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Davies, David John (Dai) (1889–1978)

This entry is from People Australia

David John (‘Dai’) Davies (1889-1978) coal miner and trade union leader 

Birth: 23 November 1889 at Vale of Clwydd, Lithgow, New South Wales, son of Welsh immigrant William Davies, coal miner, and native-born Matilda, née Gray. Marriage: 1915 in Hurstville, Sydney, New South Wales, to Irene Louisa Stewart. They had two sons and two daughters. Death: 26 September 1978 at Hornsby, Sydney. Buried Catholic cemetery, Northern Suburbs, Sydney. Religion: Catholic.

  • Spent 22 years in mines of Newcastle district and Maitland 1900s.
  • First president of Newcastle Federal Electorate Council, Australian Labor Party and secretary Kahibah State Electorate Council and secretary of ALP branches at Adamstown and Dudley. Ardent opponent of conscription, 1916-17 addressing meetings from Woy Woy to Boggabri.
  • Capable executive officer of Australasian Coal & Shale Employees' Federation during 1917 strike. Secretary of miners’ lodges in Hunter, Northern District Councillor of Workers’ Industrial Union of Australia, miners delegate to ALP conferences 1920s and advocate of One Big Union.
  • Secretary, Australian Coal & Shale Employees’ (Miners) Federation Jan 1926-August 1931, encompassing period of bitter 1929-30 Northern Lockout. Tireless and efficient administrator but ‘lacked vision and was flabby in his approach to the working-class struggle’. Resigned to become secretary of Shale Oil Committee.
  • 1941 shale owners’ representative at first meeting of pension tribunals after implementation of Coal & Shale Mineworkers Pension Act, 1941.
  • Pension examiner for five years.
  • Cause of death prostate cancer.

Sources
Edgar Ross, A history of the Miners' Federation of Australia ([Sydney] 1970; P. Thomas, 1983; Australian Worker (Syd), 14 Jan 1925, 3 Feb 1926; Labor Daily (Syd), 13 Jan 1927; Common Cause, 27 Sept 1978

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Davies, David John (Dai) (1889–1978)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://labouraustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/davies-david-john-dai-32194/text39804, accessed 29 June 2022.

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