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

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Archibald (Dobbie) Dobson (1868–1926)

This entry is from Obituaries Australia

Another stalwart in our Movement has gone the long journey, in the person of Cr. Archibald Dobson, who said goodbye to this world on Friday morning, 9th inst, just thirty days after the death of his wife. It was her prolonged illness that told on our late comrade, who bore his troubles with a smile. When the news reached the Trades Hall a gloom was cast over the building in which he was so closely attached, as he held the position of Federal Secretary of the Furnishing Trades of Australia and State Secretary for Victoria. As an administrator he stood alone where many silver-tongued orators failed to convince. Archie's personality told the tale, for he had a way and manner all his own, in carrying through that which he believed was best for our Movement, which he gave his life to. Those who will feel his loss the most will be the furniture workers, for it was his untiring grit and determination that saved the industry from passing into the hands of the Chinese some thirty years ago. It was on the soap box on street corners that Arch, and his anti-Chinese committee arrested public attention.

There was no position in the Trades Union Movement that he had not reached. He was always to be found fighting for the comrade on the lowest rung of the ladder. He had acted in almost every official position in connection with the Trades Hall Council, the Eight Hours celebration committee, and the Victorian Labor party, and he had attended conferences of the last-named organisation on behalf of his union for many years. He was also a director on the "Labor Call" Board of Management.

Comrade Dobson was absent on leave from the union at the time of his death but was to return to duty next week. Councillor Dobson was elected for the Hopetoun Ward of the City Council on the death of Councillor H. Parris in January, 1920. He was a member of the Town Hall and baths committee and the abattoirs committee of the council, and he was also a member of the committee of the North Melbourne Free Library and the Flemington and Kensington Institute. Councillor Dobson began his municipal career as a member of the Flemington Council before the Flemington and Kensington area was amalgamated with the City of Melbourne, and on one occasion was mayor of that municipality. He was also actively associated with Friendly Society work, holding the position of secretary of the Mistletoe Lodge U.A.O.D.

The funeral cortege to the Coburg Cemetery was a lengthy one, which left his late residence, "Waverley," Mangalore-st., Flemington, at 3.30 p.m. on Saturday, 10th inst. Among those who attended were the Lord Mayer (Sir William Brunton), members of the Melbourne City Council, representatives of the Australian Labor Party, the Trades Hall Council, Women's Organising Committee, the Furnishing Trades' Union, and other organisations associated with the Trades Mall. The pall-bearers were the Lord Mayor, Mr. Prendergast, M.L.A., the Town Clerk (Mr. McCall), and Messrs. C. Crofts (president of the A.L.P.), E. A. Painter (president of the Trades Hall Council), W. Brown (president), and R. O'Donnell (assistant secretary) of the Furnishing Trades Union, M. Clark (representing the Order of Druids).

The Furnishing Trades' Union was largely represented. Many manufacturers in Furnishing Trades were also present. At the graveside Rev. Murray Scales, of the Church of England, read the burial service, and gave an eloquent address, referring to the private side of Cr. Dobson's life. He was a neighbor who was fond of his home, lovable to his children, and devoted to his garden. The scene at the graveside was very impressive, the undertaker (H. Robson, of St. George's-road, North Fitzroy) informing us that it was one of the largest gatherings that he had seen at the Coburg Cemetery.

Many beautiful wreaths were sent from people in all walks of life, but the most touching was a small bunch of flowers tied with a piece of string, with three simple words written on plain card, "From Two Pals." That was a tribute from two hearts that our late comrade had evidently endeared himself to.

He leaves behind his name enscrolled in the corridors of the Trades Hall, in which he had watched every brick laid for the last thirty years, with the mantle of chairman of the Building Committee resting on his shoulders. Arch was looking forward to the opening of the new addition on Eight Hours Day, 26th inst. A link is severed from the old school that did the early spade work in our Movement, but the name of "Dobbie,' as he was familiarly known, will live with those associated with him, and must hinge itself to the rising generation as a departed comrade who has left his name on the sands of time as one of the whitest men our Movement has known.

Comrade Dobson leaves a son and two daughters.

Original Publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Dobson, Archibald (Dobbie) (1868–1926)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 June 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Archibald Dobson, 1908

Archibald Dobson, 1908

Labor Call (Melbourne), 4 June 1908, p 3

Life Summary [details]


Swanpool, Victoria, Australia


8 April, 1926 (aged ~ 58)
Flemington, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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