Tocsin magazine brings out another edition … and here’s an apposite poem from 1917

Honest History noted a little while ago the launch of Tocsin, a publication from the John Curtin Research Centre. The centre’s inaugural gala dinner happens to be tonight, addressed by the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten.

download (1)Tocsin‘s second number is now online and it includes Nick Dyrenfurth on employee representation on company boards, Senator Kimberley Kitching on Australia’s obligations to defence force personnel, Andrew Leigh MP on the role of education and innovation in dealing with inequality (use the Honest History search engine to find more in this vein from Dr Leigh, plus look under our Inequality thumbnail), Michael Cooney making a case for the Republic, and the late Clara Jordan-Baird calling for a fairer go for interns.

In another interesting coincidence, the Australian Worker of 100 years ago today, 11 October 1917,  included a poem by feminist and anti-conscriptionist, Jennie Scott Griffiths, marking the dying throes of the Great Strike of 1917. We have touched previously on the strike (here and here) and on Scott Griffiths.

The poem is well worth a read. Here it is. The title ‘Resurgat’ is Latin, and translates roughly as ‘may it rise’ or ‘let it rise’.


We have marched with the unemployed ones;

We have sung with the strikers’ crew;

We have talked things miscalled “treason”;

We have done what seemed best to do.


And it may have all been needed –

It seemed to promise the best –

But it has not brought better conditions –

And that is the supreme test.


JSG-Photo-7-Jennie-Scott-Griffiths-661x1024 (1)Are the children of men less hungry?

Are the laws of man more just?

If not, we must change our methods,

For the sake of mankind, we must.


If those who have food, will not share it –

If law is but used for the strong –

We must rise in our might and take food;

We must alter the laws which are wrong!


The way will be rough – we can tread it!

The road may be long – it must end,

When we have learned to love one another

And each man is the other man’s friend.

David Stephens

11 October 2017


Click here for all items related to: ,
To comment or discuss, Log in to Honest History.

Leave a Reply