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Sunday, April 6, 2014

I have two Brisbane - 'printer's picnic' programmes, Caroline Fewtrell perked my curiosity to scan them

Caroline sends me this:
Hi Mal

I remembered the word for the printers’ picnic is wayzgoose
 A check in the newspapers via National Library’s Trove was fruitful.
 The Moreton Bay Courier mentions a first attempt at a Brisbane wayzgoose, on Saturday 19 May 1860, immediately under the report of the first Parliament for 1860.
1860 'Local Intelligence.', The Moreton Bay Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1846 - 1861), 22 May, p. 2, viewed 24 March, 2014,
The newspapers on Trove covered go up to around 1954, so maybe there will be reports for some of the pamphlets you have.
Cheers for now.

Caroline's links go further:

"A wayzgoose was at one time an entertainment given by a master printer to his workmen each year on or about St Bartholomew's Day (24 August). It marked the traditional end of summer and the start of the season of working by candlelight. Later, the word came to refer to an annual outing and dinner for the staff of a printing works or the printers on a newspaper."

Both of my picnic programmes are dated Saturday March 1 1919 and Saturday 6th December 1919 - so we weren't in sync with northern hemisphere folk lore?
One is by the Government Printer with their outing over two days to Southport and the other by Jackson & O'Sullivan who ventured west to Carrington Rocks.
I've prepared a nine page .pdf of the J & O'S one - here.

And further insights:
"Some bookbinders believe that Wayzgoose was held on St Bartholomew's Day because he was the patron saint of leather workers. It was no coincidence[citation needed]that on August 24, 1456 the printing of the Gutenberg Bible was completed, perhaps triggering the very first wayzgoose party at Fust–Schöffer shop in Mainz."
"The holiday, a break in printing, was traditionally also the day that papermakers took a break from making paper for the printers, and used up the last of the pulp to make paper for windows, waxed paper being the traditional window material for the yeoman class before the use of glass became more widespread, and after this was done, the pulp vats would be cleaned out for the new fibre, made from rags collected in the spring, and retted (prepared by rotting) over the summer."
"The paper windows were fitted on St. Martin's Day (November 11). Just as the saint had supposedly cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, so yeoman farmers would give offcuts of the windows to the poor, to help them keep warm during the coming winter."
"Parchment was the original mediaeval material for keeping northern homes warm, for those who could not afford glass for the windows. The patron saint of parchment makers was the same St Bartholomew. With paper replacing parchment, the name of the traditional Martinmas party, the Wayzgoose, might have been transferred to both papermakers' and printers' parties."

I promise to scan and prepare the Govt Printing one, it is equally as nice!


  1. You’re welcome Mal.
    Nice to see you and Barbara yesterday.
    Geoff and I haven’t forgotten about your invitation to come over with the Staffordshire hoard book, Afghan catalogue and Leichhardt Qld Museum Memoirs volumes.
    Is any of the next few weekends any good for you?
    Kind regards

  2. Love you Mal, but it's not letting me publish my comment… I've logged in to WP first so it might recognise my WP ID. I've also tried just entering my name and URL. I've spent 20mins on it now and must get back to work. This is what I wanted to say:
    "Interesting… I didn't know this term or this practice. Thanks for highlighting it Mal and Caroline!"
    Feel free to post it on my behalf!
    Love KT x