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Membership Badge for Sydney Marine Benefit Society

Date: 1873 -1880
Dimensions:
Overall: 41 x 32 x 3 mm, 17.3 g
Medium: Metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Kathryn Jones-Lucas
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Badge
Object No: 00051844

User Terms

    SignificanceAustralian Encyclopaedia 1958, vol 4 pp 217-219
    Austrlian Encyclopaedia 1998, vol 4 p 1437
    Establishing the Commonwealth, www.abc.net.au/federation/fedstory

    HistoryThe Sydney Marine Benefit Society was one of many mutual provident associations which were established by trade or occupational groups in an age where workers had no financial security. They arose in the late 19th century, reached a peak in the late 19th century, and declined in the mid-20th century when other forms of insurance and security were available. They were part of the same movement which gave rise to trade unions. Some societies were run by trade unions. Members contributed to the mutual fund and could seek medical and sickness benefits when unable to work. In some cases funeral benefits and assistance to dependants were provided.

    Merchant mariners in particular were often unemployed and vulnerable to the dangers of their work. It is probable that the membership comprised more masters and officers than ordinary seamen, who had less ability to pay dues. The Marine Benefit Society was represented among the group of Friendly Societies who took part in the Federation Parade through the streets of Sydney to Centennial Park in 1901.The identity of member no. 186, J.F. is not known.

    Two different editions of the Sydney Marine Benefit Society's rule book are held in the State Library of NSW (1881 edition) and the National Library of Australia (1890 edition).

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