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John Bartholomew (Jack) Curtain (1908–1962)

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This entry is from People Australia

John Bartholomew (Jack) Curtain, also known as John Curtin (1908?-1962) meatworker, waterside-worker and trade union leader 

Birth: [reputedly on 7 July 1908] at O.K., via Chinchilla, Queensland, son of Irish-born parents William James Curtin (1885-1925), waterside worker, and Mary, née Kennedy 1886-1961). Marriage: 27 September 1933 in the Congregational church at Rockhampton, Queensland to native-born Elizabeth Mary ‘Bess’ Ogilvie (1911-1960), a tailoress. They had two sons and two daughters. Death: 26 July 1962 in St Andrew’s Hilcrest Hospital, Rockhampton. Religion: Presbyterian.

  • Militant meatworker and member of Australasian Meat Industries Employees’ Union.
  • In 1936 became waterside worker, joining Waterside Workers’ Federation (WWF). 1945, elected secretary of Rockhampton branch of WWF. 1948, elected to Federal Council. 1950-62 Senior vice-president.
  • Life member, Central Queensland Rugby League and well-known referee.
  • Cause of death cardiac failure, hypertension and cerebral thrombosis (mild).
  • Age on his death certificate is given as 52.

Margo Beasley, Wharfies: the history of the Waterside Workers’ Federation (Rushcutters Bay, 1996); Maritime Worker, 22 June 1960, 1 August 1962, 15 August 1962.

Citation details

'Curtain, John Bartholomew (Jack) (1908–1962)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Curtin, John Bartholomew

7 July, 1908
Chinchilla, Queensland, Australia


26 July, 1962 (aged 54)
Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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.

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