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George McKennay (1880–1931)

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George McKennay (1880-1931) trade union official

Birth: 22 April 1880 at Kapunda, South Australia, son of William McKennay (1842-1920), general servant, later engine driver, and Helen (Ellen), née Brown (1844-1930), general servant. Both parents had been born in Peeblesshire, Scotland, William at Eddlestone, Ellen at Innerleithen, Kirkland. Marriage: 1905 at Boulder, Western Australia to Amy Florence Sampson. They had no children. Death: 11 July 1931 at Boulder WA. Religion: Methodist. 

  • Spent fifteen years in South Australia and six years in New South Wales. Moved to Western Australia about 1901.
  • Official in the Federated Miners’ Union from 1914. For one term was Swanlander delegate to Executive Council of Union.
  • When Miners’ Union became affiliated with Australian Workers’ Union, he became secretary of the AWU Mining branch and member of AWU executive, Goldfields branch from 1920 to 1931.
  • Was a candidate for the WA Legislative Council in 1926.
  • Represented workers on State arbitration and industrial tribunals presenting arguments in a well thought-out and eloquent manner. Prominent delegate to annual AWU conventions.
  • Councillor, Municipality of Boulder for three periods; Justice of the Peace. Keenly interested in Friendly Society work he was a member of the Boulder branch of the United Order of Ancient Druids and secretary for three years.
  • Cause of death: fibrosis of lungs and congestion of lungs (miner’s phthisis).

Australian Worker
(Sydney), 29 July 1931 p.1.

Additional Resources

  • photo, Westralian Worker (Perth), 16 April 1926, p 1

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'McKennay, George (1880–1931)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

George McKennay, 1926

George McKennay, 1926

Westralian Worker (Perth), 16 April 1926, p 1

Life Summary [details]


22 April, 1880
Kapunda, South Australia, Australia


11 July, 1931 (aged 51)
Boulder, Western Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

miners' phthisis

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
Key Places
Political Activism