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James Francis (Jim) Keating (1878–1951)

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James Francis (Jim) Keating (1878-1951) labourer and trade union official

Birth: 1878 at Collingwood, Melbourne, Victoria, son of Timothy Keating (1842-1921), labourer, and Margaret, née Madigan (1844-1888). Both parents were born at Shanagolden, County Limerick, Ireland. Marriage: 1903 at North Fitzroy, Victoria, to native-born Catherine Lanphier (1884-1925). They had one daughter. Death: 23 July 1951 at his residence in Brunswick Road, Brunswick, Victoria. Religion: Catholic. 

  • He was probably the James (Jim) Keating who played an important role in 1910 in converting the mostly Melbourne City Council based Corporation Laborers’ Union into the all-embracing Municipal Employees’ Association of Australia. That year he was elected president of the association, commonly referred to as the Municipal Employees Union. In 1912 he was delegate of the MEU to the Trades Hall Council.
  • Keating was elected federal secretary of the MEU in May 1915. Full-time secretary of MEU from 1922 to 1946.
  • The MEU was notable as being one of the first unions to gain a federal award under the Arbitration Act.
  • Cause of death: coronary sclerosis and myocardial degeneration.

Alleyn Best, The History of Municipal Employees’ Union in Victoria, 1888-1985 (Carlton, 1986); Federated Municipal Employees Association of Australia records, Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University.

Additional Resources

  • photo, Labor Call (Melbourne), 29 August 1940, p 4

Citation details

'Keating, James Francis (Jim) (1878–1951)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Collingwood, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


23 July, 1951 (aged ~ 73)
Brunswick, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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