Thomas Arthur

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Port Adelaide Library:

Thomas Arthur
Photo Memorial Committee (Chronicle 1921)
Name added to the west side of Workers' Memorial between 1941 and 1964, died 1936??
Nominated by the Carters and Drivers Union?

Thomas Arthur was born in Spring Street, Queenstown on November 14 1878. He was one of twelve children born to Gilbert and Lydia Arthur. Thomas attended Port Adelaide Primary School and at age 11 passed the compulsory education examination.

At 22 years of age, Thomas married Hannah Hodson at the Holy Trinity Church, North Terrace, Adelaide on December 8 1900.

The family lived in Spring Street Queenstown all their lives in a wood and iron home of 6 rooms and two sleep outs. The Arthur’s maintained a vegetable garden, a cow, chickens and ducks on their property to help with feeding the family.

Thomas was a carter and driver by trade with his own horse-drawn wooden cart, making deliveries for the flour mills and Mallyons. During the depression when work was scarce Thomas went to the country to fell trees for extra income.

Thomas had strong union views, seeking and providing support when there were issues with hours of labor or money. Each year, prior to Labor Day marches in King William Street, the Arthur family would decorate and garland their horse and cart with rosettes made of material and streamers, they would plait their horses tail and paint their carts for the Labor Day Parades.

Thomas was a member of the Workers Memorial Committee and President of the Carters and Drivers Union from 1913-14 for which he received a medal for services to the union. He had a St John Ambulance certificate so he could provide first aid to the injured.

TRADE PICNICS. The employees, of Mallyon, Limited, held their third annual picnic at the Levels on New Year's Day. Eight well filled trollies left Lipson street for the grounds, where, an enjoyable day was spent. Officials:-Messrs. W. Physick chairman, T. Arthur, secretary; S. J. Brodie, treasurer January 11 1913 Advertiser

HORSES IN ACTION at ALBERTON The Port Adelaide Horses in Action Society held its first of many shows at the Alberton Oval. Large crowds participated in and witnessed sporting activities. Thomas Arthur was chairman/president from the outset in 1913 – 1927+

The following persons were, on Thursday appointed by the Executive Council to constitute the Carriers' and Drivers' Wages Board, under the Factories Acts, 1907 to 1910: …Representatives of employees - Thomas Arthur, Queen-street, Queenstown... October 16 1914 Advertiser


On Friday the hearing was resumed in the Industrial Court before his Honor, Mr. President Jethro Brown, of the dispute referred to the court by the Minister of Industry between the Master Carriers' Association and the Drivers' Union (Port Adelaide branch). The dispute had reference to the wages and conditions shunters on the wharfs and hook boys engaged in, the same branch of the carrying industry.

As his Honor held that shunters came under the Carriers Wages Board, only the hook boys claims were proceeded with. Thomas Arthur, a shunter for some years said he was acquainted with the work of hook boys. It was laborious and heavy for the lads at present employed, the boys needed to be intelligent and reliable, as the work was dangerous. The work was more dangerous at night than in the day time… Saturday 1 April 1916 The Advertiser

DISAFFECTED DRIVERS. The carriers and drivers' dispute was continued before the Deputy President of the Industrial Court (Mr. N. A. Webb, S.M.) on Tuesday. Mr. Gunn, M.P., appeared, with Messrs. F. Mclctyre and A. G. Angell, for the Federated Carters and Drivers' Industrial Union of Australia, South Australian branch; Mr. J. E. Stephens, for the. Drivers, Union of Port Adelaide, and Mr. C J. Burge for the Amalgamated Timber Workers' Union of Australia, South Australian branch. Mr. T. S. Poole represented the Master Carriers Association of South Australia (employers).

Continuing his evidence from the previous day, Thomas Arthur, a shunter, said an unskillful man might capsize a trolley. It required great skill to load bales of kapok, on account of the commodity being so light. He believed that the driver was liable for overloading a trolley. Mr. Stephens pointed out that the driver was liable, but that in the majority of instances the employer paid the fine. Mr. Poole admitted that there were gradations so far as the employers were concerned. One would want his pound of flesh, the same as the employee… Wednesday 28 February 1917 The Register

ACORN LODGE No 20 THE BRETHREN of the above Lodge are requested to attend the Funeral of our late Brother. THOMAS ARTHUR, leaving his late residence. 42 Spring street, Queenstown, at 11 am on MONDAY January 13th for the Cheltenham Cemetery W. C. H. HARRY, Secretary.

Thomas died January 12 1936 aged 57 years. – listed after people who died 1941?? Letter daughter: Thelma M Charles dated 06/08/1999 Newspaper articles

Contemporary press clippings: