HICKEY, Patrick Hodgens
A new biography of Hickey, Patrick Hodgens appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
Patrick Hickey was born in Waimea South on 19 January 1882, the son of a small farmer of Irish origin. He worked in the Denniston coal mines and spent several years in the western United States, where he joined the Socialist Party. In 1906 he returned to New Zealand and soon made a name for himself on the West Coast as a socialist propagandist. Hickey was one of the leaders of the Blackball miners' strike in 1908 and was a founder, with Robert Semple, and Patrick Webb, of the Miners' Federation which later became the “Red” Federation of Labour. A brilliant speaker and an able writer, Hickey was the spokesman of the radical wing inside the federation. In 1913 he was elected secretary-treasurer of the new United Federation of Labour, but in 1915 he left with his family for Australia where he took part in the anti-conscription campaign.
In 1920 Hickey returned to New Zealand to edit the Maoriland Worker. After contesting the Wellington mayoralty in 1921, he moved to Auckland where he started his own printing business. In 1925 he contested the Invercargill seat on behalf of the Labour Party but in the following year he again left for Australia. At the time of his death, in 1930, he was a member of the town council of Abbotsford in Victoria.
by Herbert Otto Roth, B.A., DIP.N.Z.L.S., Deputy Librarian, University of Auckland.
- “Red” Fed Memoirs, Hickey, P. H. (1925).