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James Donald (1895–1976)

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This entry is from People Australia

James Donald (1895-1976) carpenter, trade union leader and politician 

Birth: 1 June 1895 at Redbank, Queensland, son of Andrew Donald, Scottish building contractor, and Jessie, née Simpson. Marriage: (1) 27 September 1916 in Ipswich, Queensland, to Mary Jane Dobbie. They had one son and one daughter. Marriage: (2) 11 July 1960 to Hilda Julho Bell Thomlinson. No issue. Death: 4 May 1976 at Ipswich. Religion: Presbyterian. 

  • Educated at Redbank and Ipswich state schools and Ipswich Technical College. Apprenticed as a cabinet maker. Trade teacher at Ipswich Technical College.
  • President Queensland Furnishing Trades Society, 1916. Entered mining industry as winding-engine-driver. Worked at West Moreton coal field. In 1930s was a member of Central Council, Australasian Coal and Shale Employees' Federation and vice-president of Queensland Colliery Employees' Union (QCEU) 1930s; QCEU secretary, 1943-46.
  • President Booval branch of Australian Labor Party. Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Bremer from May 1946 to May 1960 and for Ipswich East from May 1960 to May 1969 (retired). Secretary of the State Parliamentary Labor Party from 1947 to 1969. Supported Chifley government's actions during 1949 coal strike.
  • Queensland Opposition Leader, April to August 1958 (resigned). Member of ALP Federal Conference 1960.
  • Member, Ipswich District Hospital Board. Represented Ipswich at cricket and rugby league. Member of the Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association.
  • Temperance advocate.

Duncan Bruce Waterson and John Arnold, Biographical register of the Queensland Parliament 1930-1989 (Canberra, 1982); Pete Thomas, Miners in the 1970s: a narrative history of the Miners’ Federation (Sydney [1983]); Pete Thomas, The coalminers of Queensland: a narrative history of the Queensland Colliery Employees Union. Volume 1 Creating the traditions (Ipswich, 1986).

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Donald, James (1895–1976)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


1 June, 1895
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia


4 May, 1976 (aged 80)
Ipswich, Queensland, 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.

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