Vale Benny Carslake, comrade and union stalwart

Published: 30 Apr 2021

Benny Carslake has died this morning in Adelaide aged 74.

Benny was one of the giants of the CFMMEU and the Australian trade union movement.

Benny was a bricklayer who organised other bricklayers in housing as well as the commercial industry.

He worked as an organiser and became branch secretary of the SA Building Workers Industrial Union.

He was a founding member of the CFMEU, as construction division SA Branch Secretary. A member since April 1975, he was made a life member of the CFMEU at the National Conference in Adelaide in 2019. Benny believed in the united front and always worked to build unity amongst workers and politically progressive elements.

Benny was a member of the Socialist Party of Australia, later the CPA.

He was an active participant in the peace movement, anti-bases protests, and the anti-nuclear movement.

He was a charismatic and popular person and was much loved by members and comrades in other branches and other unions.

Benny helped turn the Semaphore Club from a bastion of the Adelaide establishment to a hub for unionists, socialists and blues music. Benny was a stalwart of Mayday in Adelaide.

He will be sadly missed by his comrades in the CFMMEU and the wider union movement.


Dave Noonan
CFMEU National Construction Secretary