John B. R. Sampson 1861-1905 & Augusta W. Bertram 1856-1951
Married on 7 Sep 1881 in Adelaide, South Australia
John Branwell Rowling Sampson
Third child of John and Susan Sampson
Born: 13 Jun 1863 Burra, South Australia
Died: 24 Jan 1905 Boulder, Western Australia
Buried: Boulder Cemetery
Augusta Wilhelmina Bertram
Daughter of Charles Bertram & Henrietta Nahn
Born: 13 Apr 1856 Adelaide, South Australia
Died: 1951 East Coolgardie, Western Australia
Buried: Boulder Cemetery
Alma & Victoria Gold Mine in South Australia
The Waukaringa Dispute: Settlement of the Difficulty.
We are glad to be able to announce the final settlement of the difficulty between the members of the Waukaringa branch of the A.M.A. and the manager of the new Alma and Victoria Company. The details of the dispute have already appeared in the columns of the MINER. It will be remembered that the committee and secretary of the local branch were locked out by the manager because they refused to apologise for an anonymous letter which appeared in the Adelaide Advertiser, and which he considered reflected upon him, though he had previously agreed to conform to the rules by employing union men only-the matter over which the dispute first originated. This action of the manager caused a general strike of the members of the A.M.A., and the Engine-drivers and Firemen were asked to call out their members working in the mine also. They wrote to the headquarters of the association in Broken Hill, and Mr. W. J. Fergusson, the able and energetic secretary was despatched to inquire into the matter. He left for Waukaringa on Thursday night, and arrived at Yunta at 4 a.m. on Friday morning. A conveyance was in readiness and he proceeded to Waukaringa-a dreary drive of 25 miles on a dusty road. He arrived at Waukaringa about 9 a.m., and proceeded to the headquarters of the branch, which are in close proximity to the mine, in company with the officers of the local branch of the A. M. A. He found the strike committee beginning the business by calling the roll, and as the men answered to their names Mr. Fergusson (who recognised amongst them many old Barrier acquaintances) was struck with their fine healthy appearance as compared with our miners. Mr. Fergusson was then made acquainted with the origin of the strike and all the matters in dispute. The directors had visited the mine, and had received a deputation from the men ; but they had supported the manager, and the last communication received from them to Mr. J. B. R. Sampson, the secretary, informed him that the board insisted on the apology being given. Mr. Fergusson then interviewed the manager of the Alma and Victoria mines (Captain Hosking), and informed him of the object of his visit. He was well received by that gentleman, who showed him all the correspondence that had passed on the matter, but said it was useless to receive another deputation from the men, as they could not come to any terms. He stated, however, that he had no objections to Mr. Fergusson endeavouring to effect, an arrangement that would be satisfactory to both sides, and that he would give him every assistance in his power. Mr Ferguson next interviewed the members of his own association at the battery, who said they did not think they were justified in leaving their work without the sanction of the association. He informed them that they had acted rightly in that matter, but they should have written full particulars of the dispute, as the association had only the telegram before them. They replied that they were under the impression that the committee of the A. M. A. had sent all the particulars. Being in possession of both sides of the question, Mr. Fergusson at once set to work to affect a settlement of the dispute, and in this he had no easy task, as neither side seemed inclined to give way. At length, however, after several interviews, he succeeded in effecting a settlement on the following basis:-“That the committee should cause to be published in the Press a copy of the apology that they had posted on the notice board, to the effect that they regretted the wording of the first notice should have given offence, and apologised for any abusive language that might have been used by their members in connection with the dispute. The committee, at first did not like the idea of publishing this apology in the Press; but now the justice of what Mr. Fergusson pointed out to them, that they had already posted the same notice word for word on the notice-board, and it had already appeared in the papers; besides, it was not m any sense an apology for the letter, signed ” Union Man,” for which they most strongly objected. He further pointed out that the executive of the A.M.A. had informed them that they ” had set about a right thing in a wrong manner” by posting the original notice about non-union men on the mine notice board. Mr. Fergusson, however, is of opinion that the Creswick executive had not treated the men well, in administering to them a snub without explaining how they might rectify their mistake, more especially as they are a young branch. The men are of the same opinion, and Mr. Fergusson thinks the sooner a colonial district is formed in South Australia the better. Finally, the committee decided to call a general meeting at once, and Mr. Fergusson prepared an agreement to be signed by the manager on the one part and the executive of the Waukaringa branch on the other, to the effect that the mine should be worked on union rules and every man should be reinstated in the position he occupied before the strike. This agreement was laid before Captain Hosking, who said he never had any objection to the union rules, as he was himself a member of A.M.A. for several years in Victoria. Mr. Fergusson then showed Captain Hosking a copy of the letter which was to appear in the Press, and he expressed himself satisfied, and said that he would sign the agreement at once, and the men could resume work as soon as the water was out of the mine. Mr Ferguson then got the agreement signed by the president and executive of the Waukaringa branch, who were cordially met by Captain Hosking, and the dispute was settled. A vote of thanks to Mr. Ferguson and his association for the manner in which they had acted was passed by the branch, and Captain Hosking also thanked him for his services. There can be no doubt that Mr. Ferguson is to be highly complimented for the tact and ability he displayed in bringing this troublesome little strike to an end, and doubtless his services will be duly recognised by his own association. He desires to acknowledge the kindness and courtesy with which he was treated during his visit both by Captain Hosking and the Waukaringa branch.