Billy Davies (politician)

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Billy Davies
Billy Davies.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Cunningham
In office
10 December 1949 – 17 February 1956
Preceded by New seat
Succeeded by Victor Kearney
Personal details
Born 1884
Abertillery, Wales, UK
Died 17 February 1956 (aged 71–72)
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality Welsh Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Edith Hartshorn
Children Son, daughter
Occupation Miner
Religion Methodist

William Davies (1884 – 17 February 1956) was an Australian politician, born in Abertillery in Wales to the coalminer William Davies and his wife Mary, née Williams. As a child he worked in the coalmines, but won a miners' scholarship to a summer school at the University of Oxford, where he became a Methodist lay preacher. He married Edith Hartshorn on 4 August 1903 and the couple moved to New South Wales in 1912, when Davies became a miner in the Wollongong area, soon rising to become an official of the Australasian Coal and Shale Employees' (Miners') Federation.

Davies won the seat of Wollongong in 1917, representing the Labor Party, having defeated the sitting Nationalist, John Nicholson. He went on to dominate Labor politics in the area for the next forty years, and became a loyal supporter of New South Wales Premier Jack Lang, who made Davies minister for public instruction in 1927, and minister for education 1930–32.

In 1949 Davies resigned from the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in order to contest the federal seat of Cunningham, which he held until his death on 17 February 1956, survived by his wife, son and daughter. He was remembered by H. V. Evatt as "a great orator who had helped to inspire coalminers during industrial troubles". He was the first ever member for Cunningham.

References[edit]

Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
John Nicholson
Member for Wollongong
1917–1920
Succeeded by
Abolished
Preceded by
George Fuller
Member for Wollondilly
1920–1927
Served alongside: Fuller, Cleary/Morton/Lysaght
Succeeded by
George Fuller
Preceded by
New seat
Member for Wollongong
1927–1930
Succeeded by
Abolished
Preceded by
Andrew Lysaght
Member for Illawarra
1930–1941
Succeeded by
Howard Fowles
Preceded by
New seat
Member for Wollongong-Kembla
1941–1949
Succeeded by
Baden Powell
Parliament of Australia
New division Member for Cunningham
1949–1956
Succeeded by
Victor Kearney