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Alan Frank Cross (1922–1991)

This article was published:

Alan Cross, n.d.

Alan Cross, n.d.

Alan Frank Cross (1922-1991) teacher, trade union official and Communist activist 

Birth: 17 December 1922 at Petersham, Sydney, New South Wales, son of native-born parents Harold Lawrence Cross (1895-1938), real estate agent, and Margaret Muriel, née Blow (1893-1970). Marriage: (1) 1947 at Sydney to Sylvia Annie Mullins. They had one son. The marriage ended in divorce. (2) 9 June 1972 at the Registrar General’s office, Sydney, to Lenin Louise, née Rees, late Smith, a divorced teacher born in Brisbane, Queensland. Death: 3 October 1991 at his residence at Gymea Bay, NSW. 

  • Completed Intermediate Certificate, Sydney Boys’ High School. Worked as clerk in brewery, on Hunter Valley dairy, and had several preliminary boxing bouts at Leichhardt Stadium.
  • Enlisted in the AIF on 15 January 1941 and saw active service in the Middle East, New Guinea and Indonesia, for much of the time in the 2nd 1st Australian Machine Gun Battalion. Was discharged on 18 February 1946.
  • Joined Communist Party of Australia and supported the Indonesian struggle for independence. Attended Sydney University under Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme, graduating BA Hons (part of distinguished 1950 honours history class). In 1949 was secretary of the Sydney University Labor Club. Active in Trainee Teachers’ Organisation and was a leader of 1951 Sydney Teachers’ College trainee teachers’ strike.
  • Commenced teaching at Kandos, facing Cold War threats, wrote history textbook and, returning to Sydney (Gymea), became active in Teachers’ Federation. Helped establish Sutherland Trade Union Club and Sutherland Teachers’ Association. Member of Teachers’ Federation Council for 20 years, serving for two years as full-time official—senior vice-president. Defeated in November 1983.
  • Active in peace movement in 1980s, campaigning against the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor right up to death from asbestos poisoning contracted while working over a university vacation at Hardie fibro factory.

Alan Barcan, Radical Students: the Old Left at Sydney University (Melbourne, 2002); photo and obituary, Education: Journal of the NSW Public School Teachers Federation, 28 October 1991, p 21 [; information from Mr R. D. Walshe.

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'Cross, Alan Frank (1922–1991)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012