Tray that belonged to Arthur Calwell #2010-0285
Ornate silver plate tray with two handles and inscription ‘To / Honourable A. A. Calwell / In appreciation of a lifetime of service. / To / The Labour Movement and for World Peace / From / Queensland Food Group of Unions’.
This tray is part of a collection of objects that belonged to Arthur Calwell, Australia’s first Minister for Immigration (1945-49) that were donated to the museum by his daughter, Dr Mary Elizabeth Calwell.
This tray was given to Calwell by the Queensland Food Group of Unions. Although undated, it is likely to stem from the period around the time of his retirement as Leader of the Opposition in 1967. The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has absorbed the older craft unions associated under the banner of ‘Food Unions’, but their origins go back to the earlier years of the twentieth century. Often associated with the left, such unions were strong in rural industries in Queensland, particularly in the preserving and meat processing industries.