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Henry Joseph (Harry) Henkel (1864–1947)

This entry is from Obituaries Australia

Mr. Henry J. Henkel, a Labor stalwart, and former manager of "Labor Call", died suddenly at his home at 234 Gilbert Road, West Preston, on November 17. Mr. Henkel was 83 years of age.

The late Mr. Henkel was appointed manager of the "Labor Call" about 1905, and retired in 1940.

From the struggling days of the old Printing and Publishing Cooperative Society, "Harry" Henkel worked like a trojan to build up the business and goodwill of the union-owned publishing company.

When the Printing and Publishing Co-operative Society Ltd. was merged in The Industrial Printing and Publicity Company Ltd., he was retained as manager.

Under his guidance the company continued to prosper and when he retired he left a job well done.

During the hectic fights on the conscription issue of the first World War, he faced a barrage of attacks for the policy adopted by the "Labor Call."

It was no uncommon occurrence for him to arrive at his office to be met by a guard of soldiers with fixed bayonets.

One particular instance that remains in the memory of those associated with him was when the military censors, through the War Precautions Act, prohibited the publication of the late Frank Anstey's "Kingdom of Shylock"—a book that will be much discussed during the coming banking campaign.

Despite all obstacles raised, he outmanoeuvred the militarists and got thousands of copies distributed throughout Australia.

"Harry" was a staunch unionist throughout his long career. He was a member of the old Typographical Society when it was not at all popular to be a unionist, and he remained a member of the Printing Industry Employees' Union to the time of his death.

Those who had the pleasure of working under his direction found him a good "boss" who always had the interests of his employees at heart.

Only a fortnight back he was present at the funeral of the late Senator Findley, an earlier manager of the company.

The funeral took place at the Preston Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon last. Amongst those at the graveside were Mr. W. Webber representing the Directors of The Industrial Printing and Publicity Company, J. Ashton (present manager of the "Labor Call"), H. Opitz ("Labor Call" accountants. R. Masters (Father of Chapel), and Mr. F. Burke, P.I.E.U.A. Mr. Harry Henkel leaves two sons, Cyril and Bert, and a daughter, Elsie (Mrs. Wood).

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Citation details

'Henkel, Henry Joseph (Harry) (1864–1947)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


12 February, 1864
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia


17 November, 1947 (aged 83)
Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, 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.

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