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Thomas (Tom) Gamboni (1878–1922)

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Thomas Gamboni (1878-1922) miner, city councillor, trade union leader 

Birth: 6 February 1878 in Sebastian, Bendigo County, Victoria, son of Bartolo (Bartholomew) Gamboni (1844-1916), farmer, born in Teglio, Lombardy, Italy, and Melbourne-born Mary, née Shadbolt (1855-1938). Marriage: 1900 at Broken Hill to Emily Gray (1860-1950). They had two daughters. Death: 21 August 1922 in Alfred Hospital, Melbourne. 

  • To Broken Hill, New South Wales, about 1900, worked as miner at the Central Mine. President of the Australian Natives’ Association and member of the local hospital board. Labor alderman for Broken Hill City Council from 1905 to 1908, sometime acting-mayor. Vice-president of the Broken Hill District Nursing Association in 1908. Elected president Amalgamated Miners Association (later Workers Industrial Union of Australia) in July 1908. Presided over AMA during the 1909 lockout when Tom Mann, Harry Holland and others were arrested.
  • Returned to Eaglehawk, near Bendigo, in Victoria, in April 1909 and managed hotel. Prominent in local branch of Amalgamated Mine Employees’ Association and Australian Labor Party. Nominated for preselection for Labor in the Bendigo seat in the Victorian parliament in May 1911.
  • Returned to Broken Hill in 1913 and returned to mining. Represented workers at Royal Commission into labour and other conditions in the Broken Hill mines in 1914. Organised shop assistants of Broken Hill into union and was later its secretary. Again influential in the AMA and in the Barrier Labor Federation and the Political Labor League.
  • Was secretary of the Liquor Trades Union, Barrier Branch, in 1916, gaining improvements in conditions of domestic section of union. Secretary of the Hotel Club, and Restaurant Employees’ (or Town Employees’ Union) in 1915-1921. Also long-time secretary of the Shop Assistants’ Union. Organised hospital employees on Barrier in 1917 into a union called the Hospital Employees Section, Town Employees Union. In 1919 contested ALP preselection for Sturt in the NSW Legislative Assembly.
  • To Melbourne in 1921 and became organiser, Federated Liquor and Allied Trades Employees Union, Victorian branch, and Labor candidate for Eaglehawk at Victorian State elections.
  • Cause of death chronic interstitial nephritis and cardiac failure.

Call (Melbourne), 24 August 1922, p 6, & 31 August 1922, p 5, [Obituary]; Barrier Daily Truth (NSW), 21 December 1916, 23 August 1922 p 2; Barrier Miner (NSW) 4 August 1917, 9 August 1917. 

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'Gamboni, Thomas (Tom) (1878–1922)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 June 2024.

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