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John Frederic (Jack) Newman (1899–1991)

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John Frederic (or Frederick) (Jack) Newman (1899-1991) fitter and turner and trade union official 

Birth: 2 August 1899 at Bunbury, Western Australia, son of Charles Henry (Harry) Newman (1863-1930), a fitter, of German heritage [Neumann], born at Pine Creek, South Australia, and Mary (Minnie), née Hancock (1872-1950, of English heritage, born at Roebourne, WA. Marriage: 24 April 1926 at Perth, WA, to Constance Emily Brumpton (1898-1975), born at West Hartle Poole, Stockton, Durham, England. They had one daughter and four sons. Death: 11 August 1991 in Regional Hospital, Geraldton, WA; usual address Fitzgerald Street, Geraldton. 

  • Started work about 1913. Was a wharf labourer when he attempted to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force at Perth on 21 December 1917. Declared permanently unfit for military service due to a dilated heart.
  • Joined Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU) in 1920 after completing apprenticeship. Moved to the metropolitan area after living in a country area in 1928 where he became active in the union in WA, possibly as an organiser.
  • Union representative on cases in arbitration court. Held various branch positions within the older structure of AEU. Unemployed for 16 months with a young family during the Depression and became involved in the unemployed workers movement. Briefly a member in the 1930s of the Communist Party of Australia.
  • Full-time organiser AEU during World War II and up to late 1940s. Expelled from the Australian Labor Party in WA in the 1940s when he failed to attend a meeting of State executive to which he was summoned.
  • Elected minute secretary of the South Melbourne branch of the AEU.
  • President of Geraldton Regional Trades and Labour Council; retired about 1978.
  • Cause of death: cardiac arrest, hypoxia (instantaneous), chronic obstructive airways disease (20 years) and congestive cardiac failure.

News, Sept. 1978; AMWSU Quarterly Journal, July-Sept. 1980 p.31.

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'Newman, John Frederic (Jack) (1899–1991)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

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