Alfred Thomas Chandler

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Alfred Thomas "Alf" Chandler (3 June 1852 – 17 October 1941) was a journalist, editor and newspaper proprietor in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. He was prominent in the Western Australian secession movement.


Chandler was born in Geelong, Victoria, and began his journalistic career on The Hamilton Spectator. He moved to Adelaide, where he found employment with both daily papers: the South Australian Register, then The Advertiser.[1] He was, in 1889, with H. O. Evans, J. M. Black, and J. R. Powell, a member of the House of Assembly's first Hansard staff.[2] While working at The Advertiser he published two books of verse: A Bush Idyl and Songs of the Sunland.

He joined Harry Evans as co-editor of Quiz, a satirical weekly, to which he also regularly contributed examples of his poetry. He left the partnership (of, by then, Quiz and The Lantern) on 31 August 1894, and left for Coolgardie, where he worked on J. M. Smith's weekly Goldfield Courier and its sister daily, the Golden Age.[3] In 1896 he was elected secretary to the Coolgardie Stock Exchange[4] and the Coolgardie Railway League.[5] He was next editor of the Coolgardie Miner, and gained a great deal of knowledge on the subject of mining,[6] and served as John Kirwan's Coolgardie secretary. In 1905 he left the Miner for the position of secretary to the North End Gold Mining Company Ltd.[7]

Around 1911 he moved to Perth, where he joined the staff of The Sunday Times and around 1920 was promoted to editor, succeeding J. E. Webb,[8] who left for a position with The Bulletin. He retired around 1925, but continued contributing to the Sunday Times and other journals.[6]

Around 1919 he joined the newspaper's owner, James MacCallum Smith, in a campaign to gain independence from the other States of Australia, founding the Secession League, and was active in the later Dominion League of Western Australia,[9] and its president when a secession petition was tabled in the House of Commons.

In 1938 he was granted a Commonwealth Literary Pension of £1 a week.[1]


Chandler married Isabella Agnes McGinn (ca.1855 – 16 April 1888). He married again, to Julia Addison (died 9 August 1950), daughter of George Addison MD., FRCS, on 17 September 1892. They later had a home at 27 Ridge Street, South Perth. He had two daughters:

  • Lorna married Peter Charles Mulhall of Perth on 8 February 1919; they lived at East Brunswick, Victoria
  • Isabel married E. Bagg of Kojonup, Western Australia

Other interests[edit]

He was in 1885 a member of the short-lived Adelaide Savage Club,[10] which had links to the Melbourne Savage Club.


He died in 1941[11]


  • A Bush Idyl and other poems E. S. Wigg & Son. 1887[12]
  • Songs of the Sunland E. S. Wigg & Son. 1889[13]
  • The Case for Secession W.A. Secession League 1926[14]


  1. ^ a b "Interesting People". The Chronicle. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 20 January 1938. p. 17. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Personal". The Recorder. Port Pirie, SA: National Library of Australia. 16 January 1925. p. 2. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  3. ^ Wilde, W. H. et al, eds. The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature 2nd ed. 1985 Oxford University Press, Melbourne ISBN 0 19 553381 X
  4. ^ "Mining News". Western Mail. Perth: National Library of Australia. 26 June 1896. p. 14. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Items of News". Kalgoorlie Western Argus. WA: National Library of Australia. 8 October 1896. p. 8. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Death of Mr. A. T. Chandler". Sunday Times. Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 19 October 1941. p. 3. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Mainly about People". The Daily News. Perth: National Library of Australia. 4 September 1905. p. 3 Edition: Second. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Personal". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 18 October 1941. p. 6. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Interesting People". The Chronicle. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 7 March 1935. p. 13. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Out among the People". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 24 February 1937. p. 25. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Pioneer Journalist Dead". Kalgoorlie Miner. 47, (12, 263). Western Australia. 18 October 1941. p. 4. Retrieved 12 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  12. ^ "Australian Ballads and Rhymes". The South Australian Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 6 April 1888. p. 6. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Songs of the Sunland". South Australian Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 6 December 1889. p. 5. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  14. ^ Chandler, Alfred T.; Alfred Thomas (1926), The case for secession : how Federation oppresses and represses Western Australia / Alfred Chandler, W.A. Secession League, W.A. Secession League