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Member Details

Mr William Henry LAMB (1889 - 1964)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 05/01/1889
Place of Birth: Nyngan, New South Wales , Australia
Date of Death: 08/01/1964
Place of Death: Burwood, New South Wales, Australia
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member for Granville 21 Mar 1959 05 Feb 1962 2 years 10 months 16 days
Member for Granville 03 Mar 1956 16 Feb 1959 2 years 11 months 14 days
Member for Granville 14 Feb 1953 06 Feb 1956 2 years 11 months 24 days
Member for Granville 17 Jun 1950 14 Jan 1953 2 years 6 months 29 days
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly 28 May 1947 20 Apr 1959 11 years 10 months 24 days
Member for Granville 03 May 1947 22 May 1950 3 years 20 days
Member for Granville 27 May 1944 29 Mar 1947 2 years 10 months 3 days
Member for Granville 10 May 1941 24 Apr 1944 2 years 11 months 15 days
Member for Granville 26 Mar 1938 18 Apr 1941 3 years 24 days
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 26 Mar 1938 05 Feb 1962 23 years 10 months 11 days
Political Party Activity
Australian Labor Party (ALP). Joined the Australian Labor Party in 1916, member of the Australian Labor Party (Non-Communist) in 1940; lost preselection in 1962.
Community Activity
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Miner, schoolteacher and company secretary. Educated at Airly near Lithgow; at twelve a grocer's delivery boy, at fourteen pit boy in mines, on the face by nineteen, found employment as a clerk; joined Education Department becoming a teacher at Meryula near Cobar from 1910 until 1912, Gospers Downs from 1912 until 1913, Sidebottom from 1913 until 1920, Auburn from 1920 until 1921; resigned to enter life insurance company office, studied accountancy, became an office manager in 1927 which position he held when elected to Parliament; noted athlete in youth; boxer.
Military Service
Honours Received
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Alderman at Auburn from 1932 until 1939. Mayor in 1935.
Son of Thomas Lamb, wheelwright and coachbuilder. Married Florence Mansfield on 27 August 1913 and had issue, 2 daughters and 3 sons. Roman Catholic. Funeral at Rookwood cemetery from Holy Trinity Roman Catholic church, Granville.
Additional Information
Text from the book: 'The Presiding Officers of the Parliament of New South Wales', Sydney, 1995 William Lamb was born on 5 January 1889 at Nyngan in New South Wales. From the age of 14 he worked on the western coal fields of New South Wales as a pit boy and later as a miner. After many years of part-time study, much of which took place at the coal face, he became a school teacher, and later the manager of an insurance office. Lamb rose to executive positions within various trade unions and in 1916 he joined the Labor Party. He married Florence Mansfield in 1913 and they had three sons and two daughters. Before entering the Legislative Assembly as the Member for Granville in 1938, Lamb had several years experience in local government as an alderman on the Auburn Council from 1932 until 1939, becoming Mayor in 1935. A vigorous debater, he was successfully elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly between 1947 and 1959. He believed in exercising a firm control over Parliament which he applied through his sometimes controversial interpretation of the Standing Orders. The Opposition labelled him inflexible and vigorously criticised him for displaying a bias towards the Government. Lamb was also attacked for inconsistent rulings and unnecessary interjections from the Chair. During the evenly balanced Parliament of 1950 - 1953 he voted regularly in committee, where he was not paired, thus giving the Government a majority of one. The Opposition frequently moved motions of dissent and in 1953 a motion of no confidence against him. He was replaced as Speaker by Ray Maher and in 1962 he lost preselection and retired. He died on 8 January 1964 at Burwood.