People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

John (Jack) Pillans (1892–1964)

This article was published:

Jack Pillans, n.d.

Jack Pillans, n.d.

John (Jack) Pillans (1892-1964) compositor and trade union official

Birth: 1 April 1892 at Hartley Vale, Lithgow, New South Wales, son of Scottish parents from Lanarkshire, Robert Pillans (1860-1941), miner and trade union official, born at Wilsontown, Carnworth, and Grace, née Blackley (1862-1951), born at Crossgates, Carluke. Marriage: 10 February 1917 at St Mary’s Presbyterian Church, Lithgow, to Lithgow-born Mabel Constance Sassall (1892-1989). They had one son. Death: 15 February 1964 at Sydney. Religion: Presbyterian. 

  • Apprentice compositor at Lithgow Mercury. Joined NSW Branch of Typographical Association in 1912. Office representative on Typographical Association. In his youth he was an active member of the Presbyterian Men’s League in Lithgow.
  • Applied to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force in September 1916 but was rejected for “deficient physical development”.
  • Linotype operator on Evening News in Sydney in September 1916. Worked on Daily Telegraph and at Mirror newspapers.
  • Representative from Machine Composing Advisory Committee on Board of Management of Typographical Association, 1926. Vice-president of the NSW branch of Typographical Association, from 1927 to 1928. NSW branch president of the Printing Industry Employees’ Union of Australia from 1930 to 1945 (retired at least temporarily due to illness). NSW branch councillor from 1932 to 1938 and from 1941 to 1944.
  • Federal president of the PIEUA from September 1937 to 1944. Retired from union in 1957.

, 9 February 1945 p.1; Printing Trades Journal, 10 June 1930, January 1945 p 3, March 1964 p 36. 

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Pillans, John (Jack) (1892–1964)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 February 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Jack Pillans, n.d.

Jack Pillans, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


1 April, 1892
Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia


15 February, 1964 (aged 71)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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.

Key Organisations