Development of the Australian YCW

Notes by Ted Long on the beginnings of the Australian YCW (Part II)


Original Priests Committee

Formed July 1939 – Members: Frs. P. Ford, J. Murtagh, G. Maher, F. Lombard, J.F. Kelly, T. Murray, G. Coghlan, A. Morgan, P. Hansen and J.H. Cleary.

Fr Francis Lombard –

Born in Brighton 24(?) April 1911

T.B. 1933

Ordained 26th July 1936

26th June 1938 – Mission for Youth, one week

Ended with Communion Breakfast, girls and boys 14 to 25. 400 attended

B.A. and Josie Santamaria spoke on social justice.

Was chaplain to Boys Club which had a football team in CBL

General Meeting

Tried junior section of Holy Name Society. Not great numbers.

Contacted Dave Nelson, but apparently not over-impressed with Catholic Action.

In first six months of 1939 Fr Lombard gained a more precise knowledge of the Jocist Movement. He read Paul McGuire and Fr Fitzsimons ‘Restoring All Things’ published in 1939.

Kevin Kelly’s ACTS pamphlet 1939 on ‘Young Christian Workers’ for his first detailed knowledge.

In 1939, Frank Rush joined committee of Northcote Boys Club. Soon became president.

Fr Lombard began to introduce Jocism to the Club in mid-1939.

Members were Frank Rush, John Checken, Les Willis, Adrian Munday, Kevin Wade and Joe Rush. They became the members of the first continuous Jocist militant group in Australia.

Priests committee met every two weeks.

Army training interfered with priests’ time. His T.B. history prevented Fr Lombard being kept in the Army chaplaincy.

Published ‘The Chaplain’. Fr John F. Kelly first editor until May 1941. Then under ANSCA. Ceased publication in 1942. Later, a national publication under the editorship of, first, Fr B. Kennedy, and later Fr B. McLaughlin. In 1955, YCW started ‘The Catholic Action Chaplain’ under Dr John N. Molony.

In 1939, after the establishment of the YCW Priests Committee, there was active competition between the CBL and YCW for Archdiocesan appointment. In September 1939, Santamaria sought Dr Mannix’s approval for YCW, and his approval was given.

ANSCA hoped to set up a consultative committee, but nothing came of this. The Priests Committee took the initiative.

Lombard appointed Diocesan Chaplain

In February 1940 Fr Lombard was appointed Diocesan Chaplain.

Two groups – West Melbourne and Northcote, with North Melbourne starting.

Three Regions – West (Fr Lombard), North (Fr Arthur) and South (Fr Hansen).

Two fund-raisers for a Jocist Boys Camp. Refer Mrs J.J. Daly.

Santamaria published a pamphlet by B.A. Santamaria ‘How to Start the JOC’.

YCW, however, did not seem to take much notice of it.

In 1940 Fr Lombard was organising chaplain to the JOC. Fr Lanigan was spiritual director of the CBL. Fr Lombard tried to co-operate. Lanigan did not co-operate.

Priests committee decided to run their own sporting competitions.

In 1940 there were YCW groups at Northcote, North Melbourne, West Melbourne, Malvern, Newport, East St Kilda.

Fr Lanigan refused to start an under-17 competition.

On 10th October 1940 Melbourne YCW, under the name of the CBL, became the official Catholic Action Movement for workers between the ages of 14 and 18.

The three regions were extended to 7.

YCW camp at Mornington Christmas 1940.

Fr Lanigan was instructed to stop interfering, and he was posted to Geelong in 1941. He died in the early 1950’s in the Sandhurst diocese.

On 21st August 1941 Frank McCann became football registration secretary.

Team registration increased from twenty under-18’s in 1940 to forty in 1941.

During 1940, laymen from five existing groups, including Frank Rush, Leo Tyrell, Dave Nelson, it was hoped to form the first Executive. Nelson refused offer to be the first secretary. Frank Rush also refused.

By October 1940, six groups existed – Northcote, Newport, North Melbourne, Malvern, East St Kilda and North Richmond.

Christmas Camp at Morning Star, Mornington, between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day (1940-41). 100 young workers attended, from 32 parishes, in tents. Visitors included Archbishop Simonds and Dr Lyons, and thirty other clergy. Two lay speakers including Frank Rush and nine from clergy. Some seminarians were present, including James Brasier.

