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OBITUARY

MR. J. W. MUNRO, M.P.

The death of Mr. James Wright Munro, M.P. for Dunedin North, occurred in Dunedin last night. He was 75 years of age. Mr. Munro was a quiet spoken, wellliked member of the House. He was not a frequent speaker in debate, but was well known as chairman of the Local Bills Committee. Mr. Munro was born at Roslyn arid spent all his life in Dunedin. A baker by occupation, for some years he carried on a bakery business of his own at North Dunedin, and during an active participation in Dunedin Labour affairs extending over a period of many years he was president of the Bakers' Union, vice-president of the Otago Trades and Labour Council, and president of the Political Labour League. He was also for some years vice-presi-dent of the Tailoresses' Union and was first president of the Otago and Southland Woollen Mills Union. He served

on the Dunedin City Council and Otago Harbour Board. In 1908 he unsuccessfully contested the Dunedin iWest seat against Mr. J. A. Millar, and, j standing again three years later, was defeated in the first ballot, his opponents being Mr. Millar and Mr. H. D. Bedford. In 1914 he received an actual majority of votes cast in Dunedin Central, but on a recount a considerable number of his votes was found to be invalid, with the result that he was defeated by 12 votes by Sir Charles Statham. Sir Charles, however, refused to take advantage of the informality, and resigned his seat, only to defeat MiC Munro again at the byelection. After again unsuccessfully contesting the Dunedin Central seat in 3.919, Mr. Munro was returned for Dunedin North at a by-election in 1922, and retained the' seat at the General Election held at the end of the same year. He lost it to Mr. H. L. Tapley in 1925, but regained it in 1928, and had held the seat since then. Flags on Parliament House and on Government buildings in Wellington were flown at half-mast today as a mark of respect to Mr. Munro. MINISTERIAL TRIBUTES. "The passing of Mr. Munro will be regretted by all who knew him in Parliament," said the Acting Prime Minister (Mr. Nash) today. "His natural kindliness, his respect for every--1 one, opponent and friend alike, endeared him to all members of the House of Representatives during %he past generation. Always of a studious nature, he could be depended upon on the few. occasions on which he I spoke in the House to make a con- ! tribution to the subject under discus- ' sion. He was one of the pioneers of the Labour movement in Otago, and made a great contribution towards laying the foundations of the political thought that resulted in the establishment of the Labour Government in 1935. The sympathy of the GovernI ment and ail members of Parliament will go out to his wife and family in the loss they have sustained." A warm tribute to the late Mr. Munro was paid today by the member for Dunedin South, the Minister of Defence (Mr. Jones). He. said that for nearly 40 years he had been closely associated with Mr. Munro in the industrial and political Labour movement. Mr. Munro was a man of sterling qualities who put his heart and soul into any movement for the benefit of the people. His interest in the workers was shown by the positions he had held and that his work as a member of the Harbour Board and City Council was appreciated was shown by the confidence reposed in him by the electors over, many years. His long period of service in Parliament as member for Dunedin North also, showed the respect in which he was held. He was a useful member and as a colleague one always found him helpful. His advice was often sought and was freely given. Mr. Munro was always interested in the welfare of the workers, and one remembered how in the old days during a period of stress he and his partner, Mr. Neilson, came to the assistance of those who were suffering by supplying bread for their needs. Mr. Munro was keenly interested in the progressive legislation of the Labour Government, which had given security to the people. His life had been one of service, and he would be missed by all who knew him. Mr. Jones added that he joined with others in extending sympathy to the widow and family. Another colleague of many years standing, the Minister of Internal Affairs (Mr. Parry), paying his tribute, said he first met Mr. Munro in Dunedin nearly 40 years ago, and he regarded him as being one of the cleanest fighters and most sincere and straightforward men he had met in all his activities in the Labour movement. It was a pleasure to -be associated with a man possessing such sterling qualities. "I mourn very deeply his passing, because of his very great comradeship in the Labour movement," added Mr. Parry. "Besides having lost a very great friend, the cause of Latfour and humanity has lost a great soldier, and I express my very great sympathy witfr fcis wife and family in. his passing." T- " '

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Bibliographic details

OBITUARY, Evening Post, Volume CXXXIX, Issue 124, 28 May 1945

Word Count
868

OBITUARY Evening Post, Volume CXXXIX, Issue 124, 28 May 1945

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