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Joseph (Joe) Hayes (1851–1929)

from Record

Joe Hayes, n.d.

Joe Hayes, n.d.

When the Colony of Victoria was in the midst of the gold fever, Joseph Hayes Morris was born in Sandridge[1]. Recently he was laid to rest after a useful and active life of 78 years. He died in his native town, loved and respected by all who knew him, and who came in crowds to pay homage to his memory, as his remains were laid to rest.

Joseph Morris began his earning life with the Hobsons Bay Railway Company, but soon found himself on the waterfront, where he spent the balance of his life as a worker or as an organiser of the industry. For 40 years he worked strenuously, but cleanly in his fellow-workers' interests, either in the State or the Federal organisation. In the early days, when Labour was not as prominent in politics as it is to-day, Mr. Morris was a staunch supporter of local champions, including Mr. Ben. Tucker, who sat as a Labourite in the Victorian Parliament. He was secretary of the Port Melbourne stevedores, and first secretary of the Waterside Federation, with Mr. W. M. Hughes as the first president. Mr. Morris resigned this position only recently, owing to ill health, and was awarded a pension for 30 years' faithful service. In the early fights on the waterfront, Mr. Morris was greatly assisted by Cr. Walter, the father of the Port Melbourne Council.

In 1907, Mr. Morris was elected to the Port Melbourne Council, became Mayor in 1910-11, and resigned in 1922. He was keenly interested in all local matters, which he closely followed, in spite of the big claim made on his time by his union duties.

He was always a strong supporter of the policy of Councils controlling the essential utilities, and was active in the support of purchasing bulk current, first from the Melbourne City Council, and later from the Electricity Commission for distribution to the ratepayers. Mr. Morris was very proud of being 'No. 1' on the list of the Council's electric supply customers.

Cr. Edwards, at the last meeting of the Port Melbourne Council moved a vote of sympathy to the relatives of the late ex-Councillor Morris, who had been a good worker for the city, whilst a member of the Council, in spite of his big outside responsibilities. He was a worthy son of Port Melbourne, who had given his whole life to the service of his fellow-man.

Cr. Crichton said he had known Mr. Morris when he (Cr. Crichton) was a boy, and was on the Council during Ex-Councillor Morris' time. He was a man who would be widely missed, and whose memory would be honoured by the many who attended his funeral, and the thousands who were unable to attend.

Cr. Howe referred to the esteem in which Mr. Morris was held by employers and employees. He was the friend of the waterside workers, but always tried to be fair to all. Cr. Tucker said that as a Councillor, an industrialist, and a citizen, Mr. Morris was always a clean and ardent worker and fighter. He was a sound Trades Unionist from first to last. In his youth he always took a great interest in all clean sport. The late Councillor was a Port Melbourne native, and a credit to the city.

Cr. Davies said that the watersiders owed much to the labours of the late Mr. Morris, who had won respect wherever he moved.

Cr. Ryan spoke of his comrade of 40 years standing, whose greatest ambition was to prevent trouble.

Cr. Cremer said Mr. Morris had been his chief for 15 years. His ability as a leader were unquestioned and unequalled. Even during sickness, Mr. Morris could not be kept from his work. His will was indomitable — he was born a fighter, and died a fighter. At no time did he lose the respect of either worker of employer. His best friends regretted Mr. Morris had not had rest from his labours; but, to the end he was thinking of his work. His very last words were: 'Let me get to my job.' Cr. Page added his word of appreciation, and the vote of sympathy was reverently carried.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Joseph (Joe) Hayes

Additional Resources

  • profile, Tocsin (Melbourne), 6 April 1905, p 13
  • remiscences, Labor Call (Melbourne), 1 August 1929, p 6
  • tribute, Record (Emerald Hill, Vic), 17 August 1929, p 4

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Hayes, Joseph (Joe) (1851–1929)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 28 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Joe Hayes, n.d.

Joe Hayes, n.d.

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Morris, Joseph
  • Morris, Joseph Hayes

Essex, England


26 July, 1929 (aged ~ 78)
Port Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage

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