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Mary Bridget (Molly) Holmes (1904–1989)

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Mary Bridget (Molly) Holmes (1904-1989) clerk, and Labor and community activist

Birth: 1904 at Collie, Western Australia, daughter of Thomas Holmes (1868-1949), an employee of the WA Government Railways and later a dairyman, and native-born Bridget Mary, née Sullivan (1874-1965). Unmarried. Death: 18 April 1989 at Perth, WA. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Family arrived in Collie, Western Australia, in 1898 and were among the early settlers there. Father was a member of the Locomotive Drivers’ and Firemen’s Union. Molly was educated at Presentation Convent of Collie and Mosman Park.
  • Her first job was in the office of the Timber Workers Union in Perth in the 1920s, leaving in 1928. First active in Australian Labor Party electioneering in WA in 1921, with a life-long commitment to the party. Became life member of ALP.
  • Friend and colleague of May Holman, assisting her parliamentary career, organising and accompanying her on election tours. Secretary of Perth Labor Women from 1937 to 1987, battling Joe Chamberlain to ensure continuation of branches and offices at the Trades Hall.
  • Active in community affairs including Slow Learning Childrens' Group, and the Council on the Ageing. “Threw herself into the Labor Women’s Choir and became its secretary”. Active in the Labor Women’s Central Executive.
  • Appointed justice of the peace in 1942, made life member of Women Justices Association. Appointed AM [member of the Order of Australia] on 6 June 1978 for service to the community.

Battye Library Biographical Index.

Additional Resources

  • profile, Westralian Worker (Perth), 17 July 1942, p 4

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Holmes, Mary Bridget (Molly) (1904–1989)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Molly Holmes, 1942

Molly Holmes, 1942

Westralian Worker (Perth), 17 July 1942, p 4

Life Summary [details]


Collie, Western Australia, Australia


18 April, 1989 (aged ~ 85)
Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism