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Theophilus (Theo) Kissick (1894–1984)

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Theophilus (Theo) Kissick (1894-1984) train driver and trade union official

Birth: 26 April 1894 at Samford, Queensland, son of James Kissick (1863-1913), farmer, and Margaret, née O’Neill (1866-1947). Both parents had been born in County Derry, Ireland. Marriages: (1) 16 September 1916 at Brisbane to Agnes Evelyn Milady (1890-1925). They had three daughters. (2) 26 February 1932 at Brisbane to Queensland-born Rose Mary Tuite (1897-1963). Death: 15 October 1984 in a nursing home at Herston, Queensland. 

  • Grew up in Samford. Was a cleaner in the Railway Service, Queensland in 1910. Qualified as a fireman in 1913. Train driver in 1922.
  • State executive member of the Queensland branch of the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen (AFULE) from 1924. State divisional president of the AFULE, Queensland, from 1925 to 1956 (mostly continuous).
  • President Queensland Transport Council 1931. Elected a member of the Australian Council in 1947. Federal executive member of union 1943.
  • Chairman 8-hour Committee 1928. Represented union in Industrial Court and Inquiry and Appeal Board hearings. Recipient of life membership and a Gold Medallion by the Federal Council.
  • A member of the Australian Labor Party, in September 1934 he contested the Australian Senate elections as an independent Labor candidate — in protest at a decision of the Queensland ALP’s central executive — and was expelled from the party.
  • Played a significant role in the Brisbane railway strike of 1948. Retired from Queensland Government Railways in 1960.
  • Cause of death: cerebral thrombosis and atherosclerosis.

Locomotive Journal
, 23 November 1938 p 3, 11 October 1945, November - December 1984, January-February 1985 p 5; Labor Year 1934-1935, p 232; papers held by the Fryer Library, University of Queensland.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Kissick, Theophilus (Theo) (1894–1984)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


26 April, 1894
Samford, Queensland, Australia


15 October, 1984 (aged 90)
Herston, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

cerebral thrombosis

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