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George William Kellaway (1914–1984)

by Wal Stubbings

George Kellaway died in Brisbane General Hospital, July 23, after a short illness.

Over the past 30 years or more George has been a profound influence in the Brisbane branch of the Waterside Workers' Federation, the peace movement and in the struggle for a more equitable society.

He was a respected and trusted job delegate by his fellow workers. Modest to an extreme, George usually had to be prevailed upon to stand for union positions. Such was rank and file trust in his honesty, courage and ability, that he was regularly elected to the branch executive for over twenty years, almost always topping the poll and was a relieving officer on many occasions.

The Waterside Workers' Club has also suffered a grevious loss with George's death. Nobody worked as long to ensure that the club functioned in the interests of the members.

Several visits to the Soviet Union convinced George that a socialist society was the only way in which inequalities would be minimised, orderly social and economic development take place and the threat of world war removed. This was shown in the work George did in the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society and the peace movement.

Although he joined no political party, George's support for the CPA was maintained up to his death even though he had some differences on the CPA position in relation to the USSR.

A top line footballer in his youth, he played for years with the legendary Valley (Diehards) Rugby League Club as did his brother Jack, and for the Brisbane side.

The socialist movement, the peace movement and trade unions have all suffered a profound loss with the death of this modest, fearless and far-sighted comrade.

Original publication

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

Wal Stubbings, 'Kellaway, George William (1914–1984)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


19 September, 1914
Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia


23 July, 1984 (aged 69)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (oesophageal)

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.

Military Service
Key Organisations
Political Activism