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William (Bill) Casey (1889–1949)

from Courier-Mail

This entry is from Obituaries Australia

Mr. W. [William] (Bill) Casey, secretary of the Queensland branch of the Seamen's Union, died in the Brisbane Hospital on Wednesday night.

Mr. Casey, who was 61, had been secretary of the Queensand branch, except for brief periods, for more than 20 years. He had been ill for about 12 months.

He was born of Irish parents in Manchester, England, and in his youth sailed before the mast between England and America. After the Russian Revolution in 1917 he was one of the first foreigners allowed into Russia.

In the early days of Australian industrialism he became famous for the songs and the amount of doggerel he wrote. One of his songs read:

I know the Arbitration Act
Like a sailor knows his riggins.
And if you want a small increase,
I'll talk to Justice Higgins.

In recent years Mr. Casey played a retiring part in Queensland unionism, but his advice and industrial philosophy were often translated into effective action by other officials.

Original Publication

Other Entries for William (Bill) Casey

Additional Resources

  • profile, Daily Standard (Brisbane), 6 January 1936, p 4
  • tribute, Sun (Sydney), 26 October 1949, p 19

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Casey, William (Bill) (1889–1949)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 April 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Manchester, England


19 October, 1949 (aged ~ 60)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (lung)

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.

Key Organisations
Political Activism