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George McKennay (1880–1931)

After a long illness which confined him to his bed for several months past, and which he fought against with great fortitude, George McKennay, J.P, and secretary of the A.W.U. Mining Division, passed away at his home in Richardson-street, Boulder, on Saturday afternoon last. News of his death occasioned widespread regret and his bereaved widow and relatives were the recipients of messages of sympathy from all sections of the community. The late George McKennay was a stalwart of the Labor Movement, with which he was associated in various capacities for over thirty years. His ability was soon recognised in union circles and he held official positions in the Labor Movement on the goldfields soon after coming to this State. He was prominently associated with the old Federated Miners' Union, and, shortly after that body became affiliated with the A.W.U. he was appointed secretary of the branch. He continued to enjoy the confidences of members as secretary when a closer amalgamation of the Mining Branch took place and the branch became the mining Division of the A.W.U., a position which he held with honor and credit to himself and as all will agree with immense benefit to the Union and its members.

He was a sterling advocate for the Union in Arbitration and industrial tribunals and displayed at all times marked ability in the conduct of a case. He was a member of the Branch Executive of the A.W.U. and also for a term was a W.A. delegate to the Executive Council of the same union, as well as representing his union on the E.G. A.L.P. Council. Our deceased comrade was a Justice of the Peace, and a councillor for the Municipality of Boulder for three terms, ill-health necessitating his declining nomination for a further term in November last. He was keenly interested in Friendly Society work and was a member of the Boulder Branch of the U.O.A.D., and secretary also for three years before taking over the union secretaryships. He made the welfare of his fellow man his life work, staunchly supporting the principles of the Labor Movement in every phase of its activity.

The late George McKennay was 51 years of age at the time of his death. He leaves a widow to mourn her sad loss. The respect in which he was held was well exemplified at the funeral, which took place on Monday last. In the cortege were representatives of every Labor organisation on the goldfields. The local governing bodies, the Chamber of Mines, and the Friendly Societies, and other bodies were also widely represented. Though the funeral was held on a working day it was an exceedingly large one, and his many comrades on the mines on shift, and consequently unable to attend, would be with the cortege in thought and spirit as it wended its way to the burial ground.

The pallbearers were Messrs. M. F. Geary and T. Donley (A.W.U. Mining Division), Messrs. C. Massey and W. F. Bingley (U.A.O.D.): Mr. C. Kenneally (A.L.P.), and Mr. F. C. Smith (Goldfields Women's Labor Organisation). The deepest manifestations of sympathy and condolence were extended to the bereaved widow and relatives.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • photo, Westralian Worker (Perth), 16 April 1926, p 1

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Citation details

'McKennay, George (1880–1931)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

George McKennay, 1926

George McKennay, 1926

Westralian Worker (Perth), 16 April 1926, p 1

Life Summary [details]


22 April, 1880
Kapunda, South Australia, Australia


11 July, 1931 (aged 51)
Boulder, Western Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

miners' phthisis

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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.

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