Dictionary of Sydney

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Transcript: Mr George Bates talks about the Ancient Order of Foresters during the Great Depression

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Mr George Bates was born in 1912. He was [media]interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900–1960 ' project. Here he talks about a friendly society called the Ancient Order of Foresters, which was active in the Liverpool area during the Great Depression.


GEORGE: In those Depression days I joined that very good Ancient Order of Foresters. Now that used to take the place of what Medicare does today. They done it for the goodness of people and everything like that. And I joined that Ancient Order of Foresters, raised to the honour of, right up to the general of it, the headmaster of it. And one thing I got a great distinction from that of getting the Ancient Order of Foresters and that was renowned in the Depression days round Liverpool. You joined the Foresters, a subscription to it, and if you had doctors, sickness or anything like that it covered like Medicare does today, and that was renowned the Ancient Order of Foresters. Even recently I had reason to be working for the St Vincent de Paul here in Hillview, paying their accounts, being the treasurer, and a lady noticed that I was paying an account and she said 'you are Mr Bates'? I says 'yes'. She said 'my godfather, good luck to you. I can remember you helping my mother in the Ancient Order of Foresters forty years ago, helping with that family and it gives me great distinction to say hello to you, you helped them and you're doing that to this day. Great credit to you'. And it gave me a great privilege for her to say that to me.

INTERVIEWER: How many people belonged to the Foresters in Liverpool?

GEORGE: Approximately, well say, for instance, if you joined up all the area around Liverpool, it'd be up to approximately fifty families. [1]


Catherine Johnson (ed). Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900–1960 (Liverpool: Liverpool City Council, 1986). http://mylibrary.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/Electronicbooks/Lookingbackatliverpoolanoralhistory-1900-1960.pdf


[1] Mr George Bates, interviewed for Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900–1960 project, Liverpool City Library, audio, Liverpool, 1986, http://liverpool.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/OPAC/BIBENQ?BRN=56334