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First in the role, first to be dismissed

He was Armidale's first town clerk and the evidence shows that he did his job. However, there is other evidence that said he was not always straight-laced about it.


At the second council meeting held in Armidale, 11 January, 1864, after the city's incorporation in 1863, Thomas was elected town clerk. He accompanied and worked for the first mayor, George Allingham. He would be reappointed in 1868, however, that would not be the case two years later.


Thomas Lamb's headstone in Armidale cemetery. Photo Samantha Elley


In 1870 a notice appeared in the NSW Government Gazette confirming that Mr Michael Gabriel Cunningham had been appointed as town clerk due to the dismissal of Thomas Lamb. The reason seems to lie in events that occurred three years earlier when, at a council meeting, the mayor read a letter from Thomas.


The contents of the letter provided council with an apology from Thomas, after he was suspended from duties as town clerk, due to his improper conduct at two previous meetings. The cause had been alcohol and in the letter he offered to abstain from intoxicating liquors for six months, or any further time Council might desire to impose.


Thomas even offered to place 20 pounds in the hands of Council and forfeit it, if his pledge was broken. There was much discussion and due to the difficulty of filling the town clerk's position and in consideration of Thomas' wife and family he was given his job back.


Whilst being reinstated, Thomas must have continued his bad habits, lost his 20 pounds and also his job. In 1870 he was appointed secretary of the Armidale Building Society.


Eventually in 1888 he died at Kelly's Plains after being bed-ridden for a number of years. He left behind his wife, Gertrude and seven children. He is buried in Armidale cemetery.


References

  • 'Armidale', Australian Town and Country Journal, Saturday 3 September, 1887, Page 19.

  • 'Armidale's Beginning', The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Friday 2 November, 1923, Page 2

  • 'Borough of Armidale', New South Wales Government Gazette, Friday, 27 March, 1868, Page 905

  • 'Borough of Armidale', New South Wales Government Gazette, Tuesday, 1 March, 1870, Page 501

  • 'Armidale Municipal Council', The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Saturday 19 January, 1867, Page 3

  • 'Armidale-51 years ago', The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Tuesday 19 April, 1921, Page 6

  • 'Armidale and New England Farmers' and Free Selectors Association', The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Friday, 16 March 1877, Page 6



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