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Francis (Frank) Lyons (1843–1919)

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Francis (Frank) Lyons (1843-1919) blacksmith and trade union leader

Birth: 3 September 1843 at Melbourne, Victoria, son of Michael Lyons (1819-1885). plasterer, and Catherine, née Meade (1822-1878). Both parents came from Limerick, in Ireland. Marriage: 3 October 1868 in St Francis’ church, Melbourne, to Bridget Fyans (1844-1921). They had three daughters and four sons; three children died in childhood. Death: 22 July 1919 at Carlton, Melbourne. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Parents arrived in Port Phillip on 3 October 1841 with Frank’s elder brother aboard the Agricola. His father could read and write, his mother could not.
  • Educated at Father Mathew’s St Francis’s church school. Served apprenticeship in blacksmith trade and worked 40 years in one firm.
  • Walked with his father in the first Eight Hour procession, Melbourne c.1856. Marched in every procession to at least 1914 and was Chief Marshall and sub-marshall on occasions. Committee member, c.1870 to at least 1918. Secretary, Eight Hours Committee. Treasurer in 1919 and for at least six terms previously.
  • Foundation Member, Agricultural Implement Makers’ Association (later Federated Agricultural Implement and Iron Workers’ Association of Australia) 1868? or 1870. First delegate to Eight Hours Committee, 1870. Continued period of representing society on Eight Hours Anniversary Committee from about 1885 to at least 1910.
  • Assistant secretary of the Agricultural Implement Makers’ Association from at least 1909. Secretary from before 1909. Treasurer, from at least 1909 to his death. President to his death. Vice-president, delegate to Trades Hall Council; Delegate to May Day celebrations. Represented society as a Wage Board member. Elected life governor of society.
  • Life Governor of St Vincent’s, Homeopathic and Williamstown hospitals.
  • In 1968 joined St Francis’ Catholic Benefit Society (later Hibernian-Australasian Catholic Benefit Society), of which he was elected president in 1872. He was also active in the Melbourne United Friendly Societies’ Dispensary. An old friend of Dr William Maloney.

Merrifield Index, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne; Worker (Wagga), 31 October 1912 p 5; Australian Worker (Sydney), 11 October 1917 p 10; Labor Call (Melbourne), 21 April 1910, 23 April 1914 p.13, 21 November 1918, April 22 1919 p 17, 24 July 1919 p 3.

Additional Resources

  • photo, Labor Call (Melbourne), 22 April 1909, p 27
  • profile, Worker (Wagga, NSW), 31 October 1912, p 5
  • profile, Australian Worker (Sydney), 11 October 1917, p 10
  • profile, Advocate (Melbourne), 16 March 1918, p 22

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Lyons, Francis (Frank) (1843–1919)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Frank Lyons, 1918

Frank Lyons, 1918

Advocate (Melbourne), 16 March 1918, p 22

Life Summary [details]


3 September, 1843
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


22 July, 1919 (aged 75)
Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cultural Heritage

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