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Gilbert Edward (Gil) Hayes (1908–1991)

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Gilbert Edward (Gil) Hayes (1908-1991) bootmaker, trade union official

Birth: 1908 at Carlton, Victoria, son of native-born parents George Hayes (1883-1954), baker and trade union official, and Bertha Hannah, née Fort or Forte (1883-1974). Marriage: 1932 at Brunswick, Victoria, to native-born Rene Jean Wells (1907-1968). They had a daughter and one son. Death: 4 March 1991 at Heidelberg, Victoria; usual residence East Ivanhoe. 

  • His father was secretary of the Bakers’ Union, Victoria, and president of the Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party.
  • Gil attended Essendon High School. Gained work as shoe repairer in 1923; Apprenticed at Grosby Shoe Co.
  • Joined Australian Boot Trade Employees’ Federation in 1925. Shop President at Grosby Shoe Co. in 1933. Executive member, Australian Boot Trades Employees Federation 1935, vice-president 1938, president, Victorian branch and federally 1940 and 1941.
  • Full-time assistant secretary, Australian Boot Trades Employees’ Federation (ABTEF), Victorian branch, 1941. Secretary from 1948. Delegate to Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) and president 1949 and 1950. Strong opponent of Communism.
  • Represented VTHC on interstate executive of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). Participated in International Labour Organisation conferences at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1950 and 1965.
  • Member of first official ACTU delegation to China in 1957. Represented ACTU at the New Zealand Federation of Labour Conference.
  • President, Victorian Equal Pay for the Sexes Committee, in the mid-1950. Represented VTHC on Victorian Apprenticeship Commission. Federal Executive member and president, ABTEF.
  • Member of the Australian Labor Party from 1920 to 1976, when he retired.
  • Other members of the family were also active trade unionists: at one stage George’s daughter and four sons were all shop stewards.
  • Cause of death: acute renal failure, carcinoma rectum, prostatomegaly and carcinoma colon.

Labor Call
, 20 November 1947, p.4; Unity, March 1977, December 1978; Herald (Melbourne), 28 February 1949, 6 June 1949, 8 July 1949, 17 March 1977.

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'Hayes, Gilbert Edward (Gil) (1908–1991)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

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