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George Michael Hooper (1875–1941)

It is with regret that we have to report the death of Cr. George Hooper, twice Mayor of Brunswick, a notable figure in the Labor Movement, and a solid battler for the worker. At the time of his death he was organiser of the Municipal Employees' Union, and president of the Victorian branch of the Theatrical Employees' Association.

He had been a foundation member and a Federal President of the Theatrical Employees, and was constantly seeking to improve the lot of stage workers, for he knew their conditions. He was a switch board attendant at the Theatre Royal and King's Theatre in the days when a stage hand received 16/8 a week (night work only). Today, the wage is £3/12/-.

The late Cr. Hooper had been a councillor at Brunswick for 20 years and on two occasions contested the old East Melbourne State electorate against Mr. A. A. Farthing, M.L.A. At one poll, when the secretary of the Theatrical Employees' Association (Mr. A. E. Huckerby) was his campaign secretary, Mr. Hooper went within a few votes of defeating his opponent.

"George" was also a past president of the Electrical Trades Union, and at the time of his death, president of the Brunswick Municipal Band. He was an ex-treasurer of the Carlton Football Club and served on the committee for years.

Although he had been in indifferent health for some time, he was always jovial and hearty, and ready to laugh with the next man. His unexpected collapse on Derby day, and his death a few days later, was a grevious shock to his friends.

He was a loyal friend of the Labor Movement, and could never be swerved from supporting the cause of the worker; he would speak his part in no uncertain terms when the necessity arose.

The funeral left the late Cr. Hooper's residence, Barkly Street, West Brunswick, at 11 a.m., last Friday for the Fawkner Cemetery, where interment was made.

Before the cortege left hundreds of men, including Council employees who had been given three hours off duty to pay their last respects, lined the roadway, a remarkable tribute to the late Cr. Hooper. Crowds of people stood reverently in the street while the hearse passed towards Sydney Road, headed by the Brunswick Municipal Band. It was the largest funeral ever held in Brunswick.

Some businesses closed their doors, and at St. Ambrose Girls' School, the children were formed up in line. There was a very large crowd of people representing all sections of the community at the graveside.

The pall bearers were: Messrs. D. L. McNamara, M.L.C. and J. Jewell, M.L.A., Cr. J. Holbrook (Mayor of Brunswick) and Cr. A. R. Holbrook, the Town Clerk, Mr. R. McGregor Dawson, the secretary of the Threatical Employees' Association (Cr. A. E. Huckerby), the secretary of the Municipal Employees' Union (Mr. J. Keating) and Mr. R. Harding.

Deceased left a widow and an adult family.

Funeral arrangements were in the hands of John Allison, Sydney Road.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • photo, Brunswick and Coburg Leader (Vic), 27 July 1923, p 1

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Hooper, George Michael (1875–1941)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/hooper-george-michael-34028/text42668, accessed 19 May 2024.

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