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The tablet over the grave commemorates Laurence Cohen for 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.

In the presence of a large gathering of Labor supporters, Mr. C. J. Bennett, president of the Political Labor Council, on Sunday afternoon at the Coburg Cemetery dedicated a memorial tombstone to the late Mr. Lawrence Cohen, a widely known Labor worker, who met with an untimely death at Adelaide in February, 1916. Mr. Bennett said that by the death of Mr. Cohen Labor had lost one of the best workers Australia ever possessed. Deceased was a man of exceptional ability, and an excellent fighter for the cause of industrialism. Mr. Tudor, leader of the Official Labor party, characterised deceased as a man who stuck to his principles with unswerving fidelity, and said the handsome tombstone was a fitting tribute to his memory. Mr. G. Elmslie, leader of the State Labor party, said that solidarity should be the watchword of all associated in the Labor movement. This had always been the aim of the late Mr. Cohen, whose loss had been an irreparable one. Amongst the numerous speakers who paid tributes to deceased were Messrs. E. F. Russell (vice-president of the Trades Hall Council), B. Salisbury, president of the Stonemasons' Union; G. Prendergast. M.L.A.; A. Bennett, R. Solly, M.L.A., E. J. Holloway, W. Maloney, M.P.,  T F Keane and W. Fraser.
The Register (Adelaide), 25 July 1917. 



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


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 22nd July, 1917
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 honor the memory of Bro Laurence Cohen and in grateful appreciation of long and faithful service.

Source: MA,ADB
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