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Mahon, William James (1909–1967)

This entry is from People Australia

William ('Bill') Mahon (1909?-1967) coal miner and trade unionist

Birth: 1909, Yackandandah, Victoria. Son of Mark Andrew Mahon and Florrie May nee Lane. Marriage: 1927 to Thelma Rose Sault at Kurri Kurri, NSW. They had three children. Death: 7 December 1967, Kogarah, NSW.

  • Began work as miner at Pelaw Main, South Maitland, NSW aged 14;
  • Joined Miners’ Federation, 1924; Present at Rothbury demonstration 1929, witnessing police shootings.
  • Prominent activist in area committees in Kurri district in First and Second Rounds.
  • Officer, Pelaw Main lodge 1939. Secretary Pelaw Main lodge 1944;
  • vice-president of Miners' Federation's Northern District for six years 1953-58;
  • elected general secretary Miners' Federation 1958, taking office Feb. 1959; subsequently re-elected unopposed in four elections and held position for nine years; of quiet, even aloof, disposition; left effectual leadership to W. Parkinson, but a conscientious administrator and outspoken on occasions;
  • secretary Combined Mining Unions Council; died in office.
  • Member NSW ALP executive 19?-1967, where he consistently supported the Left;
  • Represented Miners’ Federation on NSW Labor Council and ACTU Congresses;
  • also prominent in peace movement;
  • Leader of Miners’ delegation to Australian Congress for Peace, Melbourne 1959;
  • Represented Miners’ Federation at international miners’ congress in Moscow, 1964 and visited mines in Soviet Union and England.

Edgar Ross, A History of the Miners' Federation of Australia (Sydney, 1970); Tribune, 13 Dec. 1967 p.12; Common Cause, 16 Dec. 1967; SeamensJournal, date?; ARU, 33rd Meeting of Australian Council April/ May 1968

Citation details

'Mahon, William James (1909–1967)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 28 May 2022.

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