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Bookluck, Alexander (Alex) (1896–1967)

Alexander (Alex) Bookluck (1895-1967) railway worker, trade unionist, editor and writer 

Birth: [according to his naturalization documents] in 1896 in Russia, son of Greek parents Michael Bookluck, manager of state monopoly, and Catherine, née Monsari. Marriage: 19 April 1923 at St Peters and Paul’s Church, Tempe, New South Wales to Mona Mildred Toole. They had three sons one daughter. Death: 19 June 1967 at Newtown, Sydney, New South Wales. Religion: Catholic or Greek Orthodox. 

  • Claimed on his marriage registration that he had been born in Montreal, Canada.
  • Arrived in Australia about 1910. Educated at Newcastle High School and Sydney University (Arts and Science).
  • 1918-1958 worked with NSW Railways. Foundation member, Shop Committee at Eveleigh Carriage Works. Australian Railways Union steward.
  • From 1938 to 1958 was editor of Magnet — the militant journal of the council of railway shop committees. Treasurer, Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW) from 1938 to 1962, ‘though never had any luck with books’ (Leslie Rees).
  • In 1938 was primarily responsible within FAW for successful plan to establish Commonwealth Literary Fund, funding submissions. Helped finance FAW after WW II.
  • FAW President, John Heiss, described him as a ‘most modest man who preferred to work unobtrusively’.
  • A remarkable worker intellectual. At retirement function from Eveleigh in 1958 he gave speech of thanks in English, Greek, Italian and German to rousing cheers from migrant railworkers.

Sources
Magnet
, March 1958, Devanny 1986; Jean Stone, The Passionate Bibliophile; Len Fox, Death at a Graveside: The History of the Fellowship of Australian Writers 1928-1988, FAW, Sydney, 1988.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Bookluck, Alexander (Alex) (1896–1967)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/bookluck-alexander-alex-32634/text40506, accessed 3 July 2022.

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