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John Culbert (1888–1943)

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John Culbert, n.d.

John Culbert, n.d.

John Culbert (1888-1943) timberworker, trade union official and Labor parliamentarian 

Birth: 22 February 1888 in Camperdown, New South Wales, son of native-born parents James Culbert (1865-1936), carpenter, and Annie Josephine, née Farrelly (1867-1957). Marriage: 10 September 1913 in Sydney to native-born Delia Winifred Brady (1892-1878). They had two sons. Death: 19 August 1943 at Annandale, Sydney, NSW. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Educated by Christian Brothers, Newtown, Sydney. At early age began work in Government Printing Office as messenger boy, left for other employment. Was a sawyer in timbermills.
  • Acting secretary of the NSW branch of the Australian Timberworkers’ Union from 1917, he succeeded J. J. Fitzgerald as secretary in 1920. Held office until his death; was also federal president. With John Smith Garden and others was arrested during 1929 strike, found not guilty of conspiracy.
  • Director of Labor Motor Funerals Ltd. Secretary in 1943. Chairman of directors of Century.
  • Member of the Australian Labor Party’s NSW central executive 1923-26, and 1941-43. ALP candidate for NSW Legislative Assembly seats of Oxley in 1920 and Maitland in 1922.
  • Appointed to the NSW Legislative Council on 21 December 1925 and held office until council reconstituted on 22 April 1934. A member of the indirectly elected elected council from 23 April 1934 to 1937 and then until 1943, having been re-elected for a 12-year term in December 1936.
  • Cause of death: subacute bacterial endocarditis and cerebral embolism.

Heather Radi, Peter Spearritt & Elizabeth Hinton, Biographical Register of the NSW Parliament 1901-1970 (Canberra, 1979); New South Wales Timber Worker, 22 November 1943, November 1965; photo and profile Labor Daily (Sydney), 13 January 1927, p 6 [].

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'Culbert, John (1888–1943)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

John Culbert, n.d.

John Culbert, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


22 February, 1888
Camperdown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


19 August, 1943 (aged 55)
Annandale, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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