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Henry William (Harry) Massey (1883–1965)

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Henry William (Harry) Massey [registered as William Henry] (1883-1965) printer and trade union official

Birth: 21 November 1883 in Queensland, registered as William Henry, son of Daniel Wright Massey (1846-1915), butcher, and Elizabeth, née Williams (1847-1933). Both parents had been born in Gloucestershire, England — Daniel at Chedworth and Elizabeth at Withington. Marriage: 28 September 1912 in Queensland to native-born Ann Scott (1890-1983). They had two daughters. Death: 15 November 1965 in a convalescent home at Herston, Brisbane, Queensland [registered as William Henry Massey]. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Though his birth and death names were registered as “William Henry” his marriage and electoral roll entries were as “Henry William”.
  • Served apprenticeship with E. Powell; the firm later became Powells and Puglas.
  • In 1908 he joined Queensland Typographical Association, which later became Queensland branch of the Printing Industry Employees’ Union of Australia (PIEUA). Participated in 1912 general strike as a union member.
  • Member of the board of management of the Queensland Typographical Association about 1912. Was involved in launching PIEUA in 1916. Elected organiser of branch from 1922 to 1939. Took over from Col Colborne as secretary-Treasurer of the Qld branch from 1939 until he retired in 1954.
  • Visited every Qld sub-branch of the union to help to stabilise them and to detect breaches in award conditions. Union branch councillor, Federal council, from 1938 to 1954. Served for thirty-one years as a full-time official of the union. Sports secretary of the Eight Hours Union, later called Labor Day Committee.
  • Early in life was a notable sprint runner with the Kelvin Grove Amateur Athletic Club; won the Dave Scott Memorial 100 yards race in 1909. Later became a starter for the Queensland Amateur Athletic Association.
  • Cause of death: cerebral haemorrhage (2½ hours) cerebral arteriosclerosis causing arteriosclerotic dementia for 12 months (years).

Printing Trades Journal
, April 1939, November 1953 p 119.

Additional Resources

  • photo, Daily Standard (Brisbane), 20 August 1925, p 8
  • photo, Telegraph (Brisbane), 1 April 1939, p 9
  • athletic profile, Truth (Brisbane), 18 April 1948, p 13

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Massey, Henry William (Harry) (1883–1965)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Massey, William Henry

21 November, 1883
Queensland, Australia


15 November, 1965 (aged 81)
Herston, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death


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