May 1 was selected as International Labour Day by the Second International held at Paris in 1889. The first May Day celebrations in Australia were held at Barcaldine, Queensland on 1 May 1891. The celebration of May Day in Wollongong appears to date from 1912 when coal miners in the district took an unpaid holiday. Mining unionists were to remain strongly represented on the May Day Committee which was formed some time later. Its particular function was the organisation of an annual parade and picnic.