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Patrick (Paddy) Malloy (1881–1956)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

Paddy Best, n.d.

Paddy Best, n.d.

Patrick (Paddy) Malloy, also known as Patrick Molloy (1881-1956) labourer, storeman, trade union official and Communist

Birth: 28 April 1881 at Broxburn, West Lothian, Scotland, son of Edward Malloy (1861-?), a miner, born at Belfast, Antrim, Ireland, and Matilda, née Sands (1863-1942), born at Inverkeithing, Fife, Scotland. Marriage: 1915 at Camperdown, Sydney, New South Wales, to Mary Josephine Pike (1889-1968), born at Mudgee, NSW. They had one son. Death: 30 September 1956 in hospital at Wollongong, NSW; usual residence 4 Cochrane Street, Wollongong. Religion: family was Catholic. 

  • His father was an invalid for the latter 30 years of his life, so at the age of 12 Paddy started working in the mines in Scotland, as the main bread-winner and eldest of fifteen children. Aged 19 he was reputedly secretary of an anti-war committee during the Boer War.
  • Arrived in Australia about 1910, worked in the mines in Western Australia and moved to NSW in 1911. Worked in the western coalfields and was secretary of the Cullen Bullen Political Labor League. Later settled on the south coast.
  • Secretary of the anti-conscription movement in the district during World I. Active in trade union activities in the Miners’ Federation. Victimised for his militancy, he worked on the western coalfields, was delegate of Cullen Bullen and Tyldesly Miners’ lodges and represented western miners at the 1919 Australian Labor Party Conference before returning to the south coast.
  • Again employed in the mines, he became president and then secretary of the Port Kembla branch of the Australian Workers’ Union. Sometime president of the Wollongong ALP, he was an unsuccessful candidate for the State seat of Wollondilly in May 1925.
  • Initiated a process whereby the Wollongong Labor Party called a meeting of all unions in the district, over which he presided, and a Trades and Labor Council was established in 1926.
  • Worked with the first secretary-organiser Steve Best in 1927 to aid campaigns amongst shop assistants, boiler workers, blacksmiths, nurses and hotel and café workers.
  • In the 1940s established the Keiraville Progress Association.
  • “Rounded off a full and useful life by being active in the Old Age Pensioners’ Association which he helped form into a Commonwealth-wide organization [Tribune]”.
  • In 1949 a children’s playground at Keiraville was named after him in honour of his service to the children of the community. The local newspaper described him as a “fiery, kindly old socialist diehard”.
  • Was always to the left in the ALP and strongly advocated Socialism. Joined the Communist Party of Australia in 1940 and remained active in the party till his death.
  • Cause of death: myocardial degeneration (6 months), pneumoconiosis (years), enlarged prostate (3 months) and suspected cancer of stomach (months).
  • His brother Private Michael Malloy (1893-1915), a miner, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 21 August 1914, served with the 1st Battalion at Gallipoli, and died on 23 May 1915 at sea of wounds received in action on 22 May 1915.

South Coast Labour Council, Official Trade Union Directory and Reference Manual
, 1978-79, pp 9-13, 15-17.

Additional Resources

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Malloy, Patrick (Paddy) (1881–1956)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Paddy Best, n.d.

Paddy Best, n.d.

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Molloy, Patrick

28 April, 1881
Broxburn, West Lothian, Scotland


30 September, 1956 (aged 75)
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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.

Key Organisations
Political Activism