In 1856, when working days were long and arduous, stonemasons and builders across Melbourne downed tools and marched to Parliament House and pushed for an eight-hour day.

The rest, as they say, is history and everyone in Australia now enjoys the right to eight hours work, eight hours recreation and eight hours rest. This achievement is acknowledged in Victoria on the second Monday in March to, appropriately, become a long weekend.

Though, most people nowadays just enjoy Labour Day as another public holiday without really knowing much about its history or its meaning.

Anglesea looking to Point Roadknight

Here on the Surf Coast, there was perfect weather and a plethora of activities to take the hardest worker’s mind off their toil.

Lorne Sculpture Biennale

Though pedalling up hills takes some effort.

Cycling near the Surf Coast

In Geelong, gateway to the Surf Coast, the Motor City Music Festival was held. Presumably its title is a reference to the Ford motor company which has had a long history in Geelong, but in an unfortunate coincidence, recently announced it was finally closing its doors forcing thousands of workers onto unemployment queues.

Geelong music festival

But, perhaps its time was due, unable to compete in a 21st Century world without taking wages and conditions back to the 19th Century. Unfortunately our governments and business leaders seem to lack the foresight or the ability to see the writing on the wall and prepare for it. Geelong could be an exception, though, and plans are afoot to adjust to the new environment. Success in ‘developed’ nations will likely go to the smartest and most inventive communities.

Meanwhile, back at the music festival …there was something old world about it as well. Tribute bands and blues were the main staple. However, there were also up-and-coming bands providing variety in the Live and Local section. Such as: Kite Machine.

Geelong music festival

Lorne definitely has a foot in modern times with its Sculpture Biennale. It was first held in 2007 with the aim to stage a world-class sculpture exhibition along a two-kilometre stretch of foreshore. I reckon they succeeded. The current exhibition ends on Sunday, 30th March.

Lorne Sculpture Biennale, 2014

Some installations are best seen at night, and there are live performances and demonstrations throughout the event.

Lorne Sculpture Biennale

Otherwise, there were the usual recreational activities that make up life on the Surf Coast …surfing, swimming, bushwalking, cycling …among bush, beach and wildlife …or, in this echidna’s case mildlife. This one was spotted ambling across Old Coach Road at the back of Moggs Creek.

 Echidna near Moggs Creek

In the main street of Lorne, cars cruised and girls paraded. Elsewhere nature put on a show.

Bells Beach sunset

See the gallery and slideshow for a small glimpse of life and leisure during the Labour Day weekend on the Surf Coast. There were a couple of scuplture shots I didn’t get to take that could be interesting, so look out for some post posting pics.

And: ‘thanks’ to those stonemasons!