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Cohen, Henry Morris (Harry) (1869–1925)

from Northern Champion (Taree, NSW)

Newcastle on Friday of last week lost one of its leading citizens in Mr. Harry Morris Cohen, a member of the well-known firm of solicitors, Messrs. Braye, Cohen and Cragg. He had been suffering from a heart affection for some months, but lately his condition had improved considerably and apparently there was every hope that he would shortly be able to return to the work of his profession in which he had borne a prominent part in the Newcastle, and Maitland and surrounding districts.

Just 23 years ago he joined Mr. Alf. Braye, who had then been practising for a little over three years on his own account, in practice in Newcastle. Speaking at a gathering in the Newcastle Court of the Magistrates, members of the legal profession and court officers, and police on Friday, when the sad news reached Newcastle, to honor the memory of the deceased gentleman, and express their sympathy with his widow and relatives, Mr. Braye said it was hard for him to say anything on that occasion. He had been with the deceased for 23 years, and he could say that a more honorable, upright and just man had never breathed. During their long association they had not had one grievance which had caused the slightest ripple in their professional partnership.

Mr. Cohen was an old and very esteemed friend of the late Mr. D. Cowan, and those gentlemen had collaborated on a number of occasions in connection with legal work in this district, particularly at the last two Special Courts for the reduction of hotel licenses in the old Gloucester electorate, in the results of which the genial Harry's generalship held a leading part. His first visit to the Manning had been in the early days of his partnership, when, with his partner, he drove a buggy and pair from Stockton, by the Bullahdelah – Coolongolook Redbank route on a vacation visit to their friends at 'Orange Grove,' Oxley Island. On those trips he made many friends in this district, who will keenly regret his passing.

He took a very active and leading part in all public matters affecting the life of his city and district. He was one of the oldest members of the Newcastle A. H. and I. Association, and had been its president from his unanimous election thereto in 1915 up to the time of his death. That body was still in its infancy when the Great War burst upon the world, and its members and the district have very much cause for grateful remembrance of the work of Mr. Cohen in carrying it through the difficult years of the war period, and for its sound financial footing to-day.

He was an alderman of Newcastle for a number of years, when it was passing through the great changes, from the Newcastle of the latter half of the last century to the modern seaside city of to-day, and he was one of the foremost in the civic work of this change. He was also an original trustee and one of the founders of the Returned Soldiers and Sailors' Memorial Institute of Newcastle.

These were only some of his public activities.

Among other offices held by him at the time of his death was that of President of the Newcastle Jewish congregation, but it was characteristic of the broad sympathy of the man that while he took a prominent part in its affairs, he had identified himself as a citizen of Newcastle for many years with the general work of the Young Men's Christian Association of that city, of which he was an honorary treasurer, and later a member of its board of directors.

Despite the pouring rain in Newcastle on Sunday last, which seemed to reach its height in the afternoon, a large concourse of men from Sydney, Newcastle, Maitland, and the surrounding districts (the Manning had some representatives) paid their last sad tribute to departed merit, at the Sandgate Cemetery on Sunday afternoon.

Among the mourners were: Judge Cohen, a brother-in-law of the deceased gentleman and the Judge's sons, Dr. Cedric Cohen, of Sydney, and Colyn K . Cohen, a member of the firm of Braye, Cohen and Cragg. Another brother-in-law, Mr. Keith Cohen, of Sydney, the Messrs. Hollander, brothers of the widow of the deceased, and his partner for 23 years, Mr. T. A. I. Braye.

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'Cohen, Henry Morris (Harry) (1869–1925)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/cohen-henry-morris-harry-19876/text31122, accessed 23 April 2018.

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