O’CARROLL, Thomas (?-1936)
B. ? M. Lavinia , 1937. 1s. 2d. D. 8 Oct. 1936, Collie WA
One of leading activists in Victorian Coal Miners’ Association and PLC in the Korumburra district, Vic. between 1896 & 1904; A colourful figure; known as the ‘Doctor’ possibly as a result of various illicit brews concocted at his home; Sec., Outtrim lodge of VCMA, 1896; Auditor, 1897; Treasurer, 1900 & 1901; Treasurer of Outtrim Coal Miners’ Accident Society, 1898-99; One of defendants in George Gregory case, 1902; Visited Collie WA with Robert Semple as VCMA delegate during Vic. coal strike of 1903-04; Sec. of newly formed Outtrim branch of PLC, 1903; Blacklisted by coal companies after collapse of strike in May 1904; Returned, along with many other VCMA activists with family to Collie; Auditor of Collie River District Miners’ Union, 1904 and nominated for same post in 1905; Sec. of Cardiff lodge of CRDMU, 1906; During following 20 years was either secretary or president of Cardiff lodge; Befriended Rowland James between 1911-16, when latter was working as a miner at Collie and is reputed to have encouraged James to embark on political career; Said to have written James’ maiden speech in Federal parliament.
Great Southern Advocate; Outtrim News, Tocsin; Minute book of Cardiff Branch of CRDMU (in private possession); CRDMU MSS, Battye Lib. Perth
Peter D. Gardner