The Litany of the Saints was included in the prayer for the Leaders’ meeting.

A camp was held at Hanging Rock during Easter 1941. 120 young workers attended.

Fr Vin Arthur had appointed C. McCann first president of North Melbourne Leaders’ Group in April 1940.

Huge attendance at early football practice.

Great response to Communion Breakfasts.

80 to 100 at general meetings.

Frank McCann outstanding product of North Melbourne YCW. First secretary of Melbourne YCW; first secretary of Football competition; lay founder of Australian YCW; founder of YCW Co-operative Society.

Fr G. Maher was appointed Chaplain to CBL football in 1941. His first meeting experience. Had to convince committee and delegates that CA would not take the football comp. money.

In September 1941 the name CBL was changed to YCW, and later Fr Lombard adopted 8th September as the birthday of the YCW. In fact, the YCW had existed since October 1940. ANSCA preferred the Latin name ‘Juventus Operaria Christiana’.

Riot at grand final of the CBL football competition played at Batman Avenue on Sunday 28th September 1941 between North Melbourne and Newport.

Advocate report was very critical.

Diocesan Council of YCW met monthly and consisted of delegates from leaders’ groups.. Had no control. Subject to priests committee. Also ceased to operate after a stable executive was established.

November 1941. Leo Tyrell, president, Frank McCann, secretary.

In 1941 the recently revived Advisory Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Action met at Raheen on 26th June. Frank Rush was the YCW delegate. However, only eight of the eighteen organisations represented were eligible as specialised CA bodies. A sub-committee organised a Catholic Action Rally at Xavier College on 26th October 1941. 600 YCW members marched in YCW uniforms. After Mass, a sports programme, followed by a talk by Bob Santamaria, then a Therry Society pageant and, finally, Benediction.

In 1942 the YCW organised its first Xavier Rally. (Great help by what was to become the Extension Committee.) After the Xavier Rally, the YCW marched at Rupertswood. Camp planned for Mornington for Christmas cancelled due to Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.

At the end of 1940, Fr Lombard had been transferred to Preston, and Fr Murray from Preston to Northcote. Growth of Legion of Mary Press Squads became a competitor. In May 1943, Archbishop Mannix ordered Legion of Mary to cease youth work. On 6th October 1942, Fr Lombard was appointed Administrator of Collingwood and was relieved of his Army duties. (After 1948 and up to 1957, a stable leaders group could not be maintained in Collingwood parish.)

In mid-September 1942, Archbishop Simonds was appointed Co-adjutor Archbishop of Melbourne with right of succession. Simonds was Secretary of the Episcopal Committee of Catholic Action. In September 1943, before the foundation of the Australian YCW, Archbishop Simonds was named the YCW’s first Episcopal Chairman.

In 1942, there were 35 teams with 1371 players registered in the under-18 football competition. In addition, there were 8 under-16 teams.

In 1942, the new executive of the YCW was formed, with T. Long as President, F. McCann as Secretary. Others were Ken Stone, Laurie Martin, Pat O’Connor, Bill Gallagher, John Condon and Kevin Fogarty. Soon, due to wartime commitments, only Ted and Frank remained. Shortly, Kevin Toomey became Treasurer, and for the next eighteen months these three effected the consolidation of the YCW.

Ted Long’s introduction to the YCW was through playing under-18 football in 1939, and in being president of the Kensington Boys Club, until going to a CBL meeting in 1941, and later being contacted by Fr V. Arthur and being talked into having a leaders group formed at Kensington.

Kevin Toomey was recruited to Malvern YCW in 1942. Soon formed leaders group, and before the end of 1942 was Diocesan Treasurer. He was employed in Customs Department in Melbourne, before being posted to Canberra.

Mentone Leaders Training camp Boxing Day 1942 to New Year. 80 leaders from 24 branches. Dr Simonds visited on 30th December, and Dr Mannix on 27th December.

Xavier Rally in 1942 was postponed till 1st November due to rain.

