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Bronterre Washington Dooley (1867–1913)

from Westralian Worker

General regret was experienced throughout the State on Monday last, when it became known that Mr. Bronterre Washington Dooley, Labor member for Geraldton in the Legislative Assembly, had passed away the previous night. For some weeks previously he had been an inmate of St. Omer Hospital suffering from tuberculosis of the throat and very little hope was entertained of his recovery. He left a widow and two children, aged 7 and 5 years respectively, to whom the sincere sympathy of not merely Laborites, but many others as well will be extended in their sad bereavement.

Mr. Dooley did not have a long parliamentary career, as he was elected for the first time on the occasion of the general election just over two years ago. Previous to this, however, he had a long record of work on behalf of the Labor movement to his credit, and it was only fitting that this should have been recognised so fittingly as it was by his election for Geraldton on October 3, 1911.

Born in Sydney on July 4, 1868[1], he was apprenticed, at 16 years' of age to the coachbuilding trade. Having served his indentures for five years he spent a correspondingly lengthy period in gaining bush experience. When the Labor movement in New South Wales was in its infancy he closely identified himself with its inaugural phases and joined the Sydney Coachbuilders' Society at the conclusion of his apprenticecship in 1888. During the visit of Henry George to Australia, he was connected with the Sydney Socialist League. He assisted at the first organised Labor elections in Australia which took place in Sydney in 1891, his work, as a member of the Paddington Political Labor League, having the approval of the leaders of the movement, at the time. After roughing it in different parts of the Commonwealth and New Zealand, he came to Western Australia in 1897 and resumed his trade as a coachbuilder, entering the services of the Railway Department. He joined the Amalgamated Society of Railway Employees shortly after its formation in 1898, and took a leading part in obtaining official recognition for that body.

In 1903 he took up his residence in the Geraldton district, and showed an active interest in local affairs. He was closely identified with the Geraldton branch of the Political Labor Party, the Eight Hours Demonstration, the Geraldton Co-operative Society and the local branch of the Railway Ambulance Corps, and also gained a seat on the municipal council. He played a leading part in the organisation of the Victoria District General Workers' Union, a composite body which did a great deal in organising the workers both industrially and politically.

The funeral took place on Monday afternoon in the Roman Catholic portion of the Karrakatta cemetery, Father O'Gorman being the officiating priest. There was a very large and representative attendance. The chief mourners were Mrs. Dooley (widow), and the Misses W. E. and S. C. Dooley (daughters).

The pall-bearers were the Colonial Secretary (Mr. J, M. Drew, M.L.C.), the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Frank Wilson, M.L.A.), Mr. E. Heitman, M.L.A. (representing the Geraldton District Council and Victoria District General Workers' Union), Mr. T. L. Brown, ex-member for Geraldtou, secretary of the Shearers' Union, and representative of the I.U.A.O.D. Geraldton Lodge, Mr. F. W. Burrows, president of the State Executive of the A.L.F., and Mr P. Hunt (secretary of the Amalgamated Society of Railway employees). The Premier (Mr. J. Scaddan), the Minister for Lands (Mr. Bath), the Minister for Works (Mr. Johnson), the Minister for Mines (Mr. Collier), the Honorary Minister (Mr. Angwin), and the following members of Parliament were present:—Messrs. R G. Ardagh, J. Cornell, and B. C. O'Brien,  M's.L. C. C. McDowall, W. H. Carpenter, W. Price, C. A. Hudson, J. P. Gardiner, J. J. McDonald, W. Dwver, T. Lander, P. L. O'Loghlen, E. B. Johnston, J. F. Mullany, H. G. Swan, G. J. Foley, S. W. Munsie, R. H. Underwood, H. E. Bolton, C. J. Lewis,  and E. Allen, M's.L.A.

Others present included Messrs. A. R. Grant (Clerk of the Assembly), Steere (Clerk Assistant), W. Findlay, W. Somerville, G. Paisley, R. McCutcheon (representing the Geraldton Lumpers' Union), W. Counsel, T. Barry, W. Watts. P. J. Mooney, J. Taylor, F. Johnson, J. Spencer, A. J.Doland, Kavanagh, C. Backshall, J. Gilleh, G. Kerr, J. Hilton, W. Palmer, Gallagher, Dingle, F. D. Johnston, G. H. Green, T. A. Smith (Geraldton Lumpers), A. E. Davies, W. Parker, T. Heydon, Butler, C. Parkes, W. Shortland, E. T. Ryan, and W. Vines. Mesdames A. E. Davies, J. Arnold and F. Mellowship represented the Women's branch of the Geraldton A.L.F.

The following sent wreaths:—The Ministers cof the Crown, Metropolitan Council A.L.F., Geraldton District Council, General Workers' Union (Geraldton), Officers and Members Geraldton Lodge, U.A.O.D.; Geraldton Branch W.A.A. Society of Railway Employees, Geraldton Workshops Employees, Men's branch A.L.F. Geraldton Women's branch A.L.F., Geraldon, Lumpers' Union, Geraldton, State Executive A.L.F., Members of E.D. and F.C. Union, Geraldton branch, Labor Women's branch, North Perth, Carriage-builders, Mid land Junction,. Mr. and Mrs. Keough and family, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Holman, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. R. Arnold (Geraldton), North Perth Women's A.L.F., Mr and Mrs. Headdy, Miss Headdy, Mrs. Radley (Geraldton),  Mr., Mrs. and Miss Parker, Mr. and Mrs. J. Hickey (Geraldton), Employees State Implement Works, Rocky Bay.

The funeral arrangements were in the hands of Messrs. Bowra and O'Dea.

Original publication

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Additional Resources

Citation details

'Dooley, Bronterre Washington (1867–1913)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/dooley-bronterre-washington-33405/text41749, accessed 24 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Birth

4 July, 1867
London, Middlesex, England

Death

19 October, 1913 (aged 46)
West Perth, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

tuberculosis

Cultural Heritage

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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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