211 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy (Builders’ Arms Hotel)

The hotels of Fitzroy, of which there are many have long been used for a number of reasons as well as the meeting halls for politicians and clubs, such as the Stonehenge Lodge U A O D who used the Lodge Room as their half-yearly meeting room (Fitzroy City Press – 9 Jan 1886).

Photo of the Builders Arms Hotel by Pete Dillon (Oct 2020) Broadsheet

“Gertrude St has been home to as many as 14 hotels throughout its history, with many of these established in the 1850s and 1860s as the suburb began its initial expansion. The Builder’s Arms is one of the few which has continuously traded as a hotel since its opening in 1852. The hotel has been strongly associated with Aboriginal political activism, particularly from the 1940s to the 1980s, and acted as a community hub within the wider network of Koori-run community services and meeting places along this part of Gertrude Street throughout the late 20th century. The Builder’s Arms was a place for informal meetings but was also used as a venue for formal political activism, such as meetings of the Aboriginal Congress and Australian Aborigines’ League during the 1960s, and meetings of Black Power activists including Bruce McGuinness, Gary Murray, and Gary Foley. The Aboriginal History of Yarra site is an important resource for the area’s Aboriginal history, including video interviews, documentaries, and a walking tour of key sites of significance” Lauren Piko – Yarra Past Port

The original Builder’s Arms Hotel building, c. 1890-1900 – held at State Library of Victoria, http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/46086

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