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Trades Hall

6 Collie St, 1904


Photograph of a painting by Toby Leek, courtesy of the artist.

Designed by Joseph Allen. The 888 in the pediment refers to the trade union principle that workers should have eight hours for labour, eight for recreation, and eight for rest.

Trades Hall in 1985, with Zorba the Buddha signage - from a Facebook page giving no other information than the date.

Trades Hall during the Sanyassin occupation.

On March 26 [1901] Sir John Forrest laid the foundation stone of the Trades Hall in Collie Street, the land having been given by the Government, who also made a substantial cash donation towards the building fund. The building was opened on June 23, 1904, by W. H. Carpenter, M.H.R., the first Labour [sic] representative for Fremantle in the Federal Parliament. Hitchock: 79.

The building was later used by the Rajneeshee community with a restaurant in it called Zorba the Buddha. Then it was a convention centre. And see below.

Heritage Council:
The former Trades Hall (1904) is a two storey painted (originally tuck pointed) Flemish bond brick and corrugated iron roofed building designed in the Federation Free Classical style of architecture. The building is situated with a slight diagonal setback from the pavement. On the ground floor there is a frontispiece projection in the centre of the façade supported by pillars (both have stone plaques) and archivolt front and sides. The decorative parapet features a pediment where '888' appears in the pediment. A string course joins the stucco arches above the timber framed windows which are mainly casement to the first floor and double hung sash to the ground floor. 
Collie St is named after Dr Alex Collie, R.N. Surgeon on H.M.S. Sulphur, and Colonial Surgeon. With Lieut. Preston, Collie explored the Collie and Preston Rivers. Dr Collie was later Government Resident at Albany.
6 Collie Street was designed and built in 1904 by architect Joseph Allen as the Trades Hall. The foundation stone laid by Sir John Forrest. The building was opened on Foundation Day 1907 by W. H. Carpenter, the Labour Member for Fremantle. The '888' on the façade signifies '8 hrs work, 8 hrs leisure, 8 hrs sleep,' which was the initial aim of trade unions. Thereafter the place was used as headquarters of the Fremantle Trades and Labour movement, including the fifty Port unions, until the 1960s. It was the centre of powerful maritime and port unions, and workplace of prominent leaders such as Paddy Troy, founder of the maritime union and the TLC. The funeral procession for Thomas Edwards left the Trades Hall on 7 May 1919. Edwards had died in a conflict at Victoria Quay on 4 May 1919.
The building was empty from 1962-68. It was sold by auction in 1968 for $21, 000. It was then used as a theatre, the Old Trades Music Hall. From 1974 onward it was restaurants, including Jose's Restaurant in 1977 owned by Jose Monterrubio. In 1981 the Raj Neeshee's took out a six-year lease and operated a restaurant, Zorba the Buddha. As the La Maschere Club it won an Architecture Design Award in 1987. In 2002 the place was part of the Esplanade Hotel, used as a convention centre.
The place changed ownership c2007 and plans prepared by Gerard McCann Architect subsequently approved by the City of Fremantle included conservation works and conversion to ground floor offices and a first floor residence (2009).
A Heritage Assessment was prepared in Aug 2009 by the City of Fremantle for a DA submission to Council for proposed external painting and minor alterations to the ground floor.
The former Trades Hall, 6 Collie Street (1904) is a visually imposing civic building designed in the Federation Free Classical style of Architecture and constructed during the gold boom period within the West End Conservation Area of Fremantle. This place is historic significance as the former Trades Hall with strong associations with the trade union movement which gives a social significance especially as Fremantle was the centre of powerful maritime and port unions. The place is of social significance as evidenced by its classification by the National Trust.

References and Links

Heritage Council page
Wikipedia page for Eight-hour day
Wikipedia page for Labour Day

Garry Gillard | New: 1 September, 2015 | Now: 14 April, 2024