Dictionary of Sydney: the Six O’Clock Swill

In 1916 a boozy rampage by AIF recruits that came to be known as the Liverpool Soldiers Riot  was picked up by the temperance movement and used to serve their cause.

The drunken behaviour of “Black Monday” was condemned as unpatriotic and made NSW “the shame of Australia”. The temperance movement, supported by the conservative Sydney Morning Herald, demanded the closing of all bars until the war was over.

The Liquor Referendum, and later referred to by many as the Early Closing Referendum came to result in pubs in NSW closing already at 6pm, a legislation that was made permanent and remained till 1955. Lisa Murray from Dictionary of Sydney joined us in the studio to fill us in on this interesting referendum.

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