07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A NZ spin on Labour Day

Hi everyone

I can’t post pictures today as I’m actually in the US of A at the Romance Writers of America 2012 conference in Los Angeles. It’s been absolutely thrilling. I’ve met so many lovely authors and readers, it’s overwhelming. I've met Grace Burrows, Shana Galen, Miranda Neville, Rebecca Zanetti, Mia Marlowe, Karen Hawkins and many many more of my favorite authors. Talk about being star struck.

This month is all about Labour Day.  I’m not sure what Labour Day is in the USA so I’ll tell you about the New Zealand Labour Day. It falls on the fourth Monday in October and it’s way popular, mainly because we’ve had no other public holiday since June. It’s to celebrate NZ adopting the 8 hour working day, something non-existent for a writer!

Its origins are traced back to the eight-hour working day movement that arose in the newly founded Wellington (the city where I live) colony in 1840, primarily because of carpenter Samuel Parnell’s refusal to work more than eight hours a day. He encouraged other tradesmen also to work for only eight hours a day and in October 1840, a workers' meeting passed a resolution supporting the idea. On October 28, 1890, the 50th anniversary of the eight-hour day was commemorated with a parade. The event was then celebrated annually in late October as either Labour Day or Eight-Hour Demonstration Day. In 1899 government legislated that the day be a public holiday from 1900. The day was celebrated on different days in different provinces. This led to ship owners complaining that seamen were taking excessive holidays by having one Labour Day in one port then another in their next port. In 1910 the government stipulated that the holiday would be observed on the same day throughout the nation – the fourth Monday in October.

As Labour Day falls in spring and the weather is often still more like winter, most families spend the long weekend at home doing family things, like house maintenance, trips to the tip to dump garbage and general house tidy up getting ready for summer.

Those that do go away usually try to sneak in one last ski weekend as the ski resorts close after Labour Day in NZ.

If you’re like me, Labour Day is spent curled up on the couch and give myself a reading day. As it’s a public holiday I can read guilt free (as a writer you always think you should be writing).  I have so many wonderful books on my kindle (165) I’m sure I’ll have plenty left by October! And probably new ones too.

What are you doing Labor weekend and if it’s relaxing with a book, what will you be reading?


Sarah Raplee said...

fun Post!

I'm going to visit my Mom and Sister in Bend, Oregon in the High Desert. We'll do a little rock hounding and aother fun things, plus I'll FINALLY have a four-day weekend to read THE CLOCKWORK PRINCE by Cassandra Clare.


Judith Ashley said...

Hi Bron,

I think NZ is ahead of the US when it comes to Labour Day and the 8 hour work day.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing this year (you can read my post tomorrow to see what I've done on a regular basis since the mid-90's).

A new project that has a 09/27/2012deadline and needs a lot of work will most likely take precedence this year.

Reading? I've just started back but can't seem to finish one book before I start another.

I've started

Delilah Marvelle's Forever And A Day and

Janet Evanovich's Love in a Nutshell

Next up?

Linda Lael Miller's Big Sky Country

Paty Jager's Christmas Redemption

Tawna Fenske's Believe It Or Not

Nora Roberts' The Last Boyfriend

Thanks for sharing New Zealand's Labour Day.

Glad your time at Nationals was great. Sorry I couldn't get there this year and meet you in person!

Maybe next year...

Diana Mcc. said...

What an interesting post! I love learning about the history of other countries. I'm hoping I'll be spending Labor Day with my sister and her husband here in Bend, OR(see Sarah's comment). I have lots of books on my Nook. Right now I'm reading "Fatty Patty". And yes, it is a romance. I'm really enjoying it.