Dr Mannix attended every Xavier Rally from 1941 to 1948. Estimates of crowds were 15,000, and in some years up to 30,000. Youth figure possibly 5,000 (1944) up to 12,000 (1945). After 1942, the Rally included NCGM and YCS. Changes to the format were made in 1944 – the sports program was shortened. Also, a permanent altar base and huge crucifix were installed. Subsequent rallies displayed propaganda on subjects of YCW campaigns and services. In 1947, Dr Mannix blessed engagement rings of 50 couples – people who had attended the YCW’s first pre-Cana Conference.

In 1948, a morality play was presented. Rally ceased in 1949. It was abandoned forever in 1950.

Extension Committee

Secretary, Frank Murphy. Hal McLennan, Wal Landy, Perce Mitchell, Rupert Quirk, C. Hardy, J.F. Scanlan.

In September or early October 1943, purchased Maiya Wamba as a training centre for leaders. The mens group took responsibility for repaying the archdiocese the six thousand pounds for Maiya Wamba (5000) and furniture and fittings (1000). Therefore, an organisation was needed. The YCW Extension Committee was formed on 22nd November 1943. Fr Lombard was Chairman, a position he held until 26th May 1950, when Perce Mitchell became Chairman. F. Murphy was secretary, Kevin Toomey assistant secretary, Wal Landy treasurer, Perce Mitchell and Clyde Clements vice-presidents. A board of trustees was formed to hold the title of Maiya Wamba. After Kevin Toomey entered Werribee Seminary in 1945, Fr Lombard represented the YCW view on the Extension Committee.

The Mens Extension Committee raised 100,000 pounds between the years 1942 and 1951. This enabled purchase of Maiya Wamba at Cheltenham (1943), the hostel at Albert Park for boys from the Orphanage (1945), a migrant hostel in Hawthorn (1949), a permanent holiday campsite at Smiths Beach on Phillip Island (1949), and operating costs for the Melbourne YCW. Raised by two Direct Appeals, Business Mens Luncheons which commenced in 1952, raffles, fetes, etc. The MEC threatened the autonomy of the YCW, but its purpose helped in the promotion of the movement.

1943 YCW Movement

May 1943 Australian National Movement. At that time there were 30 parishes with leaders groups. By October 1943, there were 47 parishes with groups.

December 1943 saw the 2nd YCW Boxing Championship at Collingwood Town Hall.

Dr Simonds raised the upper age limit to 25.

Maiya Wamba opened on 5th March 1944. Maiya Wamba – House of Young Men.

1500 leaders and members present. Archbishop’s 80th Birthday.

In 1941, the Bishops named the first National CA Movement the NCRM and urged a national movement for girls, and hoped a young workers movement would be national in the future.

In February 1943 the first edition of a YCW newspaper, New Youth, was published by the Melbourne YCW. By April 1943, apart from Melbourne, there were groups at Wagga, Newcastle, Brisbane, Mackay, Toowoomba and Ballarat – due to visits by Frank McCann and Fr Lombard. The Bishops made it a National Movement in 1943.

In May, Simonds was appointed the first Episcopal Chairman of the Australian YCW. New Youth a regular monthly appearance in June 1944.

In May or June 1943, Dr Simonds raised the upper age to 30. It was ratified at an Episcopal Committee of CA in September 1943. At that meeting, NCWM was declared official Catholic Action for men between 25 and 40. An agreement between CYMS and YCW enabled YCW to field an under-25 football team in the CYMS competition, where a parish did not have a CYMS. This applied until 1963, when the YCW established its own open-age comp. in addition to its under-18 and under-16.

A national conference of 130 priests in Melbourne in October 1943.

On 16th November 1943, Frank McCann became the first full-time worker of a YCW Movement in Australia.

New Youth began regular publication in June 1944, after four irregular issues had been published under different names in February 1943, May 1943, August 1943 and January 1944, so that newsprint restrictions could be by-passed.

Provisional National committee had a preliminary meeting on 10th August 1944. Met for the first time formally during the 1st National YCW Conference in Melbourne in October 1944.

Size and Membership

Base in 1941 of 40 branches with 2,000 members, and 6,000 in contact through services.

It had developed by 1944 to 50 branches with 2,500 registered members, and 7,500 in services. The high point was 1947, with 66 branches and membership of 3,300 with 9,900 in services. Branches dropped from 62 to 44 between 1949 and 1950, and membership by 300 to 1696.

