagstaff on the Trades Hall Building in Camp Street Ballarat on December 3rd 1942. This prompted many enquires to the Ballarat Courier newspaper. The Courier in reporting that the flag was, in fact, a replica of the original Eureka Stockade flag went on to say that:
“…it (seemed) very strange that the town in which Eureka made a name for Australia and its efforts to get freedom from control for the ordinary man, did not recognise the flag that flew while the first move for freedom was fought out against big odds.”
The Trades Hall Eureka flag, made of cotton material, was used in union marches during the 1940’s. In later years it had been all but forgotten, until in 1981 it was brought to the office of the then MHR for Ballarat, John Mildren by members of the family that the flagmaker had boarded with in Ballarat.
David Miller, who had a keen interest in the Eureka story and was electorate officer for John Mildren, became custodian of the flag for many years and presented it to the Ballarat Trades Hall for display.
In 1994 The Ballarat Trades Hall Eureka flag travelled Australia as part of a touring Eureka collection. At that time, the Secretary of the Ballarat Regional Trades and Labour Council, Graeme Shearer said “…The Eureka flag then, as it does now, symbolises the struggle for basic rights and democracy.”
On Wednesday 11th July 2001, following a ceremony to mark the refurbishment of the Galloway Monument, the Ballarat Trades Hall Eureka flag was unveiled at a function in the Ballarat Trades Hall by President of the Ballarat Trades & Labour Council, Rhonda Young and Premier of Victoria, Steve Bracks.
The Trades Hall gratefully acknowledged the assistance of Dean Mighell, then former Victorian State Secretary of the CEPU/ETU -