The Allen Brothers
When Lou was in his mid teens, he and his two older siblings, George Edward Allen and Bessie Margaret Allen, moved to Smithton. Before long, Lou found work as a driver on Tatlow’s Myalla-Smithton mail service. His brother, George, also found work, becoming an assistant to Samuel Joseph Billing, who had some years earlier established the first blacksmith in Smithton. A few years later, George took over Billing’s business. A photo of George’s blacksmith can been seen in the Merchants of Smithton collection. 
George was at the first meeting to form a butter factory at Smithton in 1904. He was secretary and chairman of directors for the first five or six years. Some years later, in 1920, when the butter factory purchased its first lorry, Lou was appointed driver to collect cream throughout the district.
Occasionally Lou helped out at his brother’s blacksmith business. In 1918, Lou sustained serious injury when a horse kicked out with both heels, catching him on the head.
Lou also operated a bicycle shop, which celebrated its opening in 1912. The shop was called Pelican Cycle Works where bicycles were built to specification.
Both brothers were active in community life. Lou was a member of the local brass band and was often called on to be the emcee at many social events. He was also member of the Smithton Bicycle Club, which he helped establish in 1911.
George also took great interest in community affairs and was a staunch supporter of the labour movement. It is said that he was the first man to introduce the Labour policy to Smithton, and also the man who introduced future prime minister, Joseph Lyons, to politics. He and Joseph were both members of the Smithton Debating Society.
In March 1905, the Smithton Debating Society opened the season with a debate on the subject, “Should coloured aliens be prohibited?” George opened the debate for the affirmative. The debate was very much one sided with all speakers following debating for the affirmative. Only one person spoke against, Mr F W Hart, who led the opposition. This particular debate took place just four years after the introduction of the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901. 
In April 1925, Lou and his wife and their three children moved to Melbourne. George and his wife followed suit, moving to Melbourne in May 1935. Their sister, Bessie, who was already married, remained in Tasmania.
Lou passed away in Melbourne on 22 April 1970 aged 72. His brother, George, passed away nine years later on 8 October 1984 aged 92. Both were interred at the Springvale Botanical Cemetery.
 George was previously a blacksmith in Leongatha, Victoria. Around 1903, he, William Geale, Butterworth and other farmers from the district undertook a tour of inspection of Tasmania. Both Allen and Geale remained at Smithton and made significant contribution to Smithton’s economy. After the purchase of Joseph Billing’s blacksmith business, Joseph’s eldest son, Joseph Arnold Billing, became an employee in George’s business, which he subsequently took over in partnership with Peter Madsen.
 Subsequent Acts further strengthened the policy up to the commencement of the Second World War. Prime Minister Curtin (1941—1945) reinforced the policy, saying, “This country shall remain forever the home of the descendants of those people who came here in peace in order to establish in the South Seas outpost of the British race” (Fact Sheet—Abolition of the White Australia Policy: Department of Immigration and Border Protection website)
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