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William John (Bill) Hendry (1882–1955)

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William John (Bill) Hendry (1882-1955) school teacher and trade union official

Birth: 22 August 1882 at Mt Korong, Victoria, son of William Hendry, miner, later contractor, and Eliza, née Archer. Marriage: 15 April 1908 at the Presbyterian church, Wellington, New South Wales, to native-born Daisy Jean Davidson (1886-1969). They had two daughters. Death: 14 January 1955 at Sydney, NSW. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Parents moved to the Hillston district, in New South Wales in the late 1880s.
  • Bill entered the service as a teacher at Nyngan in 1898, then taught at Wellington. Assistant teacher at Newtown and Redfern in Sydney.
  • Represented Central Western Rugby Union during Country week in his youth.
  • Member and later secretary, Assistant Teachers’ Association.
  • General secretary of the NSW Public School Teachers’ Federation from 1919.
  • During his long term was frequently in the news, particularly in the 1929-1930 period when, in Bruce Mitchell’s words, “the federation continued its aggressive defence of teachers and public education and resisted suggestions of pay cuts and dismissal of women teachers”. With president Arthur McGuinness, he had a public falling-out with the Minister for Education D.H. Drummond in February 1930.
  • In 1932 when the Lang government were denied access to the banks because of Federal government legal action, Hendry signed cheques making fortnightly payment to the State’s teachers.
  • In 1944 he failed to secure re-election as secretary of the Teachers’ Federation and retired on a pension.
  • A “keen and enthusiastic” Rugby Union footballer. Also enjoyed fishing.
  • Cause of death: carcinoma, metastases in the brain and bones, carcinoma of the prostate.

, 29 April 1944, 9 February 1955.

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Citation details

'Hendry, William John (Bill) (1882–1955)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Bill Hendry, 1919

Bill Hendry, 1919

Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 19 March 1919, p 6

Life Summary [details]


22 August, 1882
Wedderburn, Victoria, Australia


14 January, 1955 (aged 72)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (prostate)

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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