William Cain

William Cain (1831 – 1914) company director, politician
In 1903 William Cain, supported by the National Reform League, was returned to the Victorian Legislative Council as member for the Melbourne Province, a seat he held until 1909. He promised to promote economy in all public expenditure and was attentively listened to on railway matters. Church of England affairs, always of great interest to Cain, occupied an increasing amount of his time as he grew older and he was actively concerned with the building of St Paul’s Cathedral.

William Cain was a member of the Melbourne City Council from 1880 to 1888 and as mayor in 1886-87 prepared the ground for the Metropolitan Board of Works. He was a director of the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane Tramway Cos, the National Trustees and Executors Co., chairman of the 1888 Exhibition Building Committee and a member of the Yarra Dredging Board. Cain invested in Coan Downs in the Hillston district, New South Wales, in Inverleigh and Hughenden stations, Queensland, and owned Madowla Park near Echuca. He was a large shareholder in the Squatting Investment Co. and in Goldsbrough Mort & Co., of which he was director in 1890-97. Valued by his company as a man ‘who has always been disposed to regard everything from the most conservative and critical point of view’, he represented the Melbourne board at the 1892 London conferences. He was active in the company’s reconstruction schemes after the 1893 crisis and was its adviser on building and construction projects in Victoria and Queensland.

In 1903 Cain, supported by the National Reform League, was returned to the Legislative Council as member for the Melbourne Province, a seat he held until 1909. He promised to promote economy in all public expenditure and was attentively listened to on railway matters. Church of England affairs, always of great interest to Cain, occupied an increasing amount of his time as he grew older and he was actively concerned with the building of St Paul’s Cathedral. He was a member of the Melbourne Grammar School Council from 1894 until his death on 29 October 1914 and gave £400 to the school. His sons gave £1000 in 1919 to found the William Cain scholarship.

A tall man with a quiet and courteous manner, Cain was remembered especially for his patent honesty and intense, almost obstinate, loyalty to any cause or person whose interest he espoused. He was survived by his wife, a daughter and the three sons to whom he had earlier transferred his pastoral interests.

http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A030302b.htm

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