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George Lambert (1879–1939)

This entry is from Obituaries Australia

The sudden passing of Mayor George Lambert has caused profound grief throughout the city. Exceedingly popular with all with whom he came into contact the Mayor had a most genial personality, and his untimely death last night came as a shock to everybody.

Alderman Lambert attended to his Mayoral duties on Monday and Tuesday, and it was only yesterday that he did not report at the Town Hall. He had a severe turn at his residence in Williams Street yesterday afternoon and was taken to Hospital at 6 o'clock. He died at 10.15 o'clock from bronchial pneumonia.

The Mayor was very much in the public eye last week when he welcomed the Governor-General (Lord Gowrie) and Lady Gowrie and was present at each of the functions attended by Their Excellencies.

He is the first Mayor to have died in office. He was in his second term as Mayor and in his fifth year as alderman. Mr. Lambert was elected to the Council when a full Labor Council was chosen in 1935 for the triennial period 1935-36-37. At the elections at the end of 1937 Ald. Lambert topped the pre-selection ballot conducted by the B.D.A.A.L.P., topped the poll at the municipal elections, and again headed the list at the B.D.A.A.L.P. ballot for Mayor.

His death came as a bitter blow to his fellow aldermen, many of whom knew only this morning. Keenly interested in sport the Mayor was always willing to entertain visiting sportsmen, and within the past fortnight tendered the Claremont footballers a civic reception. He rarely missed attending football and cricket matches.

Ald. Lambert was a prominent unionist, being closely associated with the Silverton Tramway Employees' Union before he was appointed Mayor. He had been secretary of the union for three years prior to accepting the position of Mayor, while on several other occasions he had been president.

Ald. Lambert was an employee of the Silverton Tramway Co. for 28 years when he obtained leave to become Mayor of Broken Hill. At that time he was chargeman for the Silverton Tramway Co.

Ald. Lambert is a former secretary of the B.D.A.A.L.P., a position which he held for 10 years.

For 10 years Ald. Lambert was a member of the Hospital Board 1925-34 and he served a three year period as chairman.

During his association with the Hospital Board he was well liked by the whole Hospital staff and even after he resigned from the Board he paid regular visits to the institution.

The Mayor was a great worker for the Oxide Street Methodist Church, of which he was trustee and steward. He had been Sunday School superintendent for the past 11 years.

Other duties which were carried out by the Mayor were chairman of the Citizens' Hospital Fund Building Committee, chairman of the Broken Hill Port Augusta Railway League, while he was also one of Council's two representatives on the Broken Hill Water and Sewerage Board.

Born 60 years ago Mr. Lambert came to Broken Hill as a lad and prospected near the Day Dream mine, where he was later employed. He also worked along the line of lode as a miner before he went to the Silverton Tramway Co.

Tributes To Memory.

"We feel that the town has suffered a severe loss in the death of Mayor Lambert," said the president of the Chamber of Commerce (Mr. R. E. A. Kitchen). "The Mayor always did his utmost to help the city and we all appreciated his work. We express our sincere sympathy to his family and to the Council."

Mr. Kitchen said the chamber deeply regretted the passing of the Mayor. "We were actively engaged with him last week in connection with the visit of the Governor-General," said Mr. Kitchen. "The Chamber of Commerce always found him most willing and desirous of doing everything for the advancement of the town. He always co-operated with us in anything we undertook. He was very popular with our members who had always found him most respectful in all matters we discussed with him."

"Late on Tuesday afternoon five men drove back in a car from Umberumberka to Broken Hill. During the trip one of them regaled the party with anecdotes taken from his early experiences in that part of the district which included the Day Dream mine. If anyone had suggested that before the next day was out the speaker would have been called before his Maker the statement would have been regarded as ridiculous — but just the same, George Lambert is with us no longer." said the Town Clerk (Mr. C. Crowley) today.

"The Mayor entered the Council at the elections of 1934, and was re-elected at the triennial elections in 1937, creating something of a personal record in that he topped both the pre-selection ballot and the election poll. It seemed fitting, therefore, that he should be chosen by his colleagues as Mayor for the first year of the new term — 1938.

"While he came to that position without previous experience in the high office, what he lacked in experience he made up in hard work, and the result was that he was reappointed for the year 1939.

"Although a Labor Mayor and leader of a full team of Labor aldermen, George Lambert never forgot that there were other interests in the city to be considered and without sacrificing any of his principles to which he held, he so carried out the duties of his position that he enjoyed the good will of all sections of the community.

The year 1938 was an outstanding one in the history of the Council. Both the expenditure and the number of men employed were twice as great as in any previous year in the Council's history, and decisions had to be made in connection with many matters for which there were no precedents.

"In arriving at these decisions, George Lambert thought of only one thing, which was, 'What is best for all concerned?' And it is very hard for a man who makes decisions on such a basis to be far wrong.

"As in his official sphere, George Lambert's private life was above reproach, and I feel sure that his personal popularity was due in no small part to the fact that he was a model husband and father. I believe that the things which make a man a good husband and father tend to make him successful in any other sphere, and it is probable that his success as Mayor really had their source in his home.

"The aldermen and the employees feel his loss as a personal one, and for my own part I feel that I have not only lost a chief who stood shoulder to shoulder with me against great difficulties, but a friend who was the first to sympathise when things didn't go the way I thought they should."

"Feeling, as I do, it is not hard for me to imagine what the loss must be to his family, and to Mrs. Lambert and son and daughter, to whom I convey the sincere sympathy of the citizens, the aldermen, and the employees of the Council."

Alderman R. Dennis, who was recently appointed deputy Mayor, will carry out the Mayoral duties until the appointment of Mayor is made by Council.

The Town Clerk (Mr. C. Crowley) said today that the election of Mayor must take place within a fortnight. The extraordinary vacancy created on the Council by the death of the Mayor must be filled within a month. Nominations will be called for and an election held for the vacancy to be filled for the remainder of the term.

Council will also hold an election for the vacancy on the Water Board, of which the Mayor was a member. The meeting of the Citizens' Building Fund Committee which was to have been held at the Town Hall to-night has been postponed because of the death of Alderman Lambert.

Original Publication

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Citation details

'Lambert, George (1879–1939)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


31 March, 1879
Burra, South Australia, Australia


5 July, 1939 (aged 60)
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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