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David Edward (Dave) Lark (1891–1945)

This article was published:

Dave Lark, caricature by Dick Ovenden, 1923

Dave Lark, caricature by Dick Ovenden, 1923

Labor Call (Melbourne), 9 August 1923, p 2

David Edward (Dave) Lark (1891-1945) textile worker and trade union official

Birth: 6 November 1891 at Lobethal, South Australia, son of John James Lark (1859-1928), a loom tuner, later labourer, born at Tavistock, Devon, England, and Bridget, née Gooley (1862-1911), born at Geelong, Victoria. Marriage: 1921 in Victoria to Margaret (Marguerite) Williamson. They had one son. Death: 23 December 1945 at Camberwell East, Melbourne, Victoria. Religion: Catholic. 

  • The family moved to Melbourne about 1900. Dave was probably educated at the Christian Brothers’ school, Abbotsford.
  • Employed at Foy and Gibson’s. Executive member, Woollen and Flock Mill Operatives’ Union, including president. Union changed name to The General Textile Workers’ Federation of Australia. It was de-registered in 1918 and successfully reconstituted, registered as the Australian Textile Workers Union (ATWU).
  • Lark moved to Sydney in 1914 and was employed at J. Vickers & Co. Active in union and worked at linking the Sydney union with the federation.
  • Moved to Warrnambool, Victoria, and became sub-branch secretary of union for district from 1917 to 1920.
  • In 1920 he was elected secretary of the ATWU, Victorian branch. Was federal president of the union from 1923 to 1926.
  • Dave Lark was the federal general secretary of the ATWU from December 1926 to June 1932, and from June 1934 until his death, highly respected for his “quiet, peaceful, lovable nature”. For much of his second term as secretary the federal president was R. R. Downing of NSW.
  • Active in support of union members during World War II, including during a strike of forty thousand textile workers in Sydney and Victoria in September 1941. He acted for a time on the Women’s Employment Board and was a member of the Textile Production Committee.
  • He suffered an extended illness from about June 1944.

Sources
Labor Call
(Melbourne), 9 August 1923, 17 January 1946.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Lark, David Edward (Dave) (1891–1945)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/lark-david-edward-dave-34210/text42924, accessed 14 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Dave Lark, caricature by Dick Ovenden, 1923

Dave Lark, caricature by Dick Ovenden, 1923

Labor Call (Melbourne), 9 August 1923, p 2

Life Summary [details]

Birth

6 November, 1891
Lobethal, South Australia, Australia

Death

23 December, 1945 (aged 54)
Camberwell, Melbourne, Victoria, 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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