Anthony Ogden

Anthony Ogden (1866 – 1943) unionist, politician and mayor
In April 1891, as president of the Townsville district council of the Australian Labor Federation, Anthony Ogden contested the seat of Townsville, thus becoming the first Labor candidate in Queensland. Involved in temperance movements from boyhood, he was a candidate for the Methodist ministry but withdrew; however, he held many offices in the local church as a lay preacher.

Anthony Ogden, unionist, politician and mayor, was born on 18 March 1866 at Ecclesfield, Yorkshire.

In April 1891, as president of the Townsville district council of the Australian Labor Federation, Ogden contested the seat of Townsville, thus becoming the first political candidate in Queensland to run on an official Labor platform.

He polled impressively, but was defeated. He served on the Townsville council as an alderman in 1891-94, 1911-18 and 1930 and as mayor from 1924 until defeated in 1927.

The central executive of the Queensland Labor Party withdrew Ogden’s endorsement for the 1893 election when he refused the A.L.F. demand to give unconditional priority to electoral reform, saying he would support either North Queensland separation or electoral reform, whichever was first on the agenda.

In 1912 Ogden became secretary of the northern district section of the Australasian Meat Industry Employees’ Union. An industrial moderate, he wanted the militant elements of the A.M.I.E.U. removed and the union brought into the arbitration system. On 31 January 1919, after a strike, Justice T. McCawley abolished preference for unionists from all meatworks in the northern division. On 22 June, as work tapered off towards the end of the slaughtering season, the northern district council asked for guarantees that no unionist would be dismissed. The request was refused. Uncharacteristically, Ogden at first recommended direct action, but he swiftly changed his stance and urged that the dispute be settled by arbitration.

From 1926 Ogden was secretary of the Townsville branch of the Waterside Workers’ Federation. He edited the Townsville Labor newspaper, Clarion, in 1937-41. Shortly after he retired from municipal politics, Townsville’s second largest thoroughfare, Flinders Lane, was renamed Ogden Street, although at his insistence the change was not made until the area had been purged of its brothels.

Ogden was a studious man of abstemious habits who in parliament objected to the financial vote for refreshment rooms, holding that the money would be better spent on the parliamentary library. He argued against gambling in all forms, including horse-racing. Involved in temperance movements from boyhood, he was a candidate for the Methodist ministry but withdrew; however, he held many offices in the local church as a lay preacher.

Complete article : http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A110071b.htm

Ogden St, Townsville looking north from the railway station.    Sourced from Google Earth, street view.

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