In 1951 there were 36 branches with 1,400 members

In 1953 there were 39 branches with 785 members

Services members 10,000 in 1947, down to 2,500 in 1954.

From 1946 to 1954, teams in u-18 and u-16 football had fallen from 68 to 31.

Fr Toomey chaplain in 1955

Frank McCann 1943

Ted Long 1945, act. National Secretary 1945 – 21/1/47

Alan Powell part-time editor of New Youth

Ken Treacy full-time editor January 1947 – 6/5/49

David Burke 6/5/49 – (date?)

Ken Treacy 1945 – January 1947 (Melb. Office)

4/3/47 Frank Quinn full-time Treasurer till 10/6/49

10/6/49 – Dec 49 P. O’Donnell Treasurer

1950 Dan Callahan Treasurer

1951 57 D. Callahan Secretary

1958 D. Callahan President

15/9/47 Noel Murphy full-time Organiser. Left June 1950

Feb 48 W.J. Davies Regional Organiser and Apprenticeship Bureau. Left July 1950

May 45 Therese O’Farrell

1947 Pat Perry

June 48 Joan Hayes

1952 Veronica Cattash

1953 Bernadette Behan

Feb 1951 Bill Bainbridge till 31/5/52 & Bill Ginnane till Oct 51

1949 Ted Long appointed first lay National President

1951 Ted Long ceased work at YCW office

1951 John Doherty Melb. President

1952 John Doherty National President

1952-54 Brian Waldron

1955-56 Brian Gleeson

1957 P. Tosh

1958 Dan Callahan

1957 Brian Gleeson National President

Jan 47 – May 49 Terry Barker National Field Officer

May 49 – Nov 15 Terry Barker National Secretary

March 1951 Kevin Drill. Left 1/7/53

Oct 51 till 30/6/52 Peter Kelly Leadership Training

30/6/52 Bill Ginnane National Secretary till 30/6/53

1954-55 Barry Tobin full-time Asst secretary

May 57 Brian Marshall Sec

In June 1952 Sport returned to Amateur control

21st May 1945 – 4 rooms in old CWO hut in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

Migration Hostel closed in 1955.

25 acre camp site Phillip Island.

Membership subscription in Melbourne increased in 1958 to one shilling per week from threepence.

23/5/1950 – Special Diocesan Executive meeting held to discuss financial crisis. Noel Murphy and Bill Davies left in May and June. Dan Callahan accepted reduced wage. Only Ted Long and Dan Callahan left on staff.

Volunteers to work and to give a weekly donation.

But by the end of 1950 two new full-timers, Bill Bainbridge and Bill Ginnane, had been employed.

24/3/1952 – Extraordinary Executive meeting to discuss the financial position.

There followed an Appeal for a Day’s Pay. It failed.

When Kevin Drill left on 1/7/1953, only Dan Callahan remained on full-time duty.

Confidence enabled Barry Tobin to be employed in 1955 as assistant secretary.

In 1957, prior to Dan Callahan leaving on the overseas pilgrimage, Brian Marshall was hired for a two-and-a-half –year term as Diocesan Secretary.

Membership of the Associated Youth Centre (affiliated with N.F.C.) brought grants of from 75 pounds in1944 to 175 pounds in 1957.

In 1957, John Doherty was a foundation member of two Government committees. Victorian YCW received a grant of 1,500 pounds in its first year. Of that, Melbourne received 600 pounds. Melbourne continued to receive 600 pounds.

2nd File on History

YCW criticism by Dr Simonds at Adelaide National Conference.

Resolutions by YCW leaders after that.

Reasons for Australian YCW not being Jocist enough.

Enter Fr Charles Mayne, S.J. 1943.

1946 – Visit of Bill Daly of Dalby, Qld.

1952 – Fr John McLaren, assistant to Fr Lombard, and in charge of leadership training.

Fr John Molony a strong influence on the Australian YCW from 1955 to 1962. He edited the Catholic Action Chaplain from September 1955.

In 1956, official recognition was made of non-Catholics as an object of the YCW evangelism. This was probably as a result of the International YCW Enquiry on “The Religious Situation of Working Youth”, in preparation for the 1st International Congress of the YCW.

Action on non-Catholics was included on the Agenda in 1957, under the Review of Influence.

