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Peter Connolly (1890–1959)

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Peter Connolly (1890-1959) coalminer, ironworker, trade union leader and politician 

Birth: 8 May 1890 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, son of Luke Connolly, labourer, and Margaret, née McCue. Marriage: 5 February 1916 at Raymond Terrace, New South Wales, to Hannah Marie ‘May’ Campbell (1891-1961). They had four sons and three daughters. Death: 27 October 1959 in Newcastle, NSW. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Worked in coal mines, then as ironworker.
  • Secretary, Newcastle branch of Federated Ironworkers’ Association (FIA) from 1919 to 1927. FIA general secretary, 1925-28.
  • Member Eight Hour Committee. Delegate to Newcastle Trades Hall Council.
  • Employees representative on NSW Basic Wage Commission, 1926.
  • Secretary of the Newcastle branch of the Australian Labor Party. President, Newcastle State and Federal electorate councils in 1920s.
  • Employees’ representative on Board of Directors, Newcastle Hospital and Ambulance Board.
  • Elected member of the Legislative Assembly for Newcastle on 8 October 1927. Held the seat until losing pre-selection to F. H. Hawkins in 1935.
  • Again became secretary Newcastle FIA in 1935. Defeated by Communist Party of Australia’s R. C. Morgan in 1939.
  • Became builder and contractor after leaving parliament.

Heather Radi, Peter Spearritt & Elizabeth Hinton, Biographical Register of the NSW Parliament 1901-1970 (Canberra, 1979); Labor Year Book, 1933, 1934/5; Labor News (Sydney), October 1959, p 2.

Additional Resources

  • profile, Newcastle Sun (NSW), 13 June 1927, p 5

Citation details

'Connolly, Peter (1890–1959)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


8 May, 1890
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England


27 October, 1959 (aged 69)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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