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Ballot box of the Operative Masons' and Bricklayers' Association, South Australia branch

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CollectionsOperative Stonemasons' Society of Australia
Date created: Between 1876 and 1914
Description: 
Varnished wooden box with brass hinges and a button on the side for opening and fastening the lid. Painted in gold and black on front is: 'O.M.B.A./ Ballet (sic) Box.'. On the top is a framed circular opening. Inside are two compartments and 75 voting marbles. 44 of the marbles are of pale clay, each with a unique pattern of coloured ink lines drawn on it. Of the remaining marbles, 32 are mottled brown and shiny and one is made of swirly black glass. Traditionally, white stones were chosen for acceptance, of a candidate or proposal, and black for rejection. The box also contains tickets for various fund-raising events in 1914 and 1915 in aid of wives and families of unemployed members of the Bricklayers' and Masons' Unions. The events include a Football Carnival and a Grand Entertainment with vaudeville and pictures. In the box are also a number of notes addressed to the Secretary, J. Gilbert Griffin, mostly about membership contributions. The initials O.M.B.A. indicate that the box was used by the Operative Masons' and Bricklayers' Association, which was a Trade Union registered under the provisions of the Trade Unions Act of 1876. In 1914, members proposed that the two societies separate. The Operative Masons' Society of South Australia, as it was first known, was formed in September 1914 and in 1918 became the South Australian branch of the Operative Stonemasons' Society of Australia. The organisation amalgamated with the Federated Miscellaneous Workers' Union, South Australia branch in 1962.
Location: South Australia
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/183
http://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/183
Other Identifiers: Neg. 6563

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