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John (Jack) Long (1850–1922)

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John (Jack) Long (1850-1922) shearer, miner, trade union official and mayor

Birth: 17 September 1850 or 1855 in London, England, son of John Long, labourer, and Lydia, née Carroll. Marriages: (1) c. 1869 in London, England. They had one son. (2) A widower, on 5 January 1892 at the Registrar’s Office, Broken Hill, New South Wales, he married Lousia Sweeney (1861-1937), born at Gawler, South Australia. Death: 29 September 1922 at his residence in Hebbard Street, Broken Hill, NSW. Religion: buried with Catholic rites. 

  • Came to Australia about 1871. At some time he worked in Western Australia. After shearing at Kinchega, near Menindee, in 1884 he moved to Broken Hill, NSW. Worked as a prospector and miner.
  • “Forced his way to the front rank of Barrier Unionism”. “Well known for his fearless and outspoken utterances as a champion of the workers’ interests.”
  • In the early days he was chairman of the vigilance committee of the Australian Workers’ Union. By 1908 had been president of the Eight Hours Committee, twice delegate to the wages conference and had completed three terms as the worker’ representative on the Hospital Board.
  • In 1906 he was elected alderman representing King ward on Broken Hill Council. He was mayor in 1909-1910 and left the council in 1913.
  • In the Amalgamated Miners’ Association [later known as the Workers’ Industrial Union], he held almost every position and at various times was president, vice-president and check inspector. He also represented that organisation on the Barrier District Assembly of the Political Labor League [Australian Labor Party] and was connected with the Australian Labor Federation.
  • He was ailing for some time and was one of the beneficiaries under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, having worked on most of the mines along the line of lode; at the time he was compensated he was in the service of the British Company.
  • Cause of death: pulmonary tuberculosis (4 years) and pneumonoconiosis (15 years).

Daily Truth (Broken Hill), 6 September 1933.

Additional Resources

  • profile, Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), 3 February 1908, p 3

Citation details

'Long, John (Jack) (1850–1922)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


17 September, 1850
London, Middlesex, England


29 September, 1922 (aged 72)
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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.

Key Organisations
Political Activism