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Albert George (Bert) Fifield (1897–1984)

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Albert George (Bert) Fifield (1897-1984) printer and trade union leader 

Birth: 1897 at Adelong, New South Wales, son of native-born parents Richard John Fifield (1854-1934), miner, and Christina Frances, née Ferguson (1866-1962). Marriage: 24 January 1945 at Randwick, Sydney, NSW, to Sydney-born Gladys Irene Whittard (1896-1977). They had one son. Death: 29 October 1984 at Concord, Sydney. 

  • Commenced apprenticeship to lithographic printing and plate-making in 1914.
  • Having served in the cadets and the militia, was a junior machine assistant in the Department of Lands when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in Sydney on 17 March 1917. He was wounded in action on 24 June 1918, serving in France with the 3rd Battalion. Granted leave with pay to attend St Brides Printing School, Fleet Street, London, from April to July 1919. Then returned to Australia and was discharged in Sydney on 9 November 1919.
  • Returned to trade and work at NSW Lands Department 1920. Joined Lithographic Society of NSW. Founding member of Amalgamated Printing Trades Employees Union of NSW. Joined union board of management, 1934. NSW vice-president 1940-1942 and NSW president 1943-1966.
  • Intelligent and accomplished trade union leader, organising formation of Tasmanian Branch 1944, Victorian branch 1947. Full-time federal secretary from 1947 to 1966, paving way for amalgamation to establish the Printing and Kindred Industries Union (PKIU) of which he became founding joint federal secretary 1966-1968.
  • Strongly involved in establishment of Graphic Arts Club and modern union offices, Sydney, where meeting hall was named after him.
  • First grade Rugby League football player and referee.
  • Member Sydney Technical College, Advisory Committee for 23 years, also NSW Apprenticeship Council.
  • Cause of death: myocardial infarct and osteoarthritis.

Sources
Printing Trades Journal, September 1967, February 1968, May 1968; PKIU News, September-October 1984.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Fifield, Albert George (Bert) (1897–1984)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/fifield-albert-george-bert-33621/text42059, accessed 13 June 2024.

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