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Kenneth Hunter (Ken) Laidlaw (1887–1981)

This article was published:

Ken Laidlaw, n.d.

Ken Laidlaw, n.d.

Kenneth Hunter (Ken) Laidlaw (1888-1981) bank officer and trade union official

Birth: 4 March 1887 at Townsville, Queensland, son of William Hunter Laidlaw (1842-1904), commercial clerk, later accountant, born at Wanlockhead, Newton-Meares, Renfrewshire, Scotland, and his fourth wife, Brisbane-born Harriet, née Westway (1854-192). Marriage: 31 March 1917 at Brisbane, to Violet Rebecca Grose (1884-1971), born in Brisbane. They had two daughters and one son. Death: 2 January 1981 at Freemasons Homes, Sandgate, Brisbane, Queensland. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Joined banking industry in 1903. Foundation member and president of the United Bank Officers’ Association of Queensland in 1919-1921. (In 1965 the union became the Queensland division of Australian Bank Officials Association and in 1978 became the Queensland division of the Australian Bank Employees Union).
  • Upon founding the union he was dismissed but immediately reinstated when employers contacted their solicitors and realised that they would be seen to have acted unlawfully under the Industrial Act at the time.
  • Secretary of the UBOA from 1921 to 1960.
  • Part-time secretary of the Insurance Staffs Federation, the Commercial Travellers’ Union, the Commonwealth Bank branch of UBOA, the Queensland Nurses Association and the Municipal Officers’ Association.
  • Retired, 1960. Upon his retirement the union established a perpetual scholarship known as the ‘Ken Laidlaw Scholarship’ to assist children of union members with a university education.
  • Lived for many years at Auchenflower, where he was sometime president of the local bowling club.
  • Cause of death: congestive cardiac failure, coronary artery disease, renal insufficiency and peptic ulcer.

The Banker
, July-August 1960, p 10; Australian Bank Officer, August 1968; Denis Murphy, Ken Laidlaw, A White Collar Union Leader, (ABEU Qld, Brisbane, 1979.

This person appears as a part of the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 18. [View Article]

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Citation details

'Laidlaw, Kenneth Hunter (Ken) (1887–1981)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Ken Laidlaw, n.d.

Ken Laidlaw, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


4 March, 1887
Townsville, Queensland, Australia


2 January, 1981 (aged 93)
Sandgate, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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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