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James William (Jim) Burgess (1880–1945)

from West Australian

This entry is from Obituaries Australia

An hour before the annual sitting of the State Licensing Court began in Perth yesterday morning Mr J. W. [James William] Burgess, chairman of the Licensing Bench, collapsed and died at his desk. Only a few minutes earlier he conducted a telephone conversation with Mr T.O. Davies, secretary of the State Executive of the Australian Labour Party, but did not complain of bad health.

Mr Burgess drove to work yesterday morning from his home in Loftus-street, Leederville. A passenger who travelled with him said that he appeared in normal health.

As a token of respect for their late chairman, Messrs W. Wauhop and F. J. McGrath, the other two members of the Licensing Bench, adjourned the renewing of the annual licensing schedule in Perth until 10 am today. The Court will now endeavour to cover the Perth, Subiaco, Claremont and Canning districts today, Fremantle tomorrow, and the Swan district on Thursday.

Although only appointed chairman of the Licensing Bench a fortnight ago, Mr Burgess was a member of the Court for 12 years. Prior to this appointment he was active in the industrial world, having been secretary of the Fremantle Trades Hall from 1924 until 1933.

Always a champion of the working man, Mr Burgess had an interesting career. Born in South Australia 63 years ago, he came to Western Australia at the age of 14. He became engaged in the goldmining and timber industries and, while at Abbott's Find took a leading part in organising workers, being elected vice-president of the Australian Workers Union. He came to Perth as a shop assistant and in, 1915 was organiser and general secretary of the Shop Assistants' Union. Later he was appointed to the Prices Regulation Commission and in 1923 was a member of the Wheat Advisory Board.

He founded the Hospital Employees' Union and was also chairman of the Royal Commission which inquired into the metropolitan milk supply in 1925. For 29 years he served as a member of the Karrakatta Cemetery Board and from 1921 until 1930 represented the Leederville Ward of the Perth City Council. At a meeting of the Perth City Council yesterday the Lord Mayor (Mr J. Totterdell) expressed regret at his death and extended the council's sympathy to Mrs Burgess.

Original Publication

Other Entries for James William (Jim) Burgess

Citation details

'Burgess, James William (Jim) (1880–1945)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Jim Burgess, 1925

Jim Burgess, 1925

State Library of Western Australia, 67935803

Life Summary [details]


25 November, 1880
Quorn, South Australia, Australia


3 December, 1945 (aged 65)
Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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.

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