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.

Robert Herman York (1868–1933)

from Labor Call

This entry is from Obituaries Australia

Robert York, by George Finey

Robert York, by George Finey

Smith's Weekly, 23 June 1928, p 13

Mr. Robert H. York, Federal Secretary of the Printing Industry Employes' Union; died suddenly at his home in Foster-street, St. Kilda, Melbourne, on Thursday morning last. He was aged 64 years. Mr. York had been on annual leave to Sydney, but before returning to Melbourne it was necessary for him to go to Brisbane (Queensland) on union business. During his journey north and returning he had felt somewhat unwell, but not sufficiently so to cause any uneasiness to himself or his family. He was a most conscientious and painstaking officer, and his sudden removal from this earthly sphere came as a very great shock to his many friends, in Melbourne and Sydney particularly, and throughout the printing trade in Australia generally. Mr. York, who had been secretary of the Union since 1916, leaves a widow, a son (Mr. Walter York, solicitor, of Sydney), and a daughter. In early life Mr. York was an athlete, and he was well known and deservedly liked in Sydney swimming and yachting circles. In 1910-11 he presented the case for the Typographical Society to the New South Wales Arbitration Court, and he was a member of the Printers' Wages Board of that State.

For some time after being appointed Federal Secretary to the P.I.E.U.A. Mr. York resided in Sydney, but as activities of the Union in the Federal Arbitration Court grew, and as the headquarters of the Court were in Melbourne, It was found necessary for Mr. York to remove to Melbourne also, where he was located for the past four or five years. He soon made many friends, for his was a lovable and kindly disposition, and members of his Union in both Sydney and Melbourne will feel in his passing a distinct personal loss. The Trades Hall flag flew at half-mast in respect for the brother.

The funeral took place at Fawkner Cemetery on Saturday morning, and was attended by many trade union leaders. The service at the Crematorium was conducted by Mr. J. W. Baker, of the Church of Christ, who is a member of the Printing Industry Union. Among those present at the service were Mr. W. York (son of deceased), Mr. E. C. Magrath, M.L.C. (N.S.W.), the president of the Melbourne Trades Hall Council (Mr. A. R. Wallis), the secretary of the Master Printers Federation (Mr. A. S. Rundle), Mr. F. W. Richards (trustee of the Printing Industry Employes' Union), Messrs. E. O. Boase (president Victorian Branch), J. S. Toohey (secretary-treasurer), A. M. Leavold (assistant secretary), L. R. Hill (organiser), R. W. Bryan (Federal councillor, and Father of "Labor Call" Chapel). Among others present were the secretary of the Trade Union Salaried Officials' Association (Mr. T. J. Smith), the secretary of the Clothing Trades' Federation (Mr. H. Carter), the secretary of the Boot Trade Employes' Federation, (Mr. A. Long), the secretary of the Locomotive Engine Drivers' Association (Mr. M J. Galvin), the secretary of the Shop Assistants Federation (Mr. W. H. Webber) and Mr. H. Layh (an ex-Federal councillor from Tasmania).

Vale, Comrade York!—to the Valhalla where other valiant Laborites have hung their armour and now rest in peace. The "Call" extends to Mrs. York and her son and daughter its deepest sympathy.

I have striven hard and long
In the world's unequal fight,
Always to resist the wrong.
Always to maintain the right;
Always with a stubborn heart.
Taking, giving, blow for blow;
Brother, I have played my part,
And am weary—let me go.

Stern the world and bitter cold.
Irksome, painful to endure;
Everywhere a love of gold.
Nowhere pity for the poor.
Everywhere mistrust, disguise,
Pride, hypocrisy and show.
Draw the curtain, close my eyes,
I am weary—let me go.

Others, chance, when I am gone,
May restore the battle call;
Bravely lead the good cause on,
Fighting in the which I fall.
God may quicken some good soul
Here to take my place below
In the heroes' muster roll—
I am weary—let me go.

Original Publication

Other Entries for Robert Herman York

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'York, Robert Herman (1868–1933)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Robert York, by George Finey

Robert York, by George Finey

Smith's Weekly, 23 June 1928, p 13

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • York, Robert Hermman

23 February, 1868
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


19 January, 1933 (aged 64)
St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria, 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.

Key Organisations