Since Ted Long went to Montreal in 1947, and Terry Barker to Brussels in 1950, the working-class characteristic of the YCW was gaining more conscious recognition in the Melbourne and Australian YCW.

Maiya Wamba 1943 – 1968

Fr McLaren retired in 1954 due to ill-health.

Fr C. McCann was assistant from 1955 – 1958.

In 1945 Vincent McKenna visited Newcastle, Melbourne and Bendigo.

March 1948 – Ted Long had success at Clifton Hill, and for the next four years Clifton Hill was a very good branch.

Youth Weeks in 1950’s and 1960’s

Special Monthly Meetings 1949

Monthly Meetings 1955

Quarterly Rallies

Vocational Groups 1944 and 1945, and then 1949, Locational Groups.

1947 – Apprenticeship Bureau formed

1945 – One Vocational and three Locational Groups. Postal Workers, RMIT, Department of Aircraft Production, Munitions Factory, Maribyrnong. They did not last long. (Refer to Fr J. McInerney of Ballarat, who was transferred to Melbourne, and by August 1944 had seven industrial groups in factories in Melbourne.)

In 1944 – Campaign by YCW on Communism. Fr McInerney was keen for co-operation with industrial groups, but YCW did not trust the Social Studies Movement.

The Bishops direction of money and church facilities to the SSM, frustrated the growth of the NCWM and the YCW.

In 1948 the YCW gained Episcopal approval to experiment with vocational groups in 1949. After approval was given, B.A. Santamaria queried the YCW’s organisation of vocational groups.

In April 1954, when B.A. Santamaria had to choose between ANSCA and the SSM, he chose the SSM. The ANSCA ceased when he was not replaced.

In 1948 Regional Apprenticeships leaders Groups were planned under Bill Davies.

1947 – 1st Victorian State Conference. Noel Murphy’s talk on Services.

Representative Action. Gerry Gallagher’s speech at 1947 National Conference was on Representative action, and articulated a philosophy of Jocist Representation. It was based on a talk given at the 1st International Study Week at Montreal, brought back by Ted Long. Those guidelines were reaffirmed in 1954.

Co-operative Housing Act passed 18/12/1944. Proclaimed 1945. Formation Meeting 19/10/1945. 150 people present. Began business in March 1946. Kel O’Mullane was first Secretary. In early 1947, Neville Finn became assistant Secretary. In June 1949 Leo Moore was employed as a clerk. In mid 1950, Ted Long joined Housing Societies as a clerk.

10/7/1951 – YCW Housing changed to Security.

Kel O’Mullane resigned 4/3/1952. Neville Finn resigned 14/1/1952.

In August 1952 a Co-operative Education Conference was held at St John’s, East Melbourne.

Protest Meeting in Cathedral Hall on 1/5/1949.

25/11/1952 – 400 members of Security Housing met to seek lower interest rates.

Uncertainty of bank finance saw the YCW sponsor Security Co-operative Building Society in November 1957.

Those Societies were taken over by the IOOF in (date?)

Co-operative Education Committee 1952. Archbishop Simonds, Fr Ford.

In October 1953 – Education Conference. Fr J. Leahy.

In 1954 – Education Conference. Bob Maybury.

In 1955 – How to form a Credit Union.

Education Committee continued to meet until 1966.

Trading Society. Formation meeting 13/2/1948. Registered in November 1948.

April 1949 – Frank McCann appointed Manager.

Original staff were Frank McCann and Joan Hayes.

In 1950 Des McCartney was employed

In 1960, new premises were obtained.

In 1952, Ted Long became Secretary of Co-operative Trading Society.

By 1953 the Trading Society had started an Insurance Division and a Building Division.

YCW made representations to have the Co-operatives Act introduced in Victoria.

October 1952 – W.J. Davies was appointed full-time Valuer for Security Housing Societies.

Vic Burns resigned in mid-1956.

Insurance Division started March 1954.

In March 1955, Bob Maybury resigned as Senior Secretary in Housing, and worked as full-time salesman and administrative officer of Insurance Division. Max Rundle a great help. Ken Treacy joined the Division.

The Insurance Division ceased in 1965 and we took up a super agency with Co-operative Insurance Co. of Australia. Later, the Co-op. changed to a super agency with Catholic Church Insurance in 1980.

