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Arthur Apsley Long (1865–1953)

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Arthur Apsley Long (1865-1953) bootmaker, and trade union official 

Birth: 14 February 1865 at London, England. Marriage: May 1888 at Northampton, England, to Ellen Elizabeth Healey (1864-1944). They had two daughters and two sons. Death: 25 March 1953 in hospital at Thornbury, Melbourne; usual residence Empress Road, Surrey Hills, Melbourne. 

  • In 1881 census he was described as a hall boy to the Earl of Aberdeen, Lord Lieutenant of Abercorn, at Hanover Square, London.
  • Had arrived in Australia with his wife by 1889. Soon joined the Victorian Operative Bootmakers’ Union (VOBU). Treasurer of VOBU in 1902 and secretary in 1904. Continued as secretary after the branches had formed a federation, and became first general secretary of the new Federated Boot Trade Employees’ Union (FBTU) in 1907.
  • Held the dual positions of federal secretary of the FBTU and its Victorian branch secretary until 1918, when the federal council decided that the work of federal secretary should be on a full-time basis. Continued as secretary of the federation until 1936, when he resigned after ill-health and disagreement with the secretary of the New South Wales branch.
  • Honorary membership, Australian Boot Trades Employees’ Federation, Victorian branch, 1952.
  • During his secretaryship he was involved in the often-quoted successful case for the unions, ‘Whybrow & Co. v. Australian Boot Trade Employees’ Federation. Was instrumental in having the federation apply for a reduction of working hours from 48 to 44 hours, which it eventually won.
  • Founding member of Australian Council of Trade Unions and president of Melbourne Trades Hall Council for one term (1910-1911). He was succeeded by George Dupree. Founding member, Melbourne Unions Trades Hall Co-operative Loan Committee.
  • Cause of death: pulmonary oedema, coronary occlusion, arteriosclerosis, and cerebral thrombosis.

ALP Victorian branch, Central Executive Report 1952-53 p 6; Unity, 15 November 1941? p 6, 15 July 1952 p 15, 15 April  1953.

Additional Resources

  • photo, Labor Call (Melbourne), 16 June 1910, p 3

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Citation details

'Long, Arthur Apsley (1865–1953)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Arthur Long, 1910

Arthur Long, 1910

Labor Call (Melbourne), 16 June 1910, p 3

Life Summary [details]


14 February, 1865
London, Middlesex, England


25 March, 1953 (aged 88)
Thornbury, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death


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