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Wright, Jabez (1852–1922)

This entry is from Obituaries Australia

Mr. Jabez Wright, M.L.A. for Sturt, died on Sunday morning at his residence, Dudley-street, Bondi. Mr. Wright was 71 years of age.

Mr. J. Dooley, Leader of the Opposition, stated last night that the death of Mr. Wright came as a complete surprise, for on Friday last he seemed to be in his usual good health.

Mr. P. J. Greig, secretary of the Parliamentary Labor Party, on being informed of Mr. Wright's death said: "I was with him at 6.30 p.m. on Friday and he seemed to be in perfect health. I held him in the highest possible esteem. Rough he undoubtedly was in many ways, but he was generous and straight to the core."

The late Mr. Wright was born in Greenwich, England, and at the age of 19 years, when a carpenter's apprentice, ran away to sea. He settled in Canada and the United States for six years. He then returned to England, but after remaining six months he left for Australia. He landed at Port Adelaide over 40 years ago. In 1888 he came to Broken Hill and set up in business as an undertaker, which he carried on continuously until he sold out to Mr. D. B. Mangelsdorf in May, 1914.

Mr. Wright was a foundation member of the local branch of the Carpenters and Joiners' Society, and a very old member of the A.M.A., in both of which unions he for many years held executive office. He was the first Labor Mayor of Broken Hill, and was largely instrumental in bringing about the tramway system. The baths were opened during his term as Mayor, this convenience being largely due to his efforts. In 1901 Mr. Wright was the principal witness for the Council in a mines rating test case heard in Sydney in the Equity Court, and was in the witness box for two days. His work for local unionism will long be remembered. At various times he was president of the Barrier Labor Federation, chairman of the Trades Hall Trust, and president of the Eight Hours Celebration committee.

In the State elections in 1901 Mr. Wright opposed Mr. W. J. Williams, who had previously broken away from the Labor Party, but he was defeated. Mr. Wright was first elected to Parliament for Willyama in 1913. He retained his seat until the 1919 elections when he was defeated, the returned candidates being Messrs. Brookfield, Doe, and Davidson. On the death of Mr. Brookfield, Mr. Wright was elected to fill the vacancy, and at the general elections in March last he was returned as one of the three representatives for Sturt.

Mr. Wright leaves a widow, who resides in Adelaide, and one daughter and three sons. The daughter is Mrs. Sampson, of 121 Garnet-street, and the sons, Messrs. Jabez Wright (Adelaide), Jack Wright (Adelaide), and Richard Wright (Queensland).

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'Wright, Jabez (1852–1922)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://labouraustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/wright-jabez-32846/text40905, accessed 3 February 2023.

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