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Hayes, Joseph (Joe) (1851–1929)

This article was published:

Joe Morris/Hayes by Dick Ovenden, 1922

Joe Morris/Hayes by Dick Ovenden, 1922

Labor Call (Melbourne), 24 August 1922, p 7

Hayes, Joseph, known as Joseph (Joe) Morris, or Joseph Hayes Morris (1851-1929) stevedore, trade union leader and municipal councillor 

Birth: 1851 in Essex, England, son of Joseph Hayes, soldier, later labourer, and Elizabeth (Eliza), née Brady.  Marriage: 11 December 1889 at Trinity Church (Anglican), Port Melbourne, Victoria, to Eliza Frances Munday (1866-1935). They had four daughters and one son. Death: 26 July 1929, at Port Melbourne. 

  • Arrived in Victoria about 1859. “Began his earning life with the Hobsons Bay Railway Company but soon found himself on the waterfront”, starting work on the Port Melbourne pier as a stevedore at the age of 16. Was living with and supported his mother in 1877. Moved to Sydney for three years, then as a shearer, before returning to Melbourne and stevedoring.
  • Active in local politics at a young man. Elected Secretary of Stevedores’ Association about 1890. Involved with waterside workers for over 40 years. Though his marriage and death registrations give his name as Joseph Hayes, and he is Joseph Hayes Morris in electoral rolls, he seems to have been known by that name or as “Joe Morris” in the labour movement.
  • Took a leading role in the formation of the Waterside Workers’ Federation (WWF) in 1904 and became an associate of William Morris Hughes, the first president of WWF. Morris was its first general secretary, holding office from 1904 until he retired in 1929, when he was one of the oldest union officials in Australia.
  • He was a municipal Councillor for Port Melbourne from August 1907 to August 1922, mayor in 1910-1911 and president in 1922.
  • Died of cardiac debility and exhaustion after a long illness.
  • His son Joseph James Arthur Hayes (1895-1980), a butcher, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 5 May 1915 but was discharged medically unfit on 24 September 1919.

caricature by Dick Ovenden and profile, Labor Call (Melbourne), 24 August 1922, p 7, [], 1 August 1929, p 9 []; Australian Worker (Sydney), 31 July 1929, p 10; Westralian Worker, 2 August 1929, p 2.

Additional Resources

  • profile, Tocsin (Melbourne), 6 April 1905, p 13
  • remiscences, Labor Call (Melbourne), 1 August 1929, p 6
  • tribute, Record (Emerald Hill, Vic), 17 August 1929, p 4

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Hayes, Joseph (Joe) (1851–1929)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 March 2023.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012