These blokes are on their way to a smoke social at the Palmerston Town Hall on Smith Street in 1915. Held since the 1880s, smoke socials were fairly self explanatory - they featured blokes, drinking, speeches, music and plenty of smoking. But they took on a different purpose with the outbreak of World War I, becoming farewell events for the groups of volunteers heading interstate to enlist. A century on, smoke socials have returned to the old Palmerston Town Hall with Sandra Thibodeaux's new play A Smoke Social on until 30 June, although it will likely feature far less smoking.

Image: Northern Territory Library


Published: 24 June 2018

Forgotten Territory was a weekly photo column of historic images in the Northern Territory News which I curated from 2016 until 2019 supported by the collections of the Northern Territory Library and other cultural institutions around Australia, as well as local history Facebook groups. 

Click on the images to read the story behind the image.

Warning: May contain images of people who have died.

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These works were made on Arrernte, Larrakia, Gaddigal and Lenape land that was never ceded