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Charles Arthur (Charlie) Lee (1872–1934)

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Charles Arthur (Charlie) Lee (1872-1934) draper, trade union official and journalist 

Birth: possibly the Charles Arthur Lee born 13 August 1872 at Mount Barker, South Australia, son of George Lee (1829-1879), born at Tullamore, Offaly, Ireland, and Elizabeth, née Matthews (1832-1899), born at Penzance, Cornwall, England. Unmarried. Death: 18 October 1934 at Sydney, NSW. Religion: He was buried with Anglican rites.

  • Worked in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, on a weekly paper for ten years. Was a founder and organiser of the local branch of the Amalgamated Workers’ Association while working at odd jobs in Kalgoorlie, including as a draper. With his cocker spaniel, ‘Rags’ was familiar in union circles in Boulder.
  • Was general secretary, then president, of the Kalgoorlie, Boulder and District Male Shop Assistants Union’ in 1905-1907. “Energetic in union matters, and both pen and tongue were often called into requisition”. Contributed to Westralian Worker, the Kalgoorlie Miner and other Western Australian papers [as Chas Lee] and was associated with Wallace Nelson in the Figaro. Unsuccessfully contested municipal elections for the Australian Labor Party in November 1907.
  • Associate editor Weekly Truth and Barrier Daily Truth, Broken Hill, for two-and-a-half years. Did industrial work on The Advertiser, Adelaide, for eighteen months.
  • Was senior reporter at the Daily Telegraph, Sydney, from 1914 to about 1920, when the job was “handed out to a returned soldier”. Transferred to The Newcastle Sun, about 1922, and to the Daily Mail, Sydney, which was merged into The Labor Daily. Also associated with “the ill-fated World”. Retired about 1932.
  • Joined Australian Journalists’ Association in 1911. President NSW district, in 1914-15. General president of the AJA in 1915-16.
  • President, Sydney Press Club, 1930.
  • He was an invalid pensioner. Having been missing from his home at Collaroy for two days, and subject to loss of memory, his body was found dead in the north harbour, Manly, in October 1934. Cause of death: asphyxia by drowning.

Australasian Journalist,
23 February 1917 p 9; Journalist, 24 April 1931 p 49, 31 October 1934 p 86; Westralian Worker (Perth), 30 April 1937 p 10.

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'Lee, Charles Arthur (Charlie) (1872–1934)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 28 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012