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Patrick John (Jack) Mallon (1904–1970)

Patrick John (‘Jack’ or 'Paddy') Mallon, known as Patrick Malone (c.1904-1970) builders’ labourer, Communist, trade union leader 

Birth: 7 March 1904 in Derrycrin, (Conyngham), county Tyrone, Ireland, son of Joseph Mallon, farmer, and Rose Jane, née Bannigan, machinist. Marriage: 17 December 1938 in St Peter’s Anglican Church, Melbourne, to Doris ‘Dorrie’ Helena Banfield. Death: 14 October 1970 in Melbourne, Victoria. 

  • The eldest of six brothers he was sent by his father to work on a farm when aged 13. Aged 15 he sided with the Irish Republican Army to fight for Irish independence.
  • Arrived in Melbourne aboard the Moreton Bay on 18 August 1927, worked for the State Rivers Commission and joined the Australian Workers’ Union. Out of work by 1929 he travelled to Cairns, Queensland, to work as a canecutter.
  • In 1934 returned to Melbourne where he worked on building sites. Was State secretary of the Victorian Builders Labourers’ Federation from 1941 to his death and member of the BLF’s federal council for a similar period. Mentor of Norm Gallagher.
  • Paddy Malone was a member of the Communist Party of Australia from about 1941 and of its central committee from about 1956. In 1950 he was named by the Menzies government as one of the “traitorous minority” and was a witness before Justice Lowe’s Royal Commission on Communism.
  • In 1963 he resigned from CPA to help establish and lead CPA (Marxist-Leninist), which claimed allegiance with China in contrast to Russia’s policy of peaceful coexistence with the West, and caused schism within the CPA.
  • Remembered as quietly spoken, “tall, handsome, good natured, with a slight Irish brogue, a good speaker and adviser”. Suffered from effects of cancer in his later years.

John Playford, Doctrinal and strategic problems of the Communist Party of Australia, 1945-1962, PhD thesis, ANU, 1962, p 426; Merrifield Card Index; Herald, 13? June 1963, 3 September 1964; Sun (Melbourne), 28 March 1964?, 15 October 1970; Age (Melbourne), 15 October 1970 pp 4 & 21; Humphrey McQueen, We built this country: builders’ labourers and their unions, 1787 to the future (Port Adelaide, 2011), pp 167-168.

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Citation details

'Mallon, Patrick John (Jack) (1904–1970)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Malone, Patrick John

7 March, 1904
Derrychrin, Tyrone, Ireland


14 October, 1970 (aged 66)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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