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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

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William Lawrence Cohen (1874–1939)

Those who admire quiet and unostentatious personalities, learned with regret that Alderman William Lawrence Cohen, of Kallatt, Benelong Crescent, Bellevue Hill, so favourably and a widely well-known worker in so many causes had been gathered unto his people after a very short illness at the end of July.

A member of an old Australian family he was born at Woollahra and passed from Sydney Grammar School to join the firm of S. Hoffnung and Co., but left to study law at Sydney University. For 38 years he practised as a solicitor in Sydney. He was always helpful as honorary solicitor to the Hebrew Friendly Society for a considerable period and likewise to the Eastern Suburbs Central Synagogue where he recently prepared the Synagogue's revised laws and regulations. Mr. Cohen was a regular attendant at the Great Synagogue. The seat he held was first taken by his father the late Louis Cohen at the opening of The Great Synagogue. It will in future be held by his son Ian.

Mr. Cohen had been a member of the Conqueror Lodge, U.A.O.D. for a great many years . In Freemasonry he was a Foundation member and a Past Master of Lodge Waverley U.G.L. of N.S W. Proceeding to the Royal Arch he became a member of the Supreme Grand Chapter.

For the last six years Ald. Cohen represented the Edgecliff Ward of the Woollahra Municipal Council. He was the honorary secretary of the Waverley Bowling Club. He was greatly interested in the Bondi-Waverley School of Arts for which his father-in-law the late C. J. Loewenthal had done a very practical amount of assistance. It was at Mr. Cohen's instigation that Mrs Cohen became actively associated with the Waverley Branch of the Red Cross of which she is now the President.

The funeral obsequies at the Necropolis Rookwood were performed by Rabbi L. A. Falk. A Masonic service was also held. On the following Sabbath speaking from the pulpit of the Great Synagogue Rabbi Falk paid an eloquent tribute to the worth of the deceased member. Mrs. Cohen and her son Ian and daughter Marise received an enormous number of letters of sympathy including those from Parliamentary, Municipal and other public bodies.

Original publication

Citation details

'Cohen, William Lawrence (1874–1939)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


11 April, 1874
Woollahra, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


25 July, 1939 (aged 65)
Bellevue Hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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.

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