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George Longfellow Dale (1873–1946)

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George Longfellow Dale (1873-1946) miner, bookmaker, trade union official, author and gardener

Birth: 1873 in Port Augusta, South Australia, son of William Dale (1832-1886), labourer later road inspector, and Mary Cockburn, née McFarlane (1836-1911), born in Glasgow, Scotland. Marriage: 30 December 1901 with Methodist forms in Broken Hill, New South Wales, to native-born Jane Louisa Thompson (1879-1958). They had one son. Death: 26 September 1946 at Gilberton, SA. 

  • Moved to Broken Hill, NSW, in 1889. Worked as a silver miner. In December 1900 was one of ten delegates from the Amalgamated Miners’ Association to attend the inauguration of the Australian Commonwealth in Sydney.
  • About that time was employed by the city council, on excavation work for the Crystal Pool. Intermittently employed with the council for thirty-eight years. Member, sometime secretary, of Australian Workers’ Union branch; later a member of the Municipal Employees’ Union.
  • President of Barrier Labor Federation of Political Labor League. Gave evidence before Judge Cohen in 1903 Arbitration Case. That year was unsuccessful Labor candidate for Sturt ward in the municipal council elections. Active in the Social Democratic Club.
  • A representative of the Amalgamated Miners’ Association (later Workers Industrial Union of Australasia) on the Barrier Labor Federation (BLF) and on the Barrier District Assembly of the Australian Labor Party, and on board of Barrier Daily Truth when owned by BLF.
  • A sometime bookmaker and “licensed bookies' clerk”, he was a keen sportsman and raced many horses in Broken Hill and SA, one of the best being Lady Alda. Also bred dogs.
  • Dale was a prominent public figure in Broken Hill, an “excellent platform speaker and always regarded as an astute campaigner”. In 1916 he travelled to Queensland to seek financial assistance during the miners’ strike. He was the author of The Industrial History of Broken Hill (1918). That year he became the council’s street tree attendant and held the post until 1938.
  • In 1921 he was awarded £75 damages in a libel action against the Barrier Miner. However, he contributed regularly to the paper thereafter, including reminiscences and historical articles. Was a leading propagandist for the Darling pipeline scheme.
  • In the early 1920s he was a member of the hospital board of management. Retired from the council in 1938 and moved to Adelaide, though occasionally returned to Broken Hill to attend the horse races. Reported in 1940 to be “a frequent speaker on the Labor stump in the Botanic Park on Sunday afternoons … still able to hold his own as a stump orator”.
  • Cause of death, auricular fibrillation, contributory causes bronchitis and coronary atheroma. 

Daily Truth (Broken Hill), 14 May 1921, obituary, 27 September 1946, p 1.

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'Dale, George Longfellow (1873–1946)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Port Augusta, South Australia, Australia


26 September, 1946 (aged ~ 73)
Gilberton, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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