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Obituaries Australia

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Murray, Basil Lathrop (1875–1925)

General regret was expressed on Monday when it became known that Mr. Basil Lathrop Murray, managing director of the Westralian Farmers, Ltd., had died in a private hospital in St. Kilda, Victoria. The death of Mr. Murray was not entirely unexpected by some of his friends. He became ill in September last and since then he had undergone three operations–two in Melbourne and one in Perth. The final consultation occurred on Thursday, after which information was received in Perth that big medical advisers had been unable to diagnose the complaint, and that his condition was very low.

The late Mr. Murray was born at South Melbourne on December 30, 1875. His father was a former Commissioner, of Railways in Victoria. He was educated at the Church of England Grammar School, Melbourne. In 1904, Mr. Murray, after being connected with the Victoria Insurance Co., Ltd., for about 13 years, was commissioned to open a branch of the company in this State. From 1910 to 1914, and from 1916 to 1918, he was a member of the committee of the Marine Underwriters' Association, and he acted as a delegate to the Federal Council of that body from 1912-1913 to 1910-1917. Mr. Murray was also at one time chairman of the Fire Underwriters Association and was a member of the old Fire Brigade Board in 1906-1907 and of the new board from 1910 to 1915, and was president of the latter body from 1912-1915. During those three years he was also a member of the finance committee of the Perth City Council. He was an original member of the Farmers and Settlers' Association and probably took a more active part than any other citizen in the formation of the co-operative side of the Westralian Farmers, Ltd. During the war Mr Murray rendered useful service as a member of the War Patriotic Fund, and he was a member of an appeal committee that raised £21,000 in as many days for the Y.M.C.A. in this State. He was devoted to music and represented for many years in this State the London College of Music. He was connected with the British Board of Trade in the capacity of Imperial Trade Correspondent for Western Australia, and a few years ago conducted a strenuous campaign urging the establishment of the bulk handling of wheat in this State. His magnetic personality, many-sided attainments and conspicuous ability in argument and debate meant that he was invariably called upon to take a leading part by those with whom he was from time to time associated. With these qualities so pronounced and the keen foresight and business acumen he exhibited at all times, his appointment as managing director of the Westralian Farmers, Ltd., in 1917, three years after the establishment of the firm, was not unexpected. In 1920, in company, with Mr. Meares, of the Coastal Farmers' Co-operative Society, Ltd., of New South Wales, Mr. Murray was deputed to visit England to establish there a buying and selling floor for the Australian, New Zealand, and South African Co-operative Federations; and as a result of this visit the Overseas Farmers' Co-operative Federation, Ltd. was successfully founded. It was also due to his untiring zeal that the broadcasting station "6 WF" was successfully established in this State. On the death of Lord Forrest Mr. Murray unsuccessfully opposed Mr. E. W. Corboy, for the Swan seat in the House of Representatives. However, he was never greatly attracted by politics, and preferred to concentrate his energies on commerce.

A widow, three daughters, and a son survive the deceased, and three of his brothers are Dr. Hugh Murray, of East Malvern, Victoria; Mr. Noel Murray, engineer of Melbourne; and Mr. Lee Murray, managing director of a company in England.

The remains will be brought to Perth, and the funeral will take place on April 30. The service will be conducted by the Rev. C. L. Riley, of St. Mary's Church, West Perth.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • photo, Western Mail (Perth), 23 April 1925, p 7s
  • funeral, West Australian, 1 May 1925, p 13

Citation details

'Murray, Basil Lathrop (1875–1925)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 October 2020.

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