23/3/1953 – YCW Central Credit Union was formed.

Following the Co-operatives Act 1953, the YCW Central Credit Union became the first Credit Union registered under the Co-op. Act.

By 1963, 90 credit unions had been formed.

In 1966 the Catholic Association became a State Association. Leon Magree became the first full-time officer of the new Association.

Ballarat Experiment 1950

7 homes built.

In February 1953 a Building Group started.

Later in 1953 the Building Group became a division of YCW Co-operative Trading.

In April 1955, Davies and McDonald were sacked. The Society ceased the taking of any new work, and with a small workforce completed any unfinished houses, and that finished in 1956.

Cana Conference 1946.

First pre-Cana Conference in September 1947.

The Priests Committee ceased meeting regularly in 1951. Fr John F. Kelly took over the conduct of the pre-Cana’s. Later, Fr Charlie McCann took over.

By 1952 the pre-Cana’s had been started in seven other dioceses.

Adolescent Training Talks –

These were started in February 1949. By 1953, eight dioceses had adopted them.

1947 – Ted Long attended International YCW Conference in Montreal, Canada.

1948 – Frank McCann attended International World Youth Conference in London

1949/50 – Fr Lombard traveled to England and Europe

1950 – Terry Barker attended YCW Conference in Brussels


The number of apprentices decreased from 10,241 to 9,912 between 1946 and 1951.

Advisory Bureau 1947-49. Seven apprentices started meeting early in 1947. A pamphlet was published in November 1947.

Meetings ceased at the end of 1948, but Bill Davies and YCW Office continued placement of apprentices and representative action.

In November and December 1954, two summer schools for future apprentices were run by Toomey and Brosnan.

Deputation to Trades Hall Council Secretary 15/4/1947. Conditions of apprentices.

Campaign on Wages – 1949. Including educative articles on profit-sharing.

The then Premier Hollway visited YCW headquarters in 1949 and the subject of apprentices’ wages was raised. Later, there was an interview by Bill Davies and Ted Long with the Minister for Public Works, Mr McDonald. Sympathy, but no result.

In 1949 the ACTU Conference on Apprentices took up the YCW and others’ points of view, and it then became YCW policy to support the ACTU case.

The Premiers’ meeting on 5/9/1950 approved the Commonwealth/State examination of apprenticeship matters. It took eighteen months for the committee to be set up. It had hearings in all states between April 1952 and March 1953. Each diocese held an enquiry, and each diocese made a submission in its city. The YCW appeared in five states and the SYL in two. The YCW had two of its proposals included in the recommendations, but was disappointed there was nothing on the morals protection.

The YCW, both Melbourne and National, started making representations to governments to see that the recommendations were adopted. The federal government took no action, leaving it to the states. The Victorian government introduced reforms in late 1955. What it started in 1947, succeeded in 1955.

Mass for apprentices at St Patrick’s Cathedral in November 1954.


In 1946 – Residence at Albert Park purchased.

Opened by Dr Mannix on 21/9/1946.

Hugh and Nonie Larkins were employed as caretakers from 1947 to 1958.

Succeeded by Mr and Mrs Frank Martin. Closed in 1963.

Accommodation Bureau started in 1947, and as many as 100 boys availed themselves of this service each year.

Trade Unions – Education for responsibility.

Positive approach to communism.

1948 Luncheon – Archbishop Mannix said that the YCW is one of Melbourne’s greatest achievements.

YCW agreed with CSSM on the need to beat communism, but differed on method. YCW ran a campaign on Communism in 1944.

CSSM – ALP Industrial Groups in NSW in 1945, and in Victoria in 1946.

On 14/2/1947 the Communist paper the Guardian made an attack on the YCW “campaign to train a nationwide network of company spies pimping on their workmates”. March edition of New Youth replied.

Eureka Youth League (Communist) was formed in Melbourne in May 1943.

Two months later EYL sought co-operation of YCW in the fight for life, liberty and happiness. They were rejected.

6/5/1955 – Apprentices Meeting. John Halfpenny the only speaker.

In November 1949, YCW New Youth carried an exposure of the EYL.

In June 1950, after the Royal Commission found the EYL to be Communist, the AYC terminated EYL’s membership.

