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Robert Albert (Bob) Dale (1875–1953)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

Robert Albert Alexander (Bob or Curly) Dale (1875-1953) shearer, trade union official and Labor politician

Birth: 19 August 1875 at Stirling North, South Australia, son of William Dale (1832-1886), labourer, later road inspector, and Mary Cockburn, née McFarlane (1836-1911), born in Glasgow, Scotland. Marriage: 10 February 1902 to Alice Ada Maud Harris (1877-1963). They had five daughters and one son. Death: 22 February 1953 in hospital at Adelaide, South Australia. 

  • Spent early youth in farming pursuits. Sheared at Andamoka and other stations in South Australia and was a member of the Shearers’ Union (later Australian Workers’ Union).
  • Moved in the 1890s to Broken Hill, NSW, where he did some shearing and “worked along the line of lode” and later at the smelters. In 1898 he settled in Port Pirie, South Australia, where he worked in the smelters there.
  • A member of the local branch of the Amalgamated Mining Union, formed by Tom Mann, he was involved in the 1909 strike.
  • An Australian Labor Party member of the South Australian House of Assembly for the seat of Sturt from 1930 to 1933 and the seat of Adelaide from 1933 to 1938 and from 1944 to 1947.
  • a colleague from his Broken Hill years, Norman Makin, read the twenty-third psalm at his funeral.

Additional Resources

  • profile, Australian Worker (Sydney), 19 March 1930, p 15
  • interview, Recorder (Port Pirie, SA), 16 March 1945, p 3
  • funeral, News (Adelaide, SA), 23 February 1953, p 3

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Dale, Robert Albert (Bob) (1875–1953)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


19 August, 1875
Stirling, South Australia, Australia


22 February, 1953 (aged 77)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

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