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Gilbert Jamieson Sinclair (1877–1955)

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Gilbert Jamieson Sinclair  (1877-1955) boilermaker, trade union official, parliamentarian 

Birth: 23 September 1877 in London, England, son of Andrew Sinclair (1839-1884), compositor, and Elizabeth, née Cameron (1840-1917). Both parents had been born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Marriages: (1) 1898 in Sydney, New South Wales, to native-born Margaret Eleanor Mavor (1874-1912). They had three daughters and two sons. (2) 1912 at Balmain, Sydney, to a widow with three children, Ada Christina, née Lambert, late Beaver (1877-1967). They had one daughter. Death: 1 February 1955 at Lidcombe, Sydney. Religion: Presbyterian. 

  • Arrived in Sydney as a child, with his parents and sister aboard the Roslin Castle on 1 March 1883. Educated in Sydney. Was a boilermaker’s apprentice in Sydney. Worked as a boilermaker.
  • Sometime president of the Boilermakers’ Society. Represented members in Arbitration Courts. Secretary of the Sydney branch and first federal secretary of the Boilermakers’ Society of Australia from 1909 to 1942 (resigned).
  • Represented the union on the Trades and Labor Council and Eight-Hours Committee. Secretary of the Metal Trades 44 hour movement, 1921. Played prominent role in campaign against re-introduction of 48 hour week in 1922.
  • Appointed Australian Labor Party member of the Legislative Council on 24 November 1931. His term ceased on 22 April 1934 when the council was abolished. He had nominated for election to the reformed council but failed to be elected.
  • Was expelled from ALP by special conference in 1936 and re-admitted later.
  • Boilermaker in defence works 1942 to 1943.
  • Sentenced in May 1943 to twelve months imprisonment for having embezzled £538 from the Sydney branch of the Boilermaker’s Society between 1936 and 1942.
  • Director 2KY radio station. Keen musician and excellent cornet player. His stepson Herbert Edward Beaver (1897-1958) was station manager for Radio Station 2KY.

Heather Radi, Peter Spearritt & Elizabeth Hinton, Biographical Register of the NSW Parliament 1901-1970 (Canberra, 1979); photo and profile, Labor Daily (Sydney), 13 January 1927, p 6:; Labor Year Book, NSW 1933 pp 174-75 & 1934/5 p 235; Christopher Cunneen, William John McKell: boilermaker, premier, governor-general, (Sydney 2000), pp 33, 38 and 41.

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'Sinclair, Gilbert Jamieson (1877–1955)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


23 September, 1877
London, Middlesex, England


1 February, 1955 (aged 77)
Lidcombe, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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