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Anthony (Tony) Donohoe (1912–1984)

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Anthony (Tony) Donohoe (1912-1984) labourer, boilermaker, Communist and trade union official 

Birth: 18 January 1912 at Ashington, Northumberland, England, son of Michael Donohoe (1877-1922), a stone-work miner born at Bunawillin, Mayo, Ireland, and Alice Agnes, née Deighan, later Lenaghan (1878-1945), born at Tynemouth, Northumberland, England. Marriage: 16 April 1938 at Morwell, Victoria, to Alice May Gribble (1916-2000). They had seven children. Death: 30 April 1984 at Doveton, Melbourne, Victoria. Religion: nominal Catholic. 

  • Lived in County Mayo with his grandparents following his father’s death.
  • Arrived in Brisbane, Queensland, aboard the Hobsons Bay with his brother Felix (1814-1952) in March 1928, sponsored by the Big Brother Movement. His elder sister Catherine had reached Australia aboard the Ballarat in 1926.
  • Donohoe worked in Queensland cane fields. He later rejoined his family at Wonthaggi, Victoria, after his mother remarried and migrated to Australia. About 1937 he moved to Yallourn where he worked as a labourer and later boilermaker at Brown Coal Mine.
  • Shop steward at Yallourn power station for over thirty years. President of Yallourn branch of Boilermakers’ Society/Amalgamated Metals, Foundry and Shipwrights Union for over twenty years.
  • Served on Gippsland Trades and Labour Council from 1943, organising bus to May Day rally.
  • Joined Communist Party of Australia in 1943 and was a leading activist in Yallourn until his retirement in 1974. Sold communist press at Yallourn power station and Ma Brown’s Yallourn Hotel.
  • Once held heavyweight boxing title for Gippland and was able to withstand physical intimidation from ‘groupers’ who tried to remove literature stand from outside hotel.
  • Prominent in defeating Grouper control of Gippsland Trades and Labor Council, 1961. Active in strikes and anti-Vietnam War movement.

Obituary, Tribune, 16 May 1984, p 13.

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Citation details

'Donohoe, Anthony (Tony) (1912–1984)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 February 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


18 January, 1912
Ashington, Northumberland, England


30 April, 1984 (aged 72)
Doveton, Melbourne, Victoria, 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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