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Robert Lyndon (Bob) Day (1886–1968)

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Robert Day, n.d.

Robert Day, n.d.

Robert Lyndon (Bob) Day (1886-1968) seaman, rubber worker, businessman, trade union leader and politician 

Birth: 10 May 1886 in Clifton Hill, Melbourne, Victoria, son of George Day (1847-1937), a compositor born in Luton, London, England, and Mary Ann, née Campbell (c.1849-1943), born in Cork, Ireland. Marriage: 19 September 1911 in Newtown, Sydney, New South Wales, to native-born Annie (1889-1974), daughter of David Patience. They had two sons and three daughters. Death: 16 July 1968 in Sydney. Buried: Presbyterian Lawn Cemetery, Rookwood. 

  • Educated at Preston and Northcote state schools, Victoria. Apprenticed at age 13 on sailing ship, ‘Cawdor’. Deserted ship in San Francisco.
  • Messenger boy in Seattle; worked on a Nova Scotian ship. Involved in mining in Alaska. Interest in union affairs began when he saw the conditions under which seamen worked. Joined the Workers of the World (IWW) in early 1900s.
  • Returned to Australia in 1905. Cane cutter in Cairns 1905. Conductor, Sydney Tramways. Ipswich railway workshops. Salesman, owned his own photographic business. Rubber worker with his own business, and then with McCoombes Tyre Service.
  • President, Ipswich branch Federated Carters and Drivers’ Union. Gave more than 40 years service to Federated Rubber and Allied Workers Union of Australia, which he joined in 1917. President, NSW branch 1918; secretary/treasurer 1919-1954, court advocate; federal president 1925-55; executive member 1958-66; member Equal Pay committee (with (Lady) Jessie Street); president, 1934. Delegate to NSW Trades and Labor Council; Executive member, Eight Hour Committee 1940-42, secretary; trustee for radio station 2KY, 1925; trustee Trades Hall.
  • Member, NSW Legislative Council 18 November 1953 to 22 April 1967 (Labor). Member Haberfield branch, Australian Labor Party. President of Industrial Groups Committee of Industrial Labor Organisation 1956.

Heather Radi, Peter Spearritt and Elizabeth Hinton, Biographical Register of the NSW Parliament 1901-1970 (Canberra, 1979); Rubber, Plastic and Cable Industries Journal, July-Sept 1968; photo & bio Labor Daily, 13 January 1927, p 8:; Sunday Telegraph 5 August 1956; Sydney Morning Herald, 27 February 1967; Parliament of NSW – Former Members, 2012.  Information from Edwina Patience Levack, Leicester, UK 2012.

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Citation details

'Day, Robert Lyndon (Bob) (1886–1968)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Robert Day, n.d.

Robert Day, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


10 May, 1886
Clifton Hill, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


16 July, 1968 (aged 82)
Sydney, 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.

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Political Activism