Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Joseph Michael Martin (1898–1940)

Mr. Joseph Michael Martin, who collapsed and died at Newcastle races yesterday was well known in the milk industry and the political and Rugby League worlds.

A former Labour Party member of the Legislative Council, Mr. Martin was 42. He and Mr. E. L. Lloyd were the only candidates for the Presidency of the Newcastle Rugby League. The district clubs were to have voted for Mr. Martin or Mr. Lloyd next Monday night. Now Mr. Lloyd will be elected unopposed.

Mr. Martin played an active part in Rugby League administration last year. He was Central Newcastle Club's delegate to the Newcastle League, and a member of the Country League Committee. He addressed meetings of the New South Wales League on Country League matters and played a leading part in the country's fight for a State Council. He was to have attended the annual conference of the Country League at the weekend, and would have been prominent in the move to break away from the New South Wales League.

In 1919 Mr. Martin formed and played in the City Houses' Rugby League competition in Sydney. His son Jeffrey, was a member of Central's reserve grade team last season.

In the political world too, Mr. Martin was well-known. He had been a member of the Australian Labor Party for many years and at the time of his death he was a member of Hamilton branch. At one time he contested the Parkes seat in the Legislative Assembly against Sir Charles Marr, but failed, and later he became a member of the Legislative Council. One of his brothers, Mr. J. B. Martin, M.L.C., is a former Organising Secretary of the State A.L.P.

For a number of years the late Mr. Martin was State Organiser for the Electrical Trades' Union, with his office in Sydney. He was a member of the Millk Board for six and a half years, and was sent to New Zealand to study dairying conditions. He was regarded as an expert on the milk industry, and was Manager of the Dairy Farmers' Cooperative Milk Co. Ltd. Newcastle, at the time of his death.

Mr. Martin who lived in Hamilton had been in Newcastle only about two and a half years, but was widely known. 

"The news is a great shock to me," said Mr. E. Lloyd, who would have been Mr. Martin's opponent for the position as President of the Newcastle Rugby League. "I numbered Mr. Martin among my friends. In fact I knew him before he came to Newcastle. There was no finer advocate or better speaker on the Newcastle League. His death will mean a loss to football and the community generally."

"I want to pay a tribute to Mr. Martin not merely on my own behalf, but on behalf of the Newcastle Rugby League and the Secretary (Mr. F. Baker) and the Treasurer (Mr. H. R. Clark,)" said the retiring President (Mr. E. G. Silcock). "His sudden death will be deeply regretted in Newcastle and Sydney sporting circles. I want to extend to the family the sympathy of the Rugby League community. I have a personal regret at the loss of a loyal and able colleague. Not only was he a brilliant debater and keen club man in Newcastle, but he was essentially a Rugby League man and he played a prominent part in Newcastle's activities on the Country League. The players have lost one who did everything possible to further their efforts and we of the Newcastle League have lost a close friend."

Regret was also expressed by the Secretary of the Newcastle branch of the Electrical Trades Union (Mr. L. Wells). "When Mr. Martin was State organiser he was one of the most zealous and energetic colleagues a man could have," said Mr. Wells.

Mr. Martin leaves a widow, one daughter Beryl, a son Jeffrey, and two brothers Messrs. J. B. Martin, M.L.C. and C. Martin, both of Sydney. His mother and Father are living in Sydney. The funeral will leave St. Joseph's Church Junction, for the Roman Catholic section of Sandgate Cemetery at 3 pm. to-day.

Original publication

Citation details

'Martin, Joseph Michael (1898–1940)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


3 January, 1898
Pyrmont, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


5 March, 1940 (aged 42)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Religious Influence

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.

Key Organisations
Political Activism