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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

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Frederick Henry (Fred) Matzkows (1895–1981)

by Frank Bishop

Fred [Frederick Henry] Matzkows, a comrade of 52 years' CPA membership, died in Townsville Hospital on Thursday, February 12 from injuries received in a car accident. Despite his 85 years, Fred Matzkows was still an active communist in the Townsville district of the party.

The oration at his cremation, attended by 83 people, was conducted by an old associate in the Australian Railways Union.

An ex-engine driver, Fred was northern district president of the Australian Railways Union in the early 1940s. He was heavily involved in the successful campaign by train crews to limit working hours during World War II to 48 hours per week.

In the nine-week state-wide rail stoppage in 1948, Fred was involved in negotiations and in organising strike relief.

In 1944 Fred was appointed to the Townsville City Council and served on the parks, reserves and health committee. He was one of three communist aldermen on the council in the forties (Fred Paterson was one of the others).

At this time he was secretary of the Trades and Labor Council, a position he held for 23 years. He was treasurer of the Pensioners League for 20 years, and occupied many different party positions in the Townsville district. In all his work he was respected by friend and foe alike.

Fred was a regular donor to Tribune. He donated some $2,000 about two and a half years ago to Trib when he sold his house.

Tribune expresses condolences to Fred's daughter.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • photo, Telegraph (Brisbane), 24 November 1944, p 3
  • photo, Courier-Mail (Brisbane), 23 November 1951, p 6

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

Frank Bishop, 'Matzkows, Frederick Henry (Fred) (1895–1981)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Matzkows, Friedrich Heinrich

24 November, 1895
Maryborough, Queensland, Australia


13 February, 1981 (aged 85)
Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

motor vehicle accident

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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