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The Man in the Photo

Members of the Port Phillip Stevedores Association, 1905
Members of the Port Phillip Stevedores Association, 1905

Recently I spoke at a seminar at the Victorian Genealogical Society on the topic “Port Melbourne 1839-1880″. As I wanted to mention the formation of trade unions in Port Melbourne I showed this photo of ‘Members of the Port Phillip Stevedores Association’ from 1905.

You will notice that all of the men in the photo have hats on except one.

After I had spoken, a lady came to me and said the man in the photo without a hat was her grandfather. The lady’s name was Kathleen Newman and her grandfather was David Minihan.

David Minihan was born in South Melbourne in 1863 and was made a ward of the state when he was aged 12. By 1888 he was frequently mentioned in the ‘Standard’ newspaper because of his involvement in activities at St Joseph’s Church. He married in 1893 and had his first child in 1894. It was said that when he married he “lived off Nott Street”. His granddaughter says that this was actually a two-roomed house in an alley-way that ran around the Marine Hotel. Later he moved to Dow Street and finally to 178 Albert Street where he died in 1943. Soon after the photo was taken he left the waterfront and joined the PMG Department and became a linesman.

His obituary in the ‘Age’ noted that he had been a prominent member of the Hibernian Society. In 1942 he had completed 50 years as secretary of the Port Melbourne branch.

David Minihan with his wife and two sons, 1909.
David Minihan with his wife and two sons, 1909.

Kathleen Newman sent me this photo taken in 1909 of David Minihan with his wife and two sons. Kathleen says her father is the boy in white.

I thought it was a fascinating story.

Graham Bride


  • Pat Minihan
    Posted June 11, 2016 2.49 pm 0Likes

    Interesting connection

  • Gary Minihan
    Posted June 16, 2016 3.07 pm 0Likes

    Patrick is David William Minihan’s Great Grandson,my Brother and Kathleen Newman’s Brother

    • David Thompson
      Posted June 16, 2016 3.15 pm 0Likes

      Thanks Gary. Too often these type of pictures in our collection are of a group of unknown people so it is lovely to put a name to at least one face.

      • Gary Minihan
        Posted June 16, 2016 3.45 pm 0Likes

        OK, thankful I could be of help

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We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.