1948-1951 saw pessimistic articles on the threat of communism to Australia.

In June 1945 the Priests Committee sought a meeting with B.A. Santamaria to see how YCW could co-operate with CSSM to strengthen the fight against communism. Santamaria’s plan for co-operation was rejected by Archbishop Simonds, who said YCW may co-operate individually with trade unionists.

Santamaria made a move again after the bishops recognised the CSSM. This was in October/November 1945. Priests Committee decided to reject it. Archbishop Simonds also. But Archbishop Mannix had the decision overturned.

In mid-November 1945, Archbishop Mannix met Frs Murray and Lombard at Raheen. The Archbishop did not command the YCW to do anything, so the YCW was able to continue its policy.

Rome’s rulings of 27/5 and 25/7 endorsed the YCW’s stand on the CSSM.

Frank Maher resigned as Research Officer in 1950. He was not replaced.

In mid-1952 YCW chaplains sought more funds from the Bishops.

ANSCA disbanded in 1954.

When Santamaria chose CSSM he still remained secretary of NCRM.

Papal Secretary of State, Mons. Tardini, clarified the Rome Ruling in a letter dated 3/11/1957. B.A. Santamaria and the core of CSSM resigned one month later, and set up the NCC (National Civic Council). No new ecclesiastical body was set up in Melbourne, but the ISO in Kew filled the role.

March 1950 – Military Training. A bill was passed in March 1951. YCW began a campaign to prepare leaders in March/April 1951. First course of four nights.

In 1957 the intake was considerably reduced.


Frank McCann became the first secretary in 1941 (21/8/41) until 1944.

E.J. Forehan became secretary in 1944.

By 1945 the football competition became affiliated with the V.J.F.A.

(Copy list of executive from History File.)

Boxing – 1944

Basketball – 1945

1945 – Sports Executive formed

1962 – Football became the National Football Association (Aust.), and has been known since as the YCW National Football Association (Victoria).

Sunday football struck strong opposition.

By the mid-1960’s Councils objections had been overcome.

In 1962 the agreement was terminated.

In 1963 the YCW introduced an under-25 competition.

In 1966 the YCW Football Association had become the largest single football organisation in Australia, with 140 teams and 3,000 players.

Cricket was successful.

Boxing – First championship in 1942.

‘Golden Gloves’ – 1946.

In 1947 a National ‘Golden Gloves’ was held.

National was discontinued in 1950, but the Melbourne ‘Golden Gloves’ continued.

Max Carlos won the 1955 contest.


Swimming – YCW Lifesaving Club ran for several years from 1947.


Table Tennis

Soccer for some 8-9 years until 1965.


Training – First at Mornington (1940)

Hanging Rock (1941)

Mentone (1942)

Maiya Wamba (1943 and 1944)

Holiday – 1944 Lake Burrumbeet

Bendigo, and other places.

Branches also ran camps.

Permanent – In July 1948, 25 acres at Phillip Island was offered. A camp (under canvas) was held in 1948. The land was then bought for 500 pounds. Construction was commenced in 1951.

In 1949 and 1950, Christmas camps were held under canvas.

2/1/1952 – Dr Mannix officially opened the Camp.

After 1958 it was open to branches to organise their own.

The YCW took action on numerous protests on moral questions, e.g. meetings re pornographic material, etc.

On 11/11/1951 the leaders of various churches issued a “Call to Australia”, with Chief Justice Sir Edmund Herring.

State Conference 1952 agreed to send an Open Letter to Newsagents.

15/6/1953 – public meeting by Thornbury YCW on indecent publications. 150 present.

September 1951 – Brunswick public meeting organised by North-West Region. 200 present.

6/4/1954 – Victorian Government introduced an amendment to the Police Offences Act to tighten obscene literature provisions. The Attorney General praised organisations, including YCW for their work on the subject. YCW had submitted the results of its survey. But the amendments were not what the YCW sought, and by 1955 it was clear they were not effective.


