Jack Abfalter

Abfalter, John Ignatius (Jack) (-1967)

B.Clare, SA, M. ‘Mrs Abfalter’. D. Surrey Hills, Vic,.1967, 2s (both predeceased father- one died as POW, WW II

1904- Left Clare, SA to work as conductor, later motorman with Auckland Electric Tramway Company. Accomplished athlete, playing Australian Rules in SA and NZ, representing NZ in Australian Rules tour of Australia 1908, as well as rugby with Ponsonby Tramway Football Club. 1909 worked for Cable Tramways, Melbourne, attached to Fitzroy Sheds as conductor; 1910 appointed motorman in new electric Prahran and Malvern Tramways Trust.

November 1910 seconded motion to form Union of Tramway Employees at meeting at Malvern, Victoria; nominated as secretary of union but declined, instead becoming a member of union executive 1910-1931. Resigned September 1915 from tramway job to take up full-time industrial duties as advocate and organiser. ATEA General Secretary, 1936-1946 and General President 1932-1942. Retired from union positions, 1947. Highly regarded in tramway circles in both Australia and NZ, visited every tramway system in Australia and appeared before most arbitration court judges since H.B. Higgins. ‘Fearless fighter in the interests of tramway workers’.

The Tramway Record, 25 February 1926; 14 March 1947; July 1956; July 1967

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