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William Edward (Bill) Eriksen (1891–1983)

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William Edward (Bill) Eriksen (1891-1983) engine driver and trade union official 

Birth: 8 May 1891 at Broken Hill, New South Wales, son of William Theodore Eriksen (1859-1934), a miner born in Denmark, and native-born Rose Catherine, née Jones (1867-1966). Marriage: 1913 at Broken Hill to native-born Ada Gladys Friend (1892-1972). They had one son. Death: 16 August 1983 at Adelaide, South Australia. 

  • Left school at age of 12. Became an office boy at the Barrier Truth in 1903, later proof reading and assisting with hand-setting. Worked as a mill hand at the North Mine from 1907.
  • A member of Amalgamated Miners’ Association for two years. Boilerworker at Junction North in about 1909 and gained engine-drivers' ticket, South Blocks for one year and returned to North Mine. Gained winder drivers' certificate and moved back to Zinc Corporation, where he was a winder driver from 1913 to 1956 (retirement).
  • Member of Federated Engine drivers and Firemen's Association (FED&FA) from 1908. Executive member FED&FA for thirty-five years including president of the union’s Broken Hill sub-branch in 1921-1922, 1924 and 1933. Executive member of the FED&FA Barrier branch, a member of grievance committee in 1926.
  • Represented FED&FA on Trades and Labour Council and later on Barrier Industrial Council when it formed. He was president and until 1923 secretary of the TLC.
  • A committee member on drafting constitution of Barrier Industrial Council. First secretary of Barrier Industrial Council 1923-1934, resigned.
  • Attended historic lead bonus meeting at Melbourne in 1925. Continued to work for FED&FA after retirement in 1956. Vice-president, Barrier District Assembly of the Australian Labor Party.
  • Member of Independent Order of Odd Fellows from 1907, officeholder and District Master.
  • Moved to Adelaide in 1982.

Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill), 17 December 1926, 7 September 1933; Barrier Daily Truth, Centenary Souvenir Edition 1983; E. Stokes, 'United We Stand: Impressions of Broken Hill 1908-10', Recollection and photographs from the period, Five Mile Press, pp. 40, 44, 46, 48, 54, 144, 148, 224-25.

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Citation details

'Eriksen, William Edward (Bill) (1891–1983)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


8 May, 1891
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia


16 August, 1983 (aged 92)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

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Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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