The Fred Evans Memorial Lecture 2020: “Workingmen’s Rugby”

The Fred Evans Memorial Lecture 2020: “Workingmen’s Rugby”

The Canterbury Socialist Society is pleased to confirm our second annual Fred Evans Memorial Lecture. For this lecture we invite a theorist, organiser, or other person of interest to speak on a topic pertaining to their expertise.
Fred Evans was a prominent unionist during a pivotal moment in New Zealand labour history – the Waihi Miner’s Strike of 1912. A member of the Waihi Trade Union of Workers, affiliated to the militant New Zealand Federation of Labour (also called the Red Feds), Evans is one of the few in the history of industrial disputes in this country to have been martyred. We host this lecture in his honour, and raise a glass to all workers in our common cause – whether a century ago or today.
In this talk, historian Ryan Bodman will explore the connections between rugby league and working-class life in New Zealand. Described as ‘workingmen’s rugby’ by a 1948 rugby league publication, the sport’s association with working-class people dates back to 1895 when the code was formed in the north of England when rugby split in two over the issue of player payment. Ryan will consider this connection in the New Zealand context, detailing rugby league’s development into a national game amidst the working-class upheaval of 1911-1913 and exploring the establishment of rugby league heartlands in New Zealand, as the game became the dominant football code in several pockets of the country with a distinct working-class character.
We are privileged to be hosting Ryan on this topic, and anyone interested should check out Rugby League: A New Zealand History.
The meeting will be chaired by Martin Crick, former coach and promoter of Rugby League in the UK and Europe, and member of the Canterbury Socialist Society. All are welcome to attend, and we encourage any with an interest in this topic to spread the invitation far and wide.
Drinks and food will be available to order from the bar. As always we are thankful to Space Academy for hosting us.



Starts On

November 11, 2020 - 7:30 pm

Ends On

10:30 pm

Event Categories

Events, Public Lecture

Event Tags

Fred Evans, Martin Crick, public lecture, rugby league, Ryan Bodman


Space Academy

371 St. Asaph Street
New Zealand