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Arthur Fenton (Bluey) Howells (1907–1986)

by Ralph Gibson

Tribune regrets to report the death of Arthur Howells, of Olinda, Victoria.

Arthur was a leading activist in the Victorian Council Against War and Fascism in the 1930s. He played a prominent part in the Egon Kisch episode and in activities in support of the Republic in the Spanish Civil War. He married his co-worker, Margaret, in 1937. He and Margaret both made important contributions in the difficult uphill battle for peace and freedom in the pre-war years.

After marriage (and a term in the RAAF during the war), Arthur set up as a nurseryman in Olinda and became active locally in many fields, especially in art and theatre groups and in the Rhododendron Society. The Howells' home has served as a magnet for progressive thought and activity of different kinds in the Dandenong Ranges for nearly half a century. Arthur was an independent thinker, with strong working class instincts, and a good and staunch friend.

His book Against the Stream, published in 1982, tells his life story up till 1939. He was a keen writer and wrote on Henri Bartesse, the Spanish war, on his RAAF experiences in the Northern Territory, and also a book for children. He painted, acted and had a deep interest in the arts generally. Tribune expresses sincere sympathy to Arthur's wife, Margaret, his daughter, Philippa, and his grandchildren.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

Ralph Gibson, 'Howells, Arthur Fenton (Bluey) (1907–1986)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


26 September, 1907
Kogarah, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


1986 (aged ~ 78)
Ferntree Gully, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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