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Ruby Centennial Keating (1888–1974)

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Ruby Centennial Keating, née Perry (1888-1974), housewife, political worker and social activist 

Birth: 28 February 1888 at Glebe, Sydney, daughter of Emanuel Perry (c.1848-1888), labourer, born in Florida, United States of America, and native-born Catherine (‘Hettie’), née Hoskins, later Hurley (1863-1898). Marriage: 1906 in West Maitland to native-born Edward John Keating (1886-1948), labourer. They had three sons and four daughters. Death: 1 May 1974 in Sydney. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Her father, reputedly of Spanish heritage, died when she was a baby and her mother died from pulmonary tuberculosis in 1898.
  • Ruby became interested in politics through the anti-conscription movement in World War I and joined the Australian Labor Party about 1918. Was treasurer of Leichhardt branch of ALP for four years. Vice-president, Marrickville North branch ALP.
  • Member of Labor Women’s Central Organising Committee (WCOC) from its foundation. Helped to secure donations for the use of a building and to furnish it. Honorary treasurer WCOC for 2 yrs. Regular delegate to ALP conferences.
  • Active supported unemployed women in Sydney during the 1930s Depression.
  • Committee member for City hostel for homeless girls.
  • In 1940 was a member of the Daily News Women’s Association.
  • One of the first members of the Anti-T.B. Association, for which she regularly sold buttons at its Martin Place stall. She also did a lot of church work.
  • Remained very active politically to the 1970s, as a member of the Pagewood branch of the ALP and of the women's committee.

Information from Sue Tracey 1997. ALP Woman Magazine Special Diamond Jubilee Issue, Feb. 1964; Lyb, 1933 p.171, 1934-35 p.232; H. J. Gibbney & A. G. Smith, A Biographical Register 1788-1939, vol 1 (Canberra, 1987), p 385.

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Citation details

'Keating, Ruby Centennial (1888–1974)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Ruby Keating, 1936

Ruby Keating, 1936

Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 11 April 1936, p 7

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Perry, Ruby Centennial

28 February, 1888
Glebe, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


1 May, 1974 (aged 86)
Sydney, 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.

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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