The Clatter of Wooden Clogs

Wednesday, March 11, 1992

The Clatter of Wooden Clogs

The Clatter of Wooden Clogs
By Hugh O'Sullivan
Published by the Australian Young Christian Workers Movement. $13
Reviewed by John Jegorow

The title is deceptive. "What's a worker worth?" and "Tomorrow is Monday" come closer to describing what the book is about.

Father Hugh O'Sullivan shares his wisdom gathered over 20 years among young workers. He looks at the questions that are often asked and gives inspiring answers. The answers come from real life experience and the well-worn theory of the Young Christian Workers Movement, founded by a young Belgian priest, Joseph Cardijn.

As a teenager, Cardijn went off to study for the priesthood while his school mates joined the working class masses and became little better than caged animals in the town's factories and mills. This troubled Cardijn. Young workers in wooden clogs clattered on Belgium's cobblestone footpaths past the Cardijn home, a sound Cardijn would never forget. While still at seminary, he vowed at the deathbed of his working-class father that he would spend his life for the worker. And so he did.

Father Hugh O'Sullivan has also spent his life talking with, listening to and being with young workers. He believes in them and inspires them to greatness in the everyday things of life.

Machines, technology and, today, unemployment are robbing young workers of their God-given destiny and dignity. People see themselves as cogs in the works. The book tells the real worth of work and makes you think. It invites people to do something about their own situation and gives a plan of action, Review of Life. It invites workers to look forward to Monday.

Coinciding with the golden jubilee of the Australian YCW, the book has a message for everyone. Anyone working with young people, no matter what organisation or movement, should read this book. Easy to read, it is filled with the drama of real life. It is available from YCW, 25 Union St, Granville NSW 2142, ph. (02) 682 6719.

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