Union Wins Gold For Marathon Olympic Fundraiser

The Australian Olympic Committee pays tribute to the Maritime Union for the role it played raising funds to send athletes to the Moscow Olympics 30 years on

The Maritime Union of Australia (SUA) has been honoured at the Australian Olympics Committee AGM in Sydney yesterday, 30 years after they raised  $60,000 to send the Australian Olympic Team to Moscow.

The AOC made a special presentation to the former Federal Secretary of the Seamen's Union, Pat Geraghty, and MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin.

AOC President John Coates felt recognition was timely because it coincided with the release in January 2011 by the Federal Government of "Cabinet-in-Confidence" documents from 1980.

It was the height of the Cold War and the Fraser Government decided to join the US boycott of the Olympics in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afhganistan. Athletes were threatened, cajoled and bribed not to take part.

But the unions chipped in - especially the Seafarers Union which alone raised $50,000.

Wharfies also played a role raising $10,000 through a $5 levy and Dawn Fraser was photographed on the front page of the Maritime Worker at the Hungry Mile Fun Run fundraiser.

Read more about the presentation

Unions Honoured - Bitter Olympic Struggle Remembered

The story of the Australian seafarers Olympian effort was also featured in the weekend Fairfax media.

Unlikely friendship formed under fire