George Hobbs

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Port Adelaide Library:

George Hobbs

South Side

Name added to memorial 1918

He was nominated by the Working Men’s Association

Contemporary press clippings:



Widespread regret was expressed at Port Adelaide on Monday afternoon when it became known that Mr. George Hobbs, warden of the Marine Board, had died that day in the Adelaide Hospital. The deceased gentleman was probably as widely known as anyone at the Port, as his various offices connected with shipping business brought him into close contact with all classes of the community. Born in the south of England, Mr. Hobbs entered the British navy at an early age. He served for a term on the East Indian station, and at the close of his service he gravitated to Australia, where his former mode of life naturally led to his remaining in the neighborhood of the sea and ships. He worked on the wharf at Port Adelaide for a time as a lumper, but upon the formation of the Coasting Seamen's Union on August 25, 1886 he was appointed secretary of that body, which post he retained until January 9, 1893, when it was amalgamated with the Federated Seamen's Union. He returned to his former means of livelihood on the wharf, but the work was a severe strain upon him, and as of late he got weaker and weaker he was appointed vigilant officer to the Working Men's Association. But the office was conferred upon him too late to be of much use, for he had to enter the hospital shortly after, and he did not come out again alive.

In unionist circles the late Mr. Hobbs was probably one of the half-dozen most prominent men. He joined the Working Men's Association on February 2, 1880. He had not been a member very long before be was appointed assistant secretary, and he continued to hold that office up till the last. He was also a member of the Federated Seamen's Union, although he never held office in it. On February 3, 1891, he was appointed a warden of the Marine Board, and eight days later he sat at the board for the first time. He was the first representative who attended there in the interests of the seamen, having been nominated by the Government. In the deliberations of the board he always held his own, and gave satisfaction to the interests he represented. The president of the Marine Board and his fellow wardens were among the first to express sympathy with him in his late illness, and to commiserate with his family in their bereavement. Mr. Hobbs was one of the oldest members of Court Concord, A.O.F. In his connection with the unions he twice visited the eastern colonies. When it was proposed to federate the wharf labor organisations he attended a conference in Sydney as a delegate from South Australia. He was also at the Federation Conference at Ballarat, at which a scheme for the consolidation of the unions of Australasia was formulated. He was recently nominated for the plebiscite of the Labor Party for the selection of candidates at the next general elections. At a meeting of the Federated Seamen's Union on Monday evening a resolution of regret and sympathy with his family in their bereavement was carried. Mr. Hobbs's illness had been of long duration. When he went on tour with the Marine Board, in February last, he was the sick member of the party, and on more than one occasion had to receive special treatment. He attempted to scale the cliffs at Cape Borda to attend to his official duties, but was taken so ill at Harvey's Return that he had to go back to the Governor Musgrave, after having made the ascent, without visiting the lighthouse. His health continuing weak caused anxiety amongst his friends. Nevertheless, during the recent correspondence between the wharf laborers and the shipowners he acted as secretary to the Working Men's Association. He leaves a wife and five children, and his remains will be interred at Woodville Cemetery on Wednesday.

The Express and Telegraph, September 24 1895