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John Henry O'Toole (1882–1955)

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This entry is from People Australia

John O'Toole, n.d.

John O'Toole, n.d.

John Henry O'Toole (1882-1955) boilermaker and trade union official 

Birth: 1882 at Newcastle, New South Wales, son of Thomas O’Toole (1853-1896), a boilermaker, born in Ballingappoge, Rathdrum, County Wicklow, Ireland, and native-born Catherine Mary, née Weston (1854-1940). Marriage: 1901 at Wallsend, NSW, to Margaret Ann Maddison (1882-1954). They had a daughter and two sons, one of whom died in infancy. Death: 18 June 1955 at Maroubra, Sydney, NSW. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Spent the early years of his life on the lower Clarence River, where his parents lived at Harwood.
  • His father was a foreman boilermaker at the Bullock Island Dyke workshops, Carrington, Newcastle, and had been a foundation member of the Newcastle branch of the Boilermakers’ Society [later Federated Society of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders and Structural Iron and Steel Workers of Australia] of which he was treasurer from 1881 to his death.
  • Young O’Toole learned the trade of boilermaking at the Dyke workshops and at the Newcastle Technical College. Was Employed by the Department of Works, Port Hunter, before working for union.
  • Was a sergeant in “G” company, NSW Irish Rifles Regiment, in the volunteers. A notable rifle shot, he won a silver medal at a Rifle Association prize meeting in Randwick, Sydney in 1907.
  • Held many positions in Boilermakers' union. Was elected assistant secretary of the Federal Council of the boilermakers' society, whose headquarters was at Newcastle, on 20 December 1911 and became general secretary on 7 November 1913 holding office for some thirty-nine years. Advocate in Arbitration and Industrial courts; union representative on the Federal Shipbuilding Tribunal.
  • Federal boilermakers' union transferred to Sydney after WWII and O’Toole moved to Maroubra.
  • Retired in 1949.

Newcastle Morning Herald, 23 December 1949, 21 June 1955; Boilermakers' Report, July 1955 p.131

Additional Resources

  • profile, Newcastle Morning Herald (NSW) 1 January 1935, p 6
  • profile, Newcastle Morning Herald (NSW), 10 January 1939, p 8
  • retires, Newcastle Morning Herald (NSW), 23 December 1949, p 3

Citation details

'O'Toole, John Henry (1882–1955)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

John O'Toole, n.d.

John O'Toole, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia


18 June, 1955 (aged ~ 73)
Maroubra, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

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