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Richard Francis (Dick) O'Donnell (1872–1934)

This article was published:

Dick O'Donnell, caricature by Dick Ovenden, 1923

Dick O'Donnell, caricature by Dick Ovenden, 1923

Labor Call (Melbourne), 1 November 1923, p 8

Richard Francis (Dick) O'Donnell (1872-1934) French polisher and trade union official

Birth: 2 September 1872 at West Melbourne, Victoria, son of William O’Donnell (1843-1909), bootmaker, and Mary, née Hennessy (1848-1918). Both parents were born in County Tipperary, Ireland. Marriage: 1904 at West Melbourne to Elizabeth Ann Frances Collins (1882-1957). They had three daughters and three sons. Death: 21 December 1934 in his usual residence at Edgar Street, East Malvern. Religion: Catholic. 

  • In about 1903 he joined a furniture trade union (probably the United Furniture Trade Society of Victoria — from 1909 the Victorian branch of the Federated Furnishing Trade Societies [later Society] of Australasia (FFTSA)).
  • Was an executive officer, including president and auditor. Elected organiser in 1915. Was assistant secretary of the FFTSA, Victorian branch, from about 1913. Membership of union at least doubled from about 1913 to 1926, during his period as assistant secretary.
  • Elected secretary in 1926 following the death of Archie Dobson. Member of the federal executive. Delegate on the Wages Board and on the Trades Hall Council.
  • Union representative on Returned Soldiers' Committee and on the Vocational Training Committee. Retired as secretary in 1932 due to ill-health and was made a life-member of union on retirement.
  • Was an active member of the Australian Labor Party as his union’s representative.
  • A cricket, football and horse-racing enthusiast.
  • Cause of death: arteriosclerosis (indefinite) and cerebral haemorrhage (sudden).

Sources
Labor
Call (Melbourne), 1 November 1923 p 8; Furnishing Worker, 1 February 1935.

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Citation details

'O'Donnell, Richard Francis (Dick) (1872–1934)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/odonnell-richard-francis-dick-34540/text43409, accessed 17 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Dick O'Donnell, caricature by Dick Ovenden, 1923

Dick O'Donnell, caricature by Dick Ovenden, 1923

Labor Call (Melbourne), 1 November 1923, p 8

Life Summary [details]

Birth

2 September, 1872
West Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Death

21 December, 1934 (aged 62)
Malvern, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

arteriosclerosis

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
Key Organisations
Political Activism