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John Henry Currie (1922–1998)

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This entry is from People Australia

John Currie, n.d.

John Currie, n.d.

John Henry Currie (1922-1998) coal miner, trade union official and Communist 

Birth: 26 January 1922 at Blair Athol, Queensland, son of native-born parents Alfred Edward Currie (1882-1937), miner, and Ada Maria, née Walker (1879-1966). Marriage: 30 January 1943 in the District Registrar’s Office, at Bowen, Queensland, to Irene Mary Quin, a Queensland-born typist.  Death: 19 September 1998 at Maryborough, Queensland. 

  • Coal mining unionist and Communist Party of Australia activist from 1930s.
  • In early 1940s was clippers' representative on committee of Collinsville branch of the Queensland Colliery Employees' Union (QCEU). Prominent in 1949 coal strike. In December 1949 was elected branch scrutineer. Elected branch chairman in 1951, retaining position until closure of Collinsville State mine in 1961.
  • Led 1952 staydown strike at mine. Gave evidence to Queensland Royal Commission into Collinsville mine disaster in 1954, in which his half-brother Frederick (Mick) Walker was killed. Prominent in campaign against mine's closure, 1961.
  • After closure was effectively barred from industry, working for a time at Merinda meatworks. In 1964 he secured work as a shot-firer at Moura No.1 underground mine, becoming chairman of the Moura branch of the QCEU.
  • Chairman Combined Mining Unions. Member, Central Council of Australasian Coal & Shale Employees' Federation from 1968 to 1982 (retired). Also vice-president of QCEU, 1979-82.

Sources
Pete Thomas, The coalminers of Queensland: a narrative history of the Queensland Colliery Employees Union. Volume 1 Creating the traditions (Ipswich, 1986).

Citation details

'Currie, John Henry (1922–1998)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://labouraustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/currie-john-henry-33259/text41502, accessed 24 June 2024.

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