Labour Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: Use double quotes to search for a phrase

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

John McDonald (1877–1933)

from Labor Daily

This entry is from Obituaries Australia

With the sudden death yesterday of Mr. John McDonald, of Northumberland Avenue, Stanmore, who was secretary of the Ship Painters and Dockers' Union, a prominent and popular figure in the Labor Movement, has passed away.

Mr. McDonald was on a visit to several of his members at Balmain when he collapsed in Darling Street. When taken to Balmain Hospital by Contral Ambulance he was found to be dead.

Born in Glasgow in 1876, he arrived in Australia when 20 years of age. Throughout he has taken a prominent part in Labor's affairs. He was president of the New South Wales branch of the Ship Painters and Dockers' Union for 34 years, and had occupied the position of secretary for over 10 years. For 13 years he was Federal president of the organisation, and only a few weeks ago succeeded to the position of Federal secretary.

Mr. McDonald first joined the Labor Party 33 years ago, and took a leading part in its activities. He was associated with the Stanmore and South Annandale branches for many years, and was on numerous occasions a delegate to annual conferences of the party.

He was president of the Six-Hour Day and Labor Demonstration Committee last year, and at the annual meeting was appointed a trustee. In a big degree he helped to make last last year's procession and art union a pronounced success.

As one of the delegates to the last A.C.T.U. Congress at Melbourne, Mr. McDonald fought all the way with the delegates from New South Wales, and assisted to mould the policy that has been adopted by the movement throughout Australia.

Possessed of a ready wit, Mr. McDonald was held in high esteem by all sections of the Labor Movement. His loss will be keenly felt.

In addition to his union activities, he was a financial trustee of the Trades Hall Association. He was appointed a director of Sydney Hospital in 1927.

He leaves a widow and grown-up family.

The Labor Council last night adjourned as a mark of respect of the late Mr. McDonald. A motion of condolence with the relatives was carried by members standing in silence.

Original Publication

Other Entries for John McDonald

Additional Resources

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'McDonald, John (1877–1933)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 April 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland


9 March, 1933 (aged ~ 56)
Balmain, Sydney, New South Wales, 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.

Key Organisations
Political Activism