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Bryan, Robert Watson (Bob) (1865–1935)

It is with profound regret that we have to announce the death of a Labor stalwart and our esteemed office colleague, Mr. Robert Watson ("Bob") Bryan, which occurred at his home at Northcote on January 2, after a long and painful illness, which he bore with the patience and courage he displayed during his life, at the age of 68 years. During his long illness he had the constant attention of a devoted wife and fond family.

Mr. Bryan was born at Sale (Vic.), where he served his time as a compositor. He subsequently worked on Victorian metropolitan and country newspapers. He visited America and England, and followed his calling in those countries. While abroad, over forty years ago, he was one of the first Australians to learn the use of the linotype. After returning to Australia, he was employed in Melbourne. For about the last fifteen years he was on the staff of the "Labor Call," and was the "Call's" "father of the chapel," the members of which, as a mark of respect to his memory, gathered round the "stone" at about the time of the funeral and stood with bowed heads for two minutes' silence.

Mr. Bryan's valuable services to the industrial and political Labor Movements were many and varied. He was a former president of the Printing Industry Employees' Union, and was almost constantly for many years the holder of other important offices in the Union. Politically, Mr. Bryan never spared himself in helping Labor candidates for Parliament and Municipal Councils, among whom were Frank Anstey, the late Harry Beard, Frank Brennan, the late W. C. Miller (a fellow member of Mr.Bryan's Union), F. E. Morgan, and Jack Cain.

Mr. Bryan was a foundation member of the Jika Jika branch of the Political Labor Council early in this century. Among those who were then associated with him were Messrs. George Dupree and H. Perkins, both of whom were at his funeral. The Premier of West Australia (Mr. Phil. Collier) belonged to the same small band. Mr. Bryan was also a justice of the peace.

"Bob" was well informed in Municipalism. Although he stood upon several occasions for the Northcote Council, the ratepayers of that municipality failed to appreciate his civic qualities.

In testimony of the respect in which Mr. Bryan was held, there was a large attendance at his funeral. Cr. Glanfleld (Mayor) and Cr. W. Turner, of Northcote, and many Union offcials were among those present. The pallbearers were: Messrs. G. R. A. Beardsworth (president of the Trades Hall Council), J. Taylor (president of P.I.E.U.A.), E. C. Magrath, M.L.C., N.S.W. (Federal secretary of P.I.E.U.A.), D. L. McNamara, M.L.C. (secretary of Victorian Branch and Federal A.L.P.), H. Henkel (manager of "Labor Call"), and F. Brennan, M.H.R. The Rev. Rayler (Congregational) officiated at the graveside. There were numerous floral tributes, including wreaths from the P.I.E.U.A., the Trades Hall Council, "Labor Call," and "Herald" chapels.

Mr. Bryan is survived by a widow (Mrs. Annie Elizabeth Bryan), four daughters (Mesdames D. Hoskin, H. Harmer, D. Bailey, and E. Bray), and one son, Mr. Ridley Bryan, B.A.

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Citation details

'Bryan, Robert Watson (Bob) (1865–1935)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/bryan-robert-watson-bob-32831/text40850, accessed 4 December 2022.

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