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Arthur Stanley Evernden (1869–1962)

This article was published:

This entry is from People Australia

Amalgamated Engineering Union Interstate Conference, Melbourne 1927

Amalgamated Engineering Union Interstate Conference, Melbourne 1927

[Evenden is seated in the middle of the front row]

Arthur Stanley Evernden (1869- 1962) engineer, and gaoled trade union leader 

Birth: 1869 in Ponders End, Middlesex London, England, son of John Stanley Evernden, grocer, and Sophia, née Cory. Marriage: (1) 1897 in Victoria to Margaret Reardon (1869-1939).(2) 8 December 1941 in Randwick, New South Wales, to Kathleen Huntress (1905-1959), bookbinder Death: 23 November 1962 at Balmain, NSW. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Joined Amalgamated Society of Engineers (ASE) in March 1890 in London, having completed two-year apprenticeship. Went to sea for some years with Wilson Hill Line, travelling between London and New York, Lund Line to Australia, and then Howard Smith Co ships trading from Western Australia to Queensland.
  • Then worked in engineering shops in Melbourne and Newport Railway Workshops. Injured in an industrial accident at Federal Spring Works, Melbourne, in July 1910 resulting in the amputation of his left arm.
  • In 1910 elected secretary of Melbourne District Committee of the AEU [Amalgamated Engineering Union].
  • April 1911 appointed special organising delegate, sent to Hobart, Tasmania, to organise branch there. Later went to Castlemaine and Geelong.
  • In 1912 elected full-time organiser, assuming duties in 1913. Apart from two years as arbitration agent for ASE, occupied organising duties until 1922 when elected Chairman of Commonwealth Council of the AEU.
  • In Sydney in April 1924 he was arrested with six other trade union leaders and charged with conspiracy in relation to strike on ‘coffin ship’, Port Lytteton, though he did not ‘allow the uncomfortable night he spent in Long Bay Gaol to influence his generally moderate attitudes towards political and industrial issues’. Strong supporter of federal arbitration. Subsequently acquitted.
  • Remained Commonwealth AEU Council chairman until retirement in June 1935.
  • In retirement in Sydney he was secretary of the Ryde Bowling Club.
  • Cause of death: congestive heart failure and emphysema.

Tom Sheridan, Mindful militants: the Amalgamated Engineering Union in Australia, 1920-1972 (Cambridge, England, 1975); AEU Monthly Journal, Dec 1962; AEU Silver Jubilee Souvenir, 1945; Labor Daily, 13 Jan 1927, p 7 (photo and biographical details):

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Citation details

'Evernden, Arthur Stanley (1869–1962)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Amalgamated Engineering Union Interstate Conference, Melbourne 1927

Amalgamated Engineering Union Interstate Conference, Melbourne 1927

[Evenden is seated in the middle of the front row]

Life Summary [details]


London, Middlesex, England


23 November, 1962 (aged ~ 93)
Balmain, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage

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