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Francis Patrick (Frank) Gibney (1864–1938)

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Francis Patrick (Frank) Gibney (1864-1938) coachmaker, railway employee, trade union official and Labor party founder

Birth: 1864 at Geelong, Victoria, son of Irish-born parents Andrew Gibney (1836-1912), labourer, later cab owner, from County Meath, and Hannah, née Welch (1843-1881), servant, from County Cork.  Marriage: 1891 at North Melbourne to Elizabeth (Lizzie) Gibson (1866-1953). They had three daughters. Death: 12 April 1938 in hospital at Fitzroy, Melbourne; usual residence Manningham Street, West Parkville. Religion: Catholic.

  • Joined Coachmakers’ Union, Melbourne, 1886 and was secretary from 1889, after a thorough reorganisation. Remained a member of the union for 51 years.
  • President, Eight-Hour Committee, Melbourne, 1900s and was a delegate to Melbourne Trades Hall Council (THC) from 1900 to 1937. In 1906-1907 he was a member of the Apprenticeship Commission and in 1917 a member of the Railways Classification Board.
  • Actively associated with Tom Mann, Ben Tillett, Dr Maloney and G. M. Prendergast in the formative years of the Victorian Australian Labor Party. One of first members of Political Labor Council, assisting in framing its constitution.
  • Retired after thirty-eight years as delegate to THC in December 1937. Cause of death: hyperpiesia and coronary thrombosis.

Worker, 10 May 1906; Labor Call, 9 December 1937.

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Citation details

'Gibney, Francis Patrick (Frank) (1864–1938)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Geelong, Victoria, Australia


12 April, 1938 (aged ~ 74)
Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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.

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