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Thomas Joseph (Tommy) Doyle (1905–1984)

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Thomas Joseph (Tommy) Doyle (1905-1984) taxi driver, trade union official 

Birth: 16 May 1905 at Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria, son of native-born Ann Doyle (1875-1920), later a cook at the hospital for the insane at Kew. Marriage: 24 May 1926 at Richmond, Victoria with Congregational forms to native-born Doris Ethel Mansfield (1906-1976), a typist. Death: 29 January 1984 at Greensborough, Melbourne. 

  • Though no father is cited on his marriage certificate, it is possible that he and his siblings were fathered by Patrick Doyle, an attendant at Kew hospital for the insane.
  • After driving taxis and hire cars in Melbourne, he joined the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) in 1928, driving a beer truck from Abbottsford Brewery, ‘rapidly becoming popular with his mates and with the many hotelkeepers with whom he came into contact.’ Secretary of Social and Benefit Club at brewery.
  • In 1935 he was elected to committee of management within Melbourne branch of the TWU; vice-president 1936; senior vice-president 1943, president 1944. Also elected assistant federal secretary in 1944.
  • Delegate to Melbourne Trades Hall Council. Member, Labor Day Committee.
  • Survivor and political chameleon within TWU — Labor inclined but in 1945 secretary/treasurer of branch when dominated by Communists. Yet when executive deposed by anti-communists became organiser.
  • 1956 replaced Gordon (Roy) Hill as secretary, reverting to progressive stand.
  • Later TWU president and centre of factional brawling with New South Wales branch, as per Moore v. Doyle Lost control of Victorian branch, May 1968.
  • Life governor of Prince Henry Hospital.

Bradley Bowden, Driving force: the history of the Transport Workers’ Union of Australia 1883-1992 (St Leonards, 1993); The Union Carter, November 1946.

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'Doyle, Thomas Joseph (Tommy) (1905–1984)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012