People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

William (Bill) Frame (1907–1987)

This article was published:

William (Bill) Frame (1907-1987) ironworker, trade union official and Communist 

Birth: 24 August 1907 at Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, son of William Frame (1881-1963), mine under-manager, and Jemina Mary, née Valentine (1882-1948). Marriages: (1) July 1929 at Lithgow, New South Wales, to Martha Smith (1910-1929). They had one son. (2) 30 January 1934 at the Congregational Church, Wollongong, NSW, to Florence Simpson (1908-1975), born at Lochgelly, Fife, Scotland. They had one daughter and one son. Death: 30 September 1987 in Royal North Shore Hospital, North Sydney; usual residence Balgownie, Wollongong. Religion: Presbyterian. 

  • Arrived in Australia about 1925. Was an ironworker at Lithgow in 1929.
  • In 1932 transferred to Port Kembla, delegate from Spin Pipe Department.
  • Assistant Secretary, Federated Ironworkers’ Association (FIA), Port Kembla, from 1937 to 1943, in wake of Annabel Strike, looking after office work.
  • Secretary of FIA, Port Kembla, 1943-1952.
  • Long term Communist Party of Australia member and South Coast District Committee member for several years. In 1941 stood as State Labor candidate against Australian Labor Party candidate, receiving 17% of vote.
  • Successfully dampened down industrial militancy during World War II.
  • Teetotaler, but accessible to union members in popular Steelworks Hotel run by Lindsay family.
  • Prominent in 1945 strike, organising relief for strikers. Organising munitions workers in Western Australia in 1945 when Balmain FIA dissidents attempted to address meetings.
  • Local popularity assisted the outmaneuvering of Groupers, who retained him due to skills as court advocate.
  • Believed that ballot rigging and innuendo that he was inebriated caused his defeat by Industrial Groups candidate by 6 votes in 1952.
  • Secretary of Taxi Co-operative, Wollongong. Secretary/Manager Wollongong Workers’ Club. Outstanding personal skills as meeting convenor.
  • Competent tennis player.
  • Cause of death: carcinoma (metastatic) and carcinoma of pancreas.

Sources
Information from Sally Bowen and Bill Frame (son) 1992; Illawarra Mercury, 1 October 1987; United States National Archives, Labor Attache’s Report No. 47, 22 May 1947; Beverley Firth, ‘The industrialisation of Wollongong with special reference to Australian Iron and Steel Proprietary Limited 1926-1976’, PhD thesis, Macquarie University, 1986.

Citation details

'Frame, William (Bill) (1907–1987)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/frame-william-bill-33712/text42192, accessed 25 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Birth

24 August, 1907
Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Death

30 September, 1987 (aged 80)
North Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (pancreatic)

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.

Occupation
Key Events
Key Organisations
Political Activism