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Molloy, Tom (1883–1959)

Tom Molloy at a Credit Union convention, June 1947.
Everett Baker (Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society)

Thomas Mullen Molloy was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia on September 13, 1883. His father worked as a telegrapher at Clarke’s Crossing on the South Saskatchewan River, near Batoche, and relocated to Brandon, Manitoba, where Thomas finished high school. He entered the printing trade and became active in the Typographer’s Union. He worked as reporter as well as a typesetter in Brandon and Winnipeg. He reported on the street railway strike in Winnipeg in 1906, and was chosen by the workers to arbitrate the settlement. Molloy moved to Regina to work on Premier Scott’s Leader. In 1907, as president of the Typographers’ Union, he helped establish the Regina Trades and Labour Council and served as its president. Scott, also a former union typesetter, appointed Molloy as the fair wage officer to supervise the construction of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in 1909.

Molloy was appointed in 1911 as Commissioner of Labour in a new branch of the Agriculture department responsible for labour legislation. He became Deputy Minister of Railways, Labour and Industries in 1927. In this position he was involved behind the scenes in major incidents like the 1931 Bienfait Coal Miners’ Strike and the 1935 On-to-Ottawa Trek, and he administered unemployment relief during the Depression. He retired in 1940. Molloy assisted with the development of credit unions in Saskatchewan by developing legislation in 1937. With Harry Fowler, he helped organize the Regina Co-operative Savings and Credit Union, of which he was president from 1937 to 1940. He was elected president of the newly created Credit Union Federation of Saskatchewan from 1938 to 1952. He served on other local, national and international credit union organizations, and is recognized as the father of credit unions in Saskatchewan. Molloy died in Regina on April 6, 1959.

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Further Reading

Purden, C. 1980. Agents for Change: Credit Unions in Saskatchewan. Saskatoon: Credit Union Central.

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