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Edward Franz (Frank) Meier (1889–1949)

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Edward Franz (Frank) Meier (1889-1949) postal worker, mechanic, civil servant, trade union official and mayor

Birth: 1889 at Melbourne, Victoria, son of Franz Eduard (Edward) Meier (1861-1933), a watchmaker, born at Wohlen, Aargau, Switzerland, and Victoria Maria, née Harris (1868-1948), born at Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Marriage: 1911 at Melbourne to native-born Sophia Lottie Louisa Lightbody (1893-1976). They had one daughter and two sons. Death: 30 October 1949 in his home at Newberry Avenue, Bonbeach, Victoria. 

  • Entered postal service as a messenger in 1903. Gravitated to mechanical ranks. Advanced to foreman grade 3.
  • President Victorian branch of the Australian Postal Electricians’ Union in 1912. Later was secretary of the Victorian branch. General secretary from 1914 to 1943 (retired).
  • Associated with court advocates in presenting first case in Arbitration Court in 1913. Appeared in all union's cases before Public Service Arbitrator in the Arbitration Court and was known as being able and astute.
  • Promoted inauguration of union journal. Became first editor and occupied position until 1943. Authored several technical and reference books.
  • Member and judge of the Eight Hours' Day Committee in 1915-1918. President of Postal Employees' Picnic Association 1915.
  • Selected by Postmaster-General to inaugurate Victorian Postal Institute in 1918 and became first secretary. Appointed by Federal Government to Commission to investigate the possibilities of the manufacture of telephone and telegraph apparatus in Australia in 1928.
  • Councillor on Chelsea Municipal Council for some nineteen years and thrice mayor of the city — in 1934, 1938 and 1943.
  • President of Bonbeach Ratepayers' League. Advocated for the building of a railway station at Bonbeach.
  • Life Governorship of several Life Saving Clubs. President of City of Chelsea Hospital.
  • Held office on Mordialloc-Carrum High School Council and several carnival committees in the district.
  • Appointed justice of the peace for NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Awarded the Centenary Medal. He was president of the Australasian Golf Club, Aspendale, in 1932.
  • His wife was five times mayoress of Chelsea — thrice when her husband was mayor and twice as acting mayoress in 1941 and 1946 when Councillor H. S. McColl was mayor — and was a noted worker for charity in the district. She was president of the Chelsea branch of the Red Cross in 1942, and associated with, and sometime vice president of, the Chelsea Benevolent Society for more than twenty years, and in 1950 was elected president of the Victorian Association of Benevolent Societies.
  • Cause of death: asthenia (2 Months), cirrhosis of liver (years) and chronic alcoholism (years).

, 24 February 1942, p 2, October 1949, p 151.

Additional Resources

  • photo, Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne), 14 October 1930, p 3

Citation details

'Meier, Edward Franz (Frank) (1889–1949)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 June 2024.

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