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George Alexander Daughtrey (1892–1956)

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George Alexander Daughtrey (1892-1956) school teacher and trade union leader 

Birth: 20 April 1892 in Brisbane, Queensland, son of George Daughtrey, a house painter born in Wick, Sussex, England, and Elizabeth, née Graham, born in Aughaleogh, Fermanagh, Ireland. Marriage: 21 December 1915 at the Methodist church, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, to Queensland-born Maggie Harris, a milliner. They had one son. Death: 3 April 1956 in Brisbane. 

  • Educated at Junction Park school where he was made a pupil teacher on 17 April 1907, aged fifteeen, joining Queensland Teachers’ Union at the time of his appointment. Highly distinguished teaching career for 21 years.
  • Joined QTU as honorary organiser in 1920. In 1921 he was elected honorary assistant secretary, 1926 honorary assistant secretary and conference minute clerk. In 1928 appointed to full-time position as financial secretary, his financial acumen steering union through Depression with judicious investment in Teachers’ Building, Brisbane. In 1935 he was elected general secretary of union, holding the position until his death.
  • Steered course between rampant anti-communism of Queensland Australian Labor Party and leftist Brisbane Trades and Labor Council. In 1950s strongly criticised Gair Labor government’s dilatoriness about education. His achievements included advocacy of refresher courses for returned servicemen following World War II and legal defence fund.
  • A somewhat dictatorial figure, he would not brook dissent from rank and file, ‘fiercely independent and often short with members’. Resisted modernisation of union. Through Queensland Teachers’ Journal his sentiments became ‘tablets of Moses’, but an ‘essentially humble and sensitive man’.
  • Cause of death: angina pectoris and coronary occlusion.

Queensland Teachers Journal
, April 1956; Sullivan & Spaull, 1996.

Citation details

'Daughtrey, George Alexander (1892–1956)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


20 April, 1892
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


3 April, 1956 (aged 63)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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