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Alfred Arthur (Joe) Drummond (1884–1971)

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Alfred Arthur (Joe) Drummond (1884-1971), locomotive fireman and trade union official

Birth: 3 April 1884 at Hindmarsh, Adelaide, South Australia, one of twins born to native-born parents James McIndoe Drummond (1851-1922), labourer in the South Australian Railways, and Agnes, née Dalglish (1857-1911). Marriage: 4 January 1911 at Hindmarsh to Queensland-born Isabella Freeman (1882-1954). They had one son. Death: 30 September 1971 at Adelaide. 

  • Educated at Unley State School.
  • Joined SA Railways about 1903. At Mile End from 1914 to 1927. Active member of Loco Running Division and SA Railways and Tramways Association from 1913. Represented SA Branch Australian Railways Union on Australian Council of union, 1921.
  • State Secretary ARU from 1927 until retirement in 1951. Was an outstanding advocate, “his massive figure … well known in Arbitration courts’ in SA, Victoria and New South Wales.
  • Won ballot to represent Australian workers at the International Labor Office conference at San Francisco, United States of America, in June 1948.
  • Life-long Socialist and a member Australian Labor Party from 1902 to 1950. Expelled for activism in cause of peace — SA president Australian Peace Council, but at age of 87 still handing out ALP how to vote cards at polling booths.
  • Active in Workers’ Educational Association and ‘student of politics and economics’, believing that ‘one of the basic ways to emancipate workers from capitalism was by education’.
  • His wife was also an active Labor and peace supporter.

portraits and obituaries, News (Adelaide), 2 October 1971, p 12, and Advertiser (Adelaide), 2 October 1971, p 2; H. J. Gibbney & A. G. Smith, A Biographical Register 1788-1939, vol 1 (Canberra, 1987); Jim, Moss, Sound of trumpets: history of the labour movement in South Australia (Adelaide, 1985); ARU, 24th Meeting of Australian Council, April 1952; The Railway Review, 39, 1971.

Citation details

'Drummond, Alfred Arthur (Joe) (1884–1971)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 June 2024.

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