Westralian Worker Editor

  Francis Shea, an office junior at the Westralian Worker in 1928, recalls how the staff regarded John Curtin.

Extract from JCPML00013
Interviewer Isla Macphail


MRS SHEA: You know there's a big difference in respect and familiarity. He wasn't familiar. You know how some people are familiar? He wasn't like that. He was friendly without being familiar. He sort of demanded respect for that, I think. It's very hard for me to really - suffice for me to say - to me, he was a great man because he was just the same when I knew him first, his ideals never changed. He was straight from the shoulder. He never gave himself airs and everyone respected him for that.

We all missed him When he went the place didn't seem the same after. We all said the same, "It doesn't seem the same without Mr. Curtin somehow." It didn't seem the same. It was amazing, you know. Mr. Gates was very nice, but we all said the same thing (it's awful).

Everybody was interested in how he was going and all that sort of thing. Then when we had that photo taken we all had to go downstairs - that's typical of what he was like - you know, that photo?

JCPML. Records of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Interview of Frances Shea, 1995. JCPML00013

The photo referred to by Mrs Shea was taken at the instigation of John Curtin and is a group portrait of Curtin with the staff and directors of the Westralian Worker in 1928. View photo.

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