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Henry Llewelyn (1855–1933)

Henry Llewelyn, n.d.

Henry Llewelyn, n.d.

Memories of the stirring days of the birth of the Labor Party in Queensland and of the first fights waged on behalf of the workers for legal recognition of their rights in industry are recalled by the death at the Brisbane General Hospital, on Monday, of Mr. Henry Llewelyn, colleague of Andrew Fisher, and one of the brightest names in the annals of the Labor Party in this State.

Born at Merthyr Tydvil, Glamorgan shire, 78 years ago, the late Mr. Llewelyn worked as a miner in his native district and in Lancashire. A born fighter and leader, he was invariably chosen as spokesman for his mates when difficult questions affecting their industrial welfare arose at conferences between the men and their masters, in those days the men had no legal authority to which they could appeal for the vindication of their rights, and whatever progress they gained was achieved through the persistent and fearless advocacy of their claims by their representatives.

In this work Mr. Llewelyn proved himself a trustworthy and indomitable champion of his fellow-workers' cause, and it was not surprising that when he arrived in Australia in 1887, and, after a brief residence in Brisbane, went to work as a miner in Gympie, that he should again be elected to fill the role of spokesman for the miners.

His activities at Gympie, however, were not confined to the welfare of the miners, but to the advancement of the workers' interests generally, and in this wider sphere, in which his work was characterised by convincing advocacy and tireless effort, he became associated with the late Andrew Fisher, who later became Australia's first Labor Prime Minister. A deep, personal friendship also sprang up between these two men and the late Mr. Llewelyn often described as one of the happiest days of his life the day on which Fisher was first elected to represent Gympie in the Queensland Parliament. Other noted associates of Mr. Llewelyn's in his early work at Gympie were the late Mr. Geo. Rylands, who also represented Gympie in the State Parliament, and Mr. Chas. Collins, M.L.A.

But for his vigorous advocacy on behalf of the miners, Mr. Llewelyn found himself victimised by the mine owners until he was unable to follow his calling as a miner in that town. Faced with this difficulty he went into business in Gympie and so engaged for 34 years.

After he went into business on his own account, Mr. Llewelyn still retained an active interest in the doings of the miners, occupying many prominent positions in the Amalgamated Miners' Association. He also became prominently associated with numerous movements of a community nature.

Following the advent to power of the Ryan Government in the State Parliament, Mr. Llewelyn was chosen in the second batch of appointees by the late Mr. Ryan to the Upper House. Tireless as were his efforts on behalf of the workers Mr. Llewelyn never sought entry to Parliament. Had he done so and succeeded there can be no doubt that he would have contributed to the history of the Parliamentary Labor Party achievements equally as outstanding as those which marked his less public efforts, for he was exceptionally well read in political and industrial economy, a good speaker, and a keen student of literature as was evidenced in his passionate love for the classics.

No greater evidence of his sincerity and the effectiveness of his work can be mentioned than that his efforts were immediately taken up and are still being sustained by members of his own family who survive him, most prominent of whom perhaps is his son, Mr. E. J. Llewelyn, the present member for Toowoomba in the Queensland Parliament.

The late Mr. Llewelyn, who married twice, is also survived by his daughters, Nurse E. J. Llewelyn, of Gympie, and Mrs. E. Pashen of Brisbane, and a son, Mr. Henry Llewelyn, of Brisbane, Mrs. O. Crouch, of Bulimba, another daughter by his first marriage, died about four years ago. By his second marriage he is survived by four daughters, Mesdames C. Dwyer, of Toowoomba, F. Mudge, of Grafton, and G. Thomas, of Gympie, and Miss E. Llewelyn, of Brisbane, and three sons, Messrs. George, of Gympie, Charles, of Sydney, and Reginald of Brisbane.

The funeral of the late Mr. Llewelyn which took place yesterday was largely attended, those present including Senator J. S. Collings, Mr. Lewis McDonald (secretary of the Q.C.E.), Mr. R J. Carroll, and Mr. J. Hanlon (editor of "The Worker"), all of whom were colleagues with him in the Upper House, the Attorney-General (Mr. J. Mullan), Mr. T. Hope, who represented the State Premier (Mr. Forgan Smith), and Mr. E. Hanson, Chairman of Parliamentary Committees.

There were also present numerous old friends, who knew the deceased during his residence in Gympie.

Original publication

Citation details

'Llewelyn, Henry (1855–1933)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Henry Llewelyn, n.d.

Henry Llewelyn, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, Wales


6 August, 1933 (aged ~ 78)
Herston, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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