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George Philip Bass (1900–1962)

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BASS, George Philip (1900-1962) clerk, trade union leader, watchman 

Birth: 3 April 1900 in Narromine, New South Wales. Son of Charles Henry P. Bass, baker, and Annie Lavinia, née Abbott. Not married. Death: 25 January 1962 in hospital at Newcastle, New South Wales. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Joined Australian Labor Party at Newcastle. Member, Federated Clerks’ Union (FCU), becoming president of Newcastle branch. Also member of Federated Engine Drivers and Firemen’s Association. FCU delegate to Newcastle Trades Hall Council (NTHC).
  • 1927 elected Secretary NTHC; worked to overcome sectional and factional divisions. During 1930s Depression accepted half pay from Council.
  • 1931 active in campaign surrounding eviction riots Clara Street, Tighes Hill. Conducted many charity drives for unemployed. Led campaign to protect Chinese crews of ships taking war materials to Japan during Japanese occupation of China. Organised trade union support for Red Cross.
  • In mid-1930s, secretary, Newcastle branch ALP; vice-president, ALP Northern Group. Strong supporter of Jack Lang throughout 1930s.
  • Edited NTHC’c weekly news sheet. Delegate to NSW Labour Council. Lost secretaryship in 1943 in successful left-wing push to gain control of NTHC.
  • During WW II worked as clerk with U.S. forces.
  • After war, became associated with the Confectioners’ Union, editing its journal for several years. Subsequently conducted grocery shop at Waratah, Newcastle; helped to form a local organisation of retail grocers.
  • Last job was as a casual oil wharf watchman. Awarded Coronation Medal for service to the community.
  • Died of gastro-intestinal haemorrhage with nephrosclerosis and hypertensive vascular disease. Cremated at Beresfield.

A.L.P. Year Book
/ Australia Labor Party. New South Wales Branch, 1933, 1934-5; Newcastle Morning Herald, 31 January 1962

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Citation details

'Bass, George Philip (1900–1962)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


3 April, 1900
Narromine, New South Wales, Australia


25 January, 1962 (aged 61)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism