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Connington, Michael Joseph (Mick) (1873–1930)

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Michael Joseph (Mick) Connington (1873-1930) carter, trade union leader and politician 

Birth: 1 January 1873, County Roscommon, Ireland, son of Michael Connington, contractor. Marriage: 1907 to native-born Hannah Maud Cutting (1881-1940). They had two daughters and four sons. Death: 3 December 1930 at Putney, Sydney. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Arrived with parents in Sydney at early age. Educated at Marist Brothers' College, Darlinghurst.
  • Commercial traveller for Sydney firm. Spent some years in New Zealand. Returned to Sydney and entered the carting trade about 1893. Was a carter on the Sydney waterfront by 1897.
  • Early member of Political Labor League. Elected yard delegate and committeeman of the newly established Trolly, Draymen and Carters' Union (Sydney) in 1901. Union secretary from 1901 to 1916 during which time he was commonly described as the 'offsider' or 'loyal lieutenant' of union president William Morris Hughes. Trolly Draymen and Carters’ Union delegate to PLL Annual Conference in February 1902. Represented union on Wages Boards. Appointed justice of the peace in 1911.
  • Member NSW Labor Party central executive 1911-12. Arbitrator in pastrycooks' dispute, 1916. Resigned secretaryship of the Trolley, Draymen and Carters' Union at the end of 1916 following Hughes' expulsion by the union over the conscription issue.
  • Appointed by the Nationalist government of W.A. Holman to the Legislative Council of NSW on 25 July 1917 and held the seat until his death, though criticised for his low attendance record. Appointed member NSW Necessary Commodities Commission 1916. Chairman Commonwealth Shipping Tribunal 1918-23, but refused to accept salary of £1000 p.a.
  • Freelance industrial advocate for various unions, including Trolley, Draymen and Carters 1917- 1930, often taking workers' compensation cases without charging poorer clients. At time of his death, described by Industrial Commission president A.B. Piddington as 'the leading industrial advocate in that jurisdiction'.
  • Life member Federated Clerks' Union.

Sources
Heather Radi, Peter Spearritt & Elizabeth Hinton, Biographical Register of the NSW Parliament 1901-1970 (Canberra, 1979); Mark Bray & Andrew Rimmer, Delivering the Goods; the Transport Workers’ Union in New South Wales 1888-1986 (Sydney, 1987).

Additional Resources

  • tributes, Catholic Press (Sydney), 5 February 1931, p 23
  • tribute, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 December 1930, p 17

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Connington, Michael Joseph (Mick) (1873–1930)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/connington-michael-joseph-mick-33082/text41249, accessed 28 January 2023.

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