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John James (Jack) McDonald (1869–1934)

This article was published:

Jack McDonald, caricature by Dick Ovenden, 1923

Jack McDonald, caricature by Dick Ovenden, 1923

Labor Call (Melbourne), 17 May 1923, p 7

John James (Jack) McDonald (1869-1934) trade union official and politician 

Birth: 21 July 1869 at East Ballarat, Victoria, son of Michael McDonald (1842-1920), cordial manufacturer and ginger beer brewer, and Katherine, née Cosgrave (1841-1886). Unmarried. Death: 19 June 1934 at Bacchus Marsh, Victoria. Religion: Catholic. 

  • His father was closely identified with the Irish home rule cause in Victoria, and was president of the Land League and of its successor the Irish National League.
  • Jack was educated at Christian Brothers’ College, East Melbourne. Travelled widely in Britain, America and South Africa and spent two years as a student at Royal University, Dublin.
  • Manager in stockraising business for his father for three years. Moved to Western Australia in 1895.
  • Prospected for gold in many areas of the state 1895-1908. Moved to Carnarvon district in north west of WA and worked in pastoral district in 1908 and became active with the Australian Workers’ Union. Became “well-known among the shearing sheds’ and a friend of Philip Collier’s..”
  • Was elected Labor member of the Legislative Assembly for Gascoyne on 16 October 1911. Did not seek re-election in 1914.
  • Lived in Highgate 1913-1914. Returned to Victoria in 1914. Employed in soft drink (aerated waters) factory until 1921.
  • Joined Federated and Allied Liquor Trade Employees’ Union of Australia, Victoria branch, in 1914. Union representative to Trades Hall in 1915. Member of the committee of management of the Liquor Trades Union as Aerated Waters representative in the same year. Vice-president of the union in 1915 and president 1916-1918, he was elected assistant secretary in 1921. Held office until his death.
  • Was prominent in both anti-conscription campaigns. Executive member of the Victorian Irish Association at his death.
  • Cause of death: angina pectoris and cardiac failure.

Sources
David Black and Geoffrey Bolton, Biographical register of members of the parliament of Western Australia 1870-1930 (Perth, 201); Cyclopedia of Western Australia Vol. 1 1912; Labor Call, 9 March 1922, 28 June 1934 p 9; Alleyn Best The History of the Liquor Trades Union in Victoria (North Melbourne,199)0.

Additional Resources

  • profile, Northern Times (Carnarvon, WA), 28 October 1911, p 6
  • photo, Western Mail (Perth), 2 December 1911, p 25
  • profile, Labor Call (Melbourne), 17 May 1923, p 7

Citation details

'McDonald, John James (Jack) (1869–1934)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/mcdonald-john-james-jack-34067/text42716, accessed 25 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Jack McDonald, caricature by Dick Ovenden, 1923

Jack McDonald, caricature by Dick Ovenden, 1923

Labor Call (Melbourne), 17 May 1923, p 7

Life Summary [details]

Birth

21 July, 1869
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

Death

19 June, 1934 (aged 64)
Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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.

Education
Occupation
Key Organisations
Political Activism
Workplaces