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John Cain (1882–1957)

Mr. John Cain, Leader of the Victorian Opposition and former Premier, died suddenly in Townsville early this morning, aged 70. Mr. Cain had been holidaying on Magnetic Island off the north Queensland coast, when he was taken ill yesterday and rushed to Townsville Hospital. 

He was placed under an oxygen tent but failed to rally.

Mr. Cain is survived by his widow and a son and daughter.

The Premier of Victoria, Mr. Bolte, said to-day he was profoundly shocked by Mr. Cain's death.

He said Mr. Cain had rendered distinguished public service both in Government and Opposition. He would be given a State funeral on Tuesday.

A one-time farmer's labourer, Mr. Cain had run a fruit business and had been a clothing trades union organiser before his election to the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1917.

He was Premier of Victoria on three occasions, a few days in September 1943, from 1945 to 1947 and from 1952 to 1955.

The Acting Prime Minister, Sir Arthur Fadden, said in Brisbane he had learned of Mr. Cain's death with great regret.

"He was a great friend of both the Prime Minister and myself.

"He was a man I greatly admired, and in my opinion, he personified the definition of the time Australian," Sir Arthur said.

Leader of the Federal Opposition, Dr. Evatt, said in Sydney to-day that Mr. Cain was a great Labour leader who had served the people of Victoria and Australia with selflessness and courage.

Original publication

Citation details

'Cain, John (1882–1957)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


19 January, 1882
Greendale, Victoria, Australia


4 August, 1957 (aged 75)
Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

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Political Activism