Summary

Photograph of five men from Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd's staff Australian Rules football team outside a Hotel in Cowes, on Philip Island, 1949. The hotel is thought to be the Cowes Hotel due to the logo on the building. The football team had won the VFASD 'C' Grade premiership in Melbourne, in 1949. Kodak's Managing Director, Mr Edgar Rouse, was so thrilled with the premiership win by the company team that he presented all of the players with specially made 'premiers ties', and also generously gave the team a weekend away at a hotel in Cowes on Philip Island as a reward for their great sporting achievement.

Mr Walter Whitman, is shown second from right. He played the position of ruck and kicked the winning goal in the match. The weekend at Philip Island was a rare and memorable holiday for blue collar worker Walter, who worked hard at the Kodak factory, and he greatly enjoyed this special gift from his employer.

Walter Whitworth started work at Kodak in 1946 and left about 1952. He worked as a maintenance mechanic in the Kodak garage, but also drove the company coal truck as well as driving executive staff including the Managing Director Mr Edgar Rouse and company secretary Mr Paige when their usual driver was away. He also drove the football and cricket teams to their games on weekends, and along with other staff drivers, drove a range of staff to work during the 9 week transport strike in 1950, to keep the factory operational.

This item is part of a small group of photographs and football premiership related objects that Walter Whitworth has donated to the Museum. An oral history was also conducted with Walter about his working and social life at Kodak.

Description of Content

Five men sitting and standing on a white fence that is positioned around a drain, outside a hotel. A sign for the hotel and its bar is visible on the facade of the building.

Physical Description

Black and white landscape format photograph with white border.

Significance

This photograph not only tells the story of sport and recreation among Kodak workers, showing insight into a different aspect of working life at the company, but it also feeds into the larger story of workplace sport, and specifically football, which had been a popular pursuit in Melbourne, especially in the interwar years. During its heyday, workplace football was significant in working class identity culture and politics. It also played a role in industrial relations through promoting company values and employee harmony, and it contributed to the changing nature of the football game and spectatorship. The paternalistic gesture of providing a holiday to the Kodak football team for their sporting achievement highlights the strong family culture that Kodak promoted among its staff.

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