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Joseph Patrick (Joe) Brazel (1899–1985)

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Brazel, Joseph Patrick (Joe) (1899-1985) iron-worker, trade union leader and Communist 

Birth: 7 November 1899 in Coolgardie, Western Australia, son of John Brazel, miner, and Winifred, née McInerney. Both parents had been born in South Australia. Marriage: details unknown. Death: 11 May 1985 in Port Adelaide, South Australia. 

  • Reputedly orphaned aged 3 years, brought up by relatives and at Catholic orphanage, Goodwood Road, Adelaide, South Australia. Began work, aged 9 years, on farm in mid-north of SA with pay of 3d. a week and board. Worked in Port Pirie until about 1923 when he moved to Whyalla.
  • Spent most of working life at Iron Knob, Whyalla, Port Augusta. Joined Communist Party of Australia and became chair of Whyalla branch. Awarded medal for bravery in 1930s for rescuing fellow worker in ore bin at Whyalla.
  • From 1941 to 1951 was full time elected secretary of Whyalla-Port Pirie branch of the Federated Ironworkers’ Association. Sometime elected president and vice-president of the Combined Unions Council.
  • In 1949 played leading part in Iron Knob ‘Walk the Hill’ strike. Blacklisted by Broken Hill Proprietary Co Ltd after being ousted from union position by Industrial Groups.
  • After stint of bottle-collecting took job at Port Augusta Hospital where he remained until retirement.
  • Honorary secretary of Whyalla Cycling Club.

Obituary, Tribune, 29 Jan 1986, p 13

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'Brazel, Joseph Patrick (Joe) (1899–1985)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


7 November, 1899
Coolgardie, Western Australia, Australia


11 May, 1985 (aged 85)
Port Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

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 Events
Key Organisations
Political Activism