Daily Archives: February 9, 2012


Navvies rocked this city

By Humphrey McQueen Canberra 1911-16 Canberra Historical Journal, New Series, 67, December 2011, pp. 17-24. For the Federal Area to become a Federal Capital on the ground as well as in law, hundreds of navvies had to construct before tradesmen … Continue reading


Workers Vocabulary

by Humphrey McQueen “I cannot understand this language. I cannot make it out. This language, which is half slang, I cannot understand at all.” Justice Higgins, 1913, ABLF Award Transcript. “banjo” – a navvy wrapped his pick and shovel in … Continue reading