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Behan, John Joseph (Jack) (1876–1947)

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John Joseph (‘Jack’) Behan (1876- 1947) driver, trade union leader, mayor 

Birth: 2 February 1876 in Sandhurst (Bendigo), Victoria, son of Irish-born parents Patrick Behan, dancing master, and Bridget, née Reidy. Marriage: 8 May 1899 at Carmelite Priory, South Melbourne, Victoria, to Catherine Madden, machinist. They had two daughters. Death: 8 September 1947 at Glenhuntly, Melbourne. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Salaried officer of Victorian Transport Workers Union (TWU) for 33 years.
  • In 1899 was a collector, living at South Melbourne.
  • 1906 joined union while driver employed by Government Civil Stores. 1909 elected to union executive. On 23 November 1912 appointed organiser, in 1913 assistant secretary. In 1917 swapped positions with Jim Stack as organiser. In 1929, elected secretary, Melbourne sub-branch and held this position until retirement in 1945. Of ‘the easy-going equable type’.
  • Elected to South Melbourne Municipal Council for Normanby ward in 1921. Was mayor in 1926-27.
  • Enthusiastic member of the Irish National Foresters since appointed temporary secretary of the Daniel O’Connell branch, South Melbourne, in 1896. Relinquished the position in 1946.
  • Justice of the peace.

The Union Carter
, September 1945.

Citation details

'Behan, John Joseph (Jack) (1876–1947)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 9 February 2023.

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