Laurence CohenPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

Plaques have been erected at the grave of Laurence Cohen to commemorate his services within the trade union movement.

Laurie Cohen`s trade union career began in the select fraternity of his craft with the Marble and Stone Workers` Union. He later left an inimitable tribute to Donald Macdonell of the Australian Workers` Union when, alone under a blazing sun for two weeks, he carved the inscription on the granite memorial at Stuart Mill, Victoria.

He was secretary of the union from 1905 until 1913 and made his first appearances in the Trades Hall Council (T.H.C) as a union delegate. A strong believer in the modern amalgamated union, he effected his union`s amalgamation with the Operative Stonemasons` Society in 1913. He rose quickly through membership of the executive of the T.H.C. to the presidency in 1913.

In February 1916, Cohen was sent on the delegation to negotiate Senator Sir George Pearce`s offer of a forty-four hour week with the striking miners at Broken Hill. After speaking at a fund-raising meeting for the Broken Hill strikers, he retired to bed. At 12.45 a.m. he was found mortally injured in an alley, having apparently fallen eighteen feet (5.5m) from his bedroom window. His death remains a mystery.



Address:Bell Street, Coburg Cemetery, Coburg, 3058
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.741711
Long: 144.984131
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

Plaque :

Organised Labor`s tribute to the memory of Laurence Cohen

Born 22nd March 1874,
Died 12th February 1916

A fearless advocate of Labor`s rights.  He gave the best within him in the cause of the workers till an untimely death closed a life of unselfish energy.

Yours was a life not measureable by gain,
You choose the path that runs in stress and pain :
No courtier plaudits, but oft-written bane has marked your prize.
But who can gauge the sowing of the hour ?
What seed portrayts the glory of the flower ?
We try, we die ; but in triumphant power oft-buried gains uprise.

Plaque :

This tablet is erected by the Operative Masons`Society to honour the memory of Bro Laurence Cohen and in grateful appreciation of long and faithful service.

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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