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David Henry Johnstone (1877–1969)

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David Henry Johnstone (1877-1969) bootmaker, trade union official 

Birth: 20 March 1877 at Waterloo, Sydney, New South Wales, son of Robert Johnstone (1830-1908), born at Dundee, Scotland, and native-born Sophia, née Bailey (1840-1920). Marriage: 1905 at Leichhardt, Sydney, to Louisa Edwards (1875-1939). They had two daughters. Death: 3 July 1969 at Coffs Harbour, NSW. 

  • Connected with the boot trade union from about 1899. General secretary of the Australian Boot Trade Employees’ Federation, NSW branch, from at least 1911 to 1926.
  • Defeated as endorsed Political Labor League candidate for State seat of Botany in 1913. His opponent Fred Page, the sitting Labor member, had been refused party endorsement. The Worker reported that “The State Labor Party is seeking by unconstitutional means, and in defiance of the decision of the special P.L.L. Conference, to compel Mr Johnstone’s retirement in favor of Mr. Page, the sitting member, who was refused endorsement owing to his attitude upon the Referendum. Mr. Johnstone is determined to stand upon his rights, and is supported by his Union, as well as by the Electorate Council and most of the local Leagues”.
  • In December 1926 he was appointed joint secretary of the Boot Manufacturers’ Association and the Boot Manufacturers’ Mutual Indemnity Association.
  • Employers’ representative on the Federal Women’s Employment Board until he retired in November 1942.

(Wagga Wagga), 21 August 1913 p 13, 13 November 1913 p 3.

Additional Resources

  • profile, Worker (Wagga, NSW), 21 August 1913, p 13
  • profile, Australian Worker (Sydney), 13 November 1913, p 5
  • profile, Sun (Sydney), 1 December 1926, p 19

Citation details

'Johnstone, David Henry (1877–1969)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 February 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

David Johnstone,

David Johnstone,

Worker (Wagga, NSW), 21 August 1913, p 13

Life Summary [details]


20 March, 1877
Waterloo, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


3 July, 1969 (aged 92)
Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia

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.

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