AIKENS, THOMAS (TOM)

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Personal

Birth Date
29 Apr 1900 (Hughenden, Queensland, Australia)

Death Date
30 Nov 1985 (Townsville, Queensland, Australia)

Parents
John Aikens and Emily (nee Wilkinson)

Marriage
Married - Margaret Ann Myers on 16 Feb 1921, 1 daughter.

Occupation
Railwayman

Education
1. Charters Towers State School
2. Charters Towers High School

Religion
No religion

Career

1. Deputy Mayor of Townsville, 1939 to 1944
2. Alderman, Townsville City Council, 1936 to 1949
3. Deputy Chairman, Cloncurry Shire Council, 1927 to 1930
4. Councillor, Cloncurry Shire Council, 1924 to 1930
5. Locomotive cleaner, fireman and engine driver, Queensland Railways, 1917 to 1944


Party and Political Activities
North Queensland Party (NQP)

Party Positions
1. Secretary, Australian Labor Party, Cloncurry branch, 1933 to 1940
2. Established Hermit Park ALP branch

Parliamentary Representation
HousePartyElectorateFromToDeparture Reason
AssemblyNQLPMUNDINGBURRA 15 Apr 194428 May 1960 
AssemblyNQP TOWNSVILLE 28 May 196012 Nov 1977Defeated


Appointments
DescriptionFromTo
Member, Parliamentary Delegation to New Zealand and South Pacific1970  
Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Pacific Area Travel Association Conference, Jakarta1974  
Member, Select Committee on Punishment of Crimes of Violence1974  


Notes

1. Interests include good music and active in singing and eisteddfod circles.
2. State councillor and delegate, Australian Railways Union and secretary of the Conclurry branch.
3. Patron, Townsville Trades and Labor Council.
4. President, Choral and Orchestral Society.
5. Because of his left-wing politics, Aikens was expelled from the Hermit Park branch of the ALP in 1940. On 8 Oct 1941, the Queensland Central Executive of the ALP unanimously adopted the decision that no member of the ALP could become, or continue to be, a member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship League or other kindred organisation.
6. In 1941, when the Medical Aid to Russia Committee was formed, the Hermit Park branch affiliated with the committee. The Queensland Central Executive demanded that the branch withdraw its affiliation. The Hermit Park branch refused to do so and was expelled from the ALP.
7. The ousted branch formed itself into a new party, the North Queensland Labor Party, in 1942 and Aikens was invited to return to membership, which he did. In 1944 Aikens commenced his 33 years as an Independent when he was elected for the seat of Mundingburra. He became known as the `Voice of the North'.
8. On 31 Oct 1944, the then Minister for Transport, Mr EJ Walsh, and Aikens engaged in fisticuffs in the lobby of the Legislative Assembly. Walsh had goaded Aikens for weeks after a bitterly fought election campaign in which Aikens won the seat of Mundingburra from Labor. Immediately after Walsh tendered his apology to the House for the incident that had occurred.


Sources

1. Waterson, DB and John Arnold, Biographical Register of the Queensland Parliament: 1930-1980, (Canberra: ANU Press, 1982)
2. Lack, Clem, Three Decades of Queensland Political History, 1929-1960 (Brisbane: Government Printer, 1962)
3. Hughes, Colin A, Images and Issues: the Queensland State Elections of 1963 and 1966 (Canberra: ANU Press, 1969)
4. Murphy, D J, R B Joyce and Colin A Hughes, eds., Labor in Power: the Labor Party and Governments in Queensland, 1915-57 (St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1980)
5. Hunt, D. W., 'Aikens, Thomas (Tom) (1900–1985)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/aikens-thomas-tom-12124/text21719, accessed 9 February 2012 <
6. Image courtesy of the State Library of Queensland.



[Last Modified: 05 Nov 2014 12:21]

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