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Aikens, Thomas (Tom)

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Personal


Birth Date: 29 April 1900 (Hughenden, Queensland, Australia)

Death Date: 30 November 1985 (Townsville, Queensland, Australia)

Parents: John Aikens and Emily (nee Wilkinson)

Family: Margaret Ann Myers on 16 February 1921, 1 daughter

Education: Charters Towers State School; Charters Towers High School

Religion: No religion

Career

Locomotive cleaner, fireman and engine driver, Queensland Railways, 1917 to 1944

Party Positions:

  1. (ALP) Established Hermit Park ALP branch
  2. (ALP) Secretary, Australian Labor Party, Cloncurry branch, 1933 - 1940

Local Government Service: Deputy Mayor of Townsville, 1939 to 1944; Alderman, Townsville City Council, 1936 to 1949; Deputy Chairman, Cloncurry Shire Council, 1927 to 1930; Councillor, Cloncurry Shire Council, 1924 to 1930


Parliamentary Representation:

House Party Electorate From To Elected/Departure Reason
Assembly NQLP Mundingburra 15 Apr 1944 28 May 1960 Seat abolished
Assembly NQP Townsville South 28 May 1960 12 Nov 1977

Parliamentary Service

Description From To
Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Pacific Area Travel Association Conference, Jakarta 1974
Member, Select Committee on Punishment of Crimes of Violence 1974
Member, Parliamentary Delegation to New Zealand and South Pacific 1970

Additional Information

Notes: Interests include good music and active in singing and eisteddfod circles. State councillor and delegate, Australian Railways Union and secretary of the Conclurry branch. Patron, Townsville Trades and Labor Council. President, Choral and Orchestral Society. 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. 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. 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'. 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: Image sourced from the collection of the Queensland Parliamentary Library and Research Service; Hunt, DW, Aikens, Thomas (Tom) (1900–1985), Australian Dictionary of Biography (Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 2007); Murphy, DJ, RB 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); Hughes, Colin A, Images and Issues: the Queensland State Elections of 1963 and 1966 (Canberra: ANU Press, 1969); Lack, Clem, Three Decades of Queensland Political History, 1929-1960 (Brisbane: Government Printer, 1962); Waterson, DB and John Arnold, Biographical Register of the Queensland Parliament: 1930-1980 (Canberra: ANU Press, 1982)

[Last Modified: Tuesday, 20 June 2017]