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Bartley Bartholomew (Brady) Deveney (1875–1939)

Collapsing suddenly while talking in the City Council members' rooms yesterday afternoon, Alderman Bartley Bartholomew Deveney died instantly. Alderman Deveney had been sitting at a table talking to Councillors Disney, Townsend, and Carter. Dr. Dale, the city health officer, was called immediately, but he found Alderman Deveney was dead.

Alderman Deveney was aged 64 years, and was the first Labour representative to be elected to the City Council, on November 7, 1919. He became an alderman two years later, and was the only Labour man to have held the office, which will be abolished in August.

Alderman Deveney gave long service to the Australian Federation of Locomotive Engineers, and in his employment in the railways as fireman, steam-engine drive, and electric train driver, a position which he held until his death. He was fireman in an engine of one of the trains involved in the Sunshine train disaster

In the union he held many offices, including that of president, and at his death was senior trustee of the Victorian division.

Alderman Deveney, who collapsed and died at the Town Hall yesterday, represented the City Council as Commissioner of the Board of Works, as chairman of the North Melbourne Recreation Reserve committee, and on the committees of the free libraries at North Melbourne and Flemington, and the Flemington Domestic Arts School. He was a member of several committees of the council.

He leaves a married son and a married daughter. Since Christmas his wife and sister-in-law have also died.

The funeral will leave the home of his son, in Wolseley street, Kensington, at 3 30 p.m. to-day for the Melbourne General Cemetery, and will be officially attended by city councillors. 

The practice of the council has been to elect the senior councillor of a ward as its alderman. This would make Councillor J. Stack certain of the vacant position in normal circumstances. However, none of the councillors in the ward is likely to be keen to accept a position which will be abolished in five months. The law at present provides that the council must elect a new alderman in 10 days. The election will be held next Wednesday, at the only council meeting within the 10 days.

Though the council precedent is to elect the senior councillor, the act gives it power to appoint any citizen. Anyone elected and refusing office is liable to a penalty of up to £50. Councillor Stack would, in any case, retire in August and come up for re-election. If appointed alderman, he would still be eligible to contest his seat as a councillor again in August.

Only after a councillor has been elected to the position of alderman will there be a vacancy in the council, to be filled at a further election.

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Citation details

'Deveney, Bartley Bartholomew (Brady) (1875–1939)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Bartley Deveney, n.d.

Bartley Deveney, n.d.

Age (Melbourne), 5 April 1939, p 12

Life Summary [details]


Geelong, Victoria, Australia


4 April, 1939 (aged ~ 64)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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