New Youth –

1943-45 – F. McCann

1946-47 – A. Powell

1947-49 – K. Treacy

1949-51 – D. Burke

1951 – T. Barker

1952 – B. Ginnane

1952-53 – H. Pobjoy

1953-55 – B. Junck

1955-65 – B. de Luca

June 1947 – Film Library

– Catholic Youth Show with NCGM and John Lanigan

– Concert with Patricia Howard

– Cardijncan Players, with Niall Brennan as Director

May 49-July 50 – Cultural Services Dept, under Ron Conway

– Debating

– Debating revived


Learn to Dance

– Drink Campaigns


Dangerous Driving

Devotional Services

Christ Back in Christmas


General approval of migration after the war.

First practical thing – Residence at Hawthorn in 1949 for British youth migrants.

Example also of Coburg and Balts at Broadmeadows.

The Archbishop did not approve of a separate Italian branch.

In 1954, 200 migrants had joined housing co-operatives, and 60 had joined the Co-op. Trading.

From February 1957 a column in New Youth was published in a different European language each month.

The YCW was represented on the Victorian Good Neighbour Council. Campaign in May, June and July 1951 on migrants.

In January 1953 the YCW supported the idea of settling more migrants on the land.

In 1954 and 1956, the YCW was advocating consideration of quotas of Asian people being admitted.

Cardijn sent a message to the National Conference in October 1954, to assist Asian youth.

In September 1953, John Doherty attended the World Assembly of Youth Conference in Singapore.

In 1955 the Chaplain of Ceylon YCW, Fr Schramm, OMI, visited Australia.

In December 1955, Fr Toomey and Brian Hayes attended a general lay apostolate congress in Manila, and formed an Asian Pacific YCW committee.

In 1956 two Ceylon leaders visited Australia.

In 1949, YCW bought Hostel with Govt assistance both Commonwealth and State. Fr Lombard went to England to find youth migrants. He visited YCW groups in England.

In October he visited Europe and met Cardijn, and sat in on theoretical talks on the nature of Jocism and its relationship to the Church. He then visited more groups in England and groups in Northern Ireland and Eire.

Lombard spent January and February touring Europe, participating in Jocist events in Belgium and France, before going to Rome for the 1950 Holy Year. He cut red tape by authorities in England, and left on 19th March for Australia, arriving on 5th May.

Ted Long attended Citizenship Convention in Canberra in January 1950. He obtained Commonwealth approval for payment for Hostel while there. With (Sir) George Reid’s help, the YCW obtained the State’s payment on 4th April. The Hostel was officially opened on 17th December 1950.

First migrants (16) arrived on 15th September 1950. Danny Lennon was organiser.

Frank Martin and his wife were manager and housekeeper. Various YCW organizers –

Dan Callahan, Bill Bainbridge, John Stamp, Kevin Drill and CYMS chaplain Fr J. Carroll, boarded there from time to time.

Migrants dried up and the hostel was sold in September 1954. Arguments on settlement went on after Fr Lombard resigned in January 1955 and was replaced by Fr Toomey.

In January 1957 the Commonwealth Government asked the YCW to accommodate 15 young Hungarians. Over the next six months the YCW found accommodation, clothing and jobs for nearly 300 young Hungarians.

In 1945 JOC leaders met in Brussels, and Cardijn publicized a vision for an International YCW. His vision was not achieved until the International Pilgrimage in 1957.

In 1946 Fr Lombard had started talking about Australia’s responsibility to Asian countries. In fact, our literature was used in establishing the YCW in Ceylon and the Philippines.

Cardijn emphasized Australia’s responsibility to other countries to Ted Long in 1947 and to Frank McCann in 1948; also to Fr Lombard in 1949 and 1950, and Terry Barker in 1950.

After a 1954 visit to Singapore by John Doherty, the 1954 National Conference decided the Australian YCW should intensify its assistance to Asia.

Rome Pilgrimage 24/25 August 1957

87 countries were represented by 36,000 members.

Australia sent 41 YCW, 16 NCGM, 4 Priests and 1 chaperone.

After the Mass and pageant and Holy Father’s presence, Fr Toomey, Brian Gleeson, Jim Wilson and Bill Armstrong represented the Australian YCW at the 1st YCW International Council.

Cardijn’s Visit

Arrived in Perth 24/9/1958 for a 21-day visit to Australia and New Zealand.

We took heart from Cardijn’s summing up:

The YCW in Australia is one of the Movements closest to his ideal of the YCW, especially in its service structure.