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Patrick David (Pat) McGarry (1924–1992)

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Patrick David (Pat) McGarry (1924-1992) tailor and trade union official 

Birth: 30 December 1924 at Redcliffe, Queensland, son of James Joseph McGarry (1883-1941), butcher, born at Dublin, Ireland, and Harriett (Hart), née Brazier (1887-1976), born at Croydon, Surrey, England. Marriage: 7 April 1947 at Brisbane to Queensland-born Dulcie Florence Spencer (1923-2011). They had two daughters and two sons. Death: 19 October 1992 in Mount Olivet Hospital, Kangaroo Point, Queensland. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Prior to 1943 he had attended courses as a flight rigger and fitter with the Royal Australian Air Force.
  • Was an apprenticed tailor with Christison & Burnett, in Adelaide Street, Brisbane, when he enlisted in the RAAF on 19 January 1943. Served as leading aircraftman in Queensland and New South Wales. Demobilized on 13 March 1946.
  • After his discharge he completed his indenture. A devout Catholic, Pat was anti-communist and a supporter of the breakaway Queensland Labor Party.
  • In 1957 he organised campaign of opposition to long-time secretary of the Queensland branch of the Clothing & Allied Trades' Union, Bill Sparks. Declined offer of organiser's job.
  • In April 1958 he successfully moved motion of no confidence in Spark's leadership, precipitating federal intervention and Spark's resignation.
  • Elected branch secretary in January 1959, but was left politically isolated by decline of Grouper influence in other branches. Remained sympathetic to Democratic Labor Party. May have retired in 1970s.
  • Cause of death: malignant melanoma.

Sources
Bradon Ellem, In women’s hands? A history of clothing trades unionism in Australia (Sydney, 1989).

Additional Resources

Citation details

'McGarry, Patrick David (Pat) (1924–1992)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/mcgarry-patrick-david-pat-34425/text43210, accessed 17 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Pat McGarry, 1943

Pat McGarry, 1943

National Archives of Australia, A9301, 123352

Life Summary [details]

Birth

30 December, 1924
Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia

Death

19 October, 1992 (aged 67)
Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (skin)

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.

Occupation
Military Service
Key Organisations