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Samuel Joseph Davey (1889–1966)

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This entry is from People Australia

Samuel Joseph Jenkin Davey (1899-1955) winding-engine driver, alderman, health inspector and trade union official 

Birth, 11 January 1889 at Kooringa, South Australia, son of Samuel Jenkin Davey (1866-1900), boot store manager, and Elizabeth Rowe, née Pascoe (1863-1953). Both parents had been born in SA. Marriage: 7 May 1913 at Thomas Street Methodist church, Broken Hill, New South Wales, to Clara Inez Nankivell (1891-1938), born in South Australia. They had one daughter. Death: 13 April 1966 at Broken Hill. Religion: Methodist. 

  • Went to Broken Hill, NSW, with his parents about 1890. “Took his first job on the Proprietary Mine, working seven days a week” for a weekly wage of eighteen shillings and eight pence. Later became an engine-driver.
  • General president, Federated Engine Drivers and Firemen's Association. President, Barrier branch of FED&FA. President, Broken Hill Sub-branch FED&FA for two terms.
  • President, Barrier District Assembly of ALP including representation at anti-conscription conference in Sydney in 1917 when conscriptionists in Labor Party were expelled. Described in 1923 as a “staunch advocate of One Big Union.
  • Elected alderman on municipal council in January 1919. In a lengthy address in December that year he supported the Bolsheviks in Russia. Unsuccessfully contested preselection as Labor candidate for State seat of Sturt in 1920 and 1924.
  • In February 1928 he was successful in examinations in diploma courses in public health at Sydney Technical College. Immediately resigned from council.
  • Assistant Broken Hill health inspector from November 1931. In January 1937 he was appointed chief health inspector.
  • Member of the hospital board from 1953 and sometime vice-chairman.
  • Retired as Chief Health Officer in March 1956 and was then appointed health consultant.
  • Was a member of Willyama Masonic Lodge, a trustee of the Ancient Order of Foresters, and a trustee of Thomas street Methodist Church. In retirement was a keen bowls enthusiast.

Australian Worker
(Sydney), 20 June 1923 p 1; Barrier Daily Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), 13 April 1966, p 1; Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill, NSW), 14 April 1966, p 3.

Additional Resources

  • profile, Australian Worker (Sydney), 20 June 1923, p 1

Citation details

'Davey, Samuel Joseph (1889–1966)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 July 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Samuel Davey, 1924

Samuel Davey, 1924

Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), 1 September 1924, p 1

Life Summary [details]


11 January, 1889
Kooringa, South Australia, Australia


13 April, 1966 (aged 77)
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism