You can discover some interesting facts about your family. My great grandfather George Clifford Bodkin Jnr (1867-1930) was a staunch Labor man. He was involved in the early growth of unionism and the development of Labour League politics in NSW. He became a union organiser for, and by 1915 was the Secretary of the Railway Workers’ Branch of the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU). His obituary said he “was one of the best known Labor men in the state” and in 1907 he “introduced the 44 hour week at Lithgow valley which decreased the working hours of men to eight hours.”
His wife Bridget (after whom my third child is named) was known to attend Labor meetings at Sydney Town Hall. She would bang her cane on the wooden floor when she was displeased with what she heard. Their third child was my grandfather Joseph Bodkin (1902-1950). My fourth child is named after him.
At 13 years of age, Joseph started work on railway construction and was a job delegate by the age of 16. From 1924 to 1926, he was an organiser and conference delegate for the Railway Workers’ Industry Branch of the Australian Workers Union. In 1927 he was employed by the Public Works Department. He was later with the Metropolitan, Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board and worked on building the Woronora Dam. He was an organiser for the Water and Sewerage Board Employees Association from 1937 until 1950.