People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

John (Jack) Conway (1876–1948)

This article was published:

John (Jack) Conway (1876-1948) fitter, railway employee, trade union official and alderman 

Birth: 6 December 1876 at Keighley, Yorkshire, England, son of Patrick Conway (1845-1914), wool sorter, and Catherine, née Roddy (1845-1911). Both parents had been born in Sligo, Ireland. Marriage: 19 February 1901 at St Anne’s Church, Keighley, to Jane Frances Walsh (1877-1968). They had three daughters and seven sons. Death: 13 May 1948 at Auburn, New South Wales. Religion: Catholic. 

  • In 1891 young Jack was working as a worsted doffer. By 1901 he was a tool-maker and fitter.
  • Moved with his wife to South Africa, where he worked as a fitter in the railways and where two children were born.
  • Arrived in Sydney from Cape Town on 4 October 1907 aboard the Somerset with his wife and elder children.
  • Joined New South Wales railways in 1910. Convenor of shop stewards at Eveleigh Railway Workshops from 1910 to 1917.
  • President of Eveleigh Railway Shop Committee 1927-1939. Treasurer of The Magnet. President, Central Council of Railway Shop Committees for 7 years.
  • Trustee, Amalgamated Engineering Union. Represented his union for many years on the NSW Trades and Labor Council.
  • Was an alderman on Auburn municipal council from 1932, and sometime deputy-mayor. He resigned in December 1936 after having failed to be chosen as mayor due to opposition from the Lang faction.
  • Formerly a strong supporter of Lang, and president of the Auburn Electorate Council of the Australian Labor Party, Conway became an advocate of unity and removal of Lang’s “dictatorship” prior to the Labor unity conference of June 1938.
  • Retired from the railway service and the Eveleigh workshops in September 1939.
  • President of the Auburn branch of the Australian Holy Catholic Guild, which operated mainly as a friendly society.
  • Cause of death: cardiac failure, coronary occlusion and chronic bronchitis.

The Magnet
, September 1939.

Additional Resources

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Conway, John (Jack) (1876–1948)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


6 December, 1876
Keighley, West Yorkshire, England


13 May, 1948 (aged 71)
Auburn, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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.

Passenger Ship
Key Organisations
Political Activism