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James Thomson (1857–1927)

The passing of Mr. James Thomson, M.P, at his residence, in Platt-street, Brookstown, last week, removes a quondam Labour stalwart of the Newcastle and Maitland districts, who during recent years was better known on the South Maitland coalfield. A native of Ayrshire, Scotland, he accompanied a brother and sister-in-law upon their migration to this land when at the age of 17, he subsequently married a daughter of the late Mr Andrew Rogers, in Newcastle.  After a number of years residence in Newcastle, he removed to Wallsend, and was employed in the Wallsend colliery. He afterwards returned to Newcastle, being elected president of the Northern District Miners' Federation, a position he held for several terms. While in occupancy of such an office, he was returned on the Labour ticket, as member of the New South Wales Parliament for the Newcastle West division of the Northumberland electorate, and was a member of the Legislature when the present King and Queen visited Australia as Duke and Duchess of York. With one or two others he was an inaugurator of the Kurri Kurri Co-operative Society, and until the society's business was firmly established he ungrudgingly gave much of his time, and knowledge in the administrative work, as honorary secretary. For a period prior to his retirement he was employed at the Hepburn colliery as a miners' check-weighman. As a staunch advocate of the miners, he played an important part in many a fight upon their behalf, notable the ones waged against the 'dog watch' and the afternoon shift. A man of high ideals, he scorned any suggestion of impropriety, and being charitably disposed, he had unostentatiously assisted institutions, and many a person in less fortunate circumstances than himself. Old residents of Wallsend describe him as a man whose worth was not realised and as one possessed of much natural ability as a leader of men. He was 70 years of age, and it was his intention to spend the evening of his life at a lakeside resort. He was a resident of Kurri Kurri for about 20 years, and again took up residence temporarily, in Wallsend two years ago. He is survived by a widow and two daughters. Upon the occasion of his funeral Rev H. Childs conducted service at the house and also officiated at the grave in the Presbyterian cemetery, Sandgate. Messrs T. D. Johns (Kurri Kurri), - Chamberlain, Robert Thomson, (a nephew), and T. Scanlan acted as pall bearers. Others in attendance included Mr. D. Watkins, M.H.R., Mr. F. Jacobs, president, and Mr. F. Shortland, secretary of the Kurri Kurri Co-operative Society, Mr John Bower, of Wallsend, ex-president of the Northern District Miners Federation, and Mr. G. Stone, who, with Mr. Bower, represented the Miners' Home Lodge, G.U.O.O.F, of which the late Mr. Thomson was an old member.

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'Thomson, James (1857–1927)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/thomson-james-33531/text41918, accessed 23 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Birth

1857
Ayrshire, Scotland

Death

15 June, 1927 (aged ~ 70)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

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