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Christopher James (Chris) Bennett (1867–1930)

from Labor Call

A veteran of our party and secretary of the Blacksmiths' Society passed away after a short illness at St. Vincent's Hospital, on Friday, the 11th inst. Chris [Christopher James] Bennett had been associated with the Labor Movement for a quarter of a century. As president and a member of the Trades Hall Council, he took a leading part in all its work. He unsuccessfully contested both Federal and State seats for Parliamentary honors. In the Corangamite Federal electorate, against the late Mr. J. C. Manifold; and in the Ovens State electorate, against the late Mr. A. A. Billson. In both electorates he put up fights for our party that have since borne fruit. Chris, as he was popularly known, was a worker, unflagging in all his activities, and to use the words of a member of the Builders Laborers' Society, he was too good a man to lose at the present time, for he was the whitest of the white. This is quite true, for his indelible mark remains behind for the younger ones to copy.

The funeral left the Trades Hall, Victoria-street, punctually at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday, and in front of the motor hearse walked the members of the Blacksmiths' Society (numbering 60) to the Melbourne Cemetery, where his remains were interred. At the close of the funeral service two fine eulogies on the worth and loss of their dear comrade were given by Mr. R. V. Keane, M.H.R., president of the Australian Labor Party, and by Mr. Don Cameron, president of the Trades Hall Council. Amongst the large gathering at the graveside we noticed the following: J. McNeill, M.H.R., E. J. Holloway, M.H.R., and ex-Senator Joe Hannan. State Parliamentary members G. M. Prendergast and J. J. Holland were also present. Other noted Laborites present were the father of the Trade Union Movement, Charlie Andersen (A M.I.E.U.); Albert Monk, assistant secretary of the Trades Hall Council: the officials of the Australian Labor Party's office; the vice-president of the Trades Hall Council, Del. Riley; and the newly elected secretary of the Trades Hall Council, Com. W. J. Duggan. Union leaders and officials of our Movement in numbers paid a tribute to the memory of their departed comrade. Many women workers in our Movement attended, and amongst them were Mrs. W. Miller and Mrs. J. Smith, with many of their sister Laborites.

The Celtic Club and the Working Men's College Council, of which Mr. Bennett was a member, were also represented. The pallbearers consisted of members of the Executives of the Trades Hall Council and the Victorian Labor Party, the Blacksmiths' Society and the Working Men's College Council. The funeral was conducted by Mr. R. Robson (under the supervision of Harry Bussell), of North Fitzroy.

The following verse sums up the late brother:—

"Lives of good men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And departing leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time."

The "Labor Call" extends its sympathy to relatives of the deceased.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Christopher James (Chris) Bennett

Additional Resources

  • profile, Labor Call (Vic), 8 March 1923, p 3
  • death notice, Age (Melbourne), 13 December 1930, p 7
  • funeral, Herald (Melbourne), 13 December 1930, p 3

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Bennett, Christopher James (Chris) (1867–1930)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


28 May, 1867
Kapunda, South Australia, Australia


12 December, 1930 (aged 63)
East Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death


Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism