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Sangster, George (1845–1915)

from Age

George Sangster, n.d.

George Sangster, n.d.

We regret to announce the death of Mr. George Sangstcr, M.L.A., who has represented Port Melbourne in the Legislative Assembly for very many years. Mr. Sangster died at Paddington, N.S.W., yesterday, at 3.15 p.m., in the presence of all the members of his family except one daughter, who is in Melbourne. The deceased was visiting New South Wales on a holiday, and caught a severe chill last week which developed into acute pneumonia. Though he was for a long period a victim of a nervous breakdown, Mr. Sangster preserved a constitution which it was thought would resist a cold. The severity of last week's attack was, however, beyond the patient's powers of recuperation.

The State Government last evening forwarded condolences to the bereaved family, and decided to accord a State funeral to Mr. Sangster. The remains will be interred in the Melbourne General Cemetery on Saturday afternoon. All the official political labor organisations and many trades unions will be represented.

Mr. Sangster was born at Woodside, Aberdeen, Scotland, and was 69 years of age. He came to Australia about the year 1867 and followed the occupation of a fireman on coastal steamers for some years, gaining experience which later proved of great value to him in his public life. He was secretary of the Seamen's Union for some years, and was instrumental in forming the Wellington (N.Z.) branch of the organisation. After being for a short period on the Port Melbourne council he was about twenty years ago selected as a labor candidate for the Port Melbourne seat in the Legislative Assembly, and he represented the constituency continuously up to the time of his death. Some fourteen years ago differences arose in the party on the question as to whether industrial or political action was the most preferable, and Mr. Sangster declared himself as a strong advocate of political action. He felt that he could render most valuable service in the arena of State politics, and refused to fall in line with the wishes of local Laborites to stand against Mr. S. Mauger for Melbourne Ports in the House of Representatives, with the result that Mr. Mauger had a walk over. As a result a split occurred in the Labor ranks, and Mr. Sangster and about 100 of his followers were expelled from the party. Mr. Sangster then stood as an Independent candidate, and was elected. He served the constituency for about six years in that capacity. That the Labor party as a whole did not atttach any importance to the local dispute, or the allegations that were made against Mr. Sangster, was proved by the fact that he was admitted to meetings of the caucus, and was in other respects practically a member of the party. Eventually the differences were healed and the resolution of expulsion was expunged from the minutes of the party. Mr. Sangster played an important part in the Shipping Commission, and it was greatly due to his efforts that the seaworthiness of coastal vessels has been so much improved in recent years. He took a deep interest in all matters affecting the welfare of Port Melbourne, and was a strong patron of all kinds of sport, being highly esteemed by all classes of the community.

The State Premier, on learning the news, expressed the regret of the Ministry and its sympathy for Mr. Sangster's relatives. Sir Alexander Peacock added that he had had a long association with Mr. Sangster as a member of Parliament, and had held him in high esteem.

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Citation details

'Sangster, George (1845–1915)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/sangster-george-32757/text40727, accessed 1 December 2022.

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