MAUGER, Samuel (1857-1936)


MAUGER, Samuel (1857-1936)
politician and social worker
was born at Geelong, Victoria, on 12 November 1857. His parents, who came from Guernsey, Channel Islands, had arrived in Victoria not long before. Mauger was educated at the Geelong national school, and coming to Melbourne was apprenticed to a hat-manufacturing business of which he subsequently became the proprietor. He joined the Fitzroy Temperance Fire Brigade, at a meeting held on 24 May 1883 was elected honorary secretary of a committee of representatives of the volunteer fire brigades of Victoria, and, with Captain Marshall, the chairman, prepared a draft of a fire brigades bill which, however, did not become law until 1891, when the old volunteer system was superseded. Mauger was appointed a government representative on the new board and held this position for the remainder of his life, on four occasions being elected president. But this represented only one part of Mauger's activities. In 1880 he was responsible for the formation of the National anti-sweating league of Victoria, of which he became the honorary secretary. In 1885 Deakin (q.v.) sueceeded in having a factory act passed but sweating still continued, and, after years of agitation, a new act was passed in 1896 which led to much subsequent important social legislation in Australia.
Mauger also was prominent in the demand for federation and often spoke in its favour. He was elected as member for Footscray in the Victorian legislative assembly in 1899, in 1901 entered the federal house of representatives as member for Melbourne Ports, and transferred to the new division of Maribyrnong in 1906. He was temporary chairman of committees in 1905-6, honorary minister in the second Deakin (q.v.) cabinet from October 1906 to July 1907, and postmaster-general from July 1907 to November 1908. He lost his seat at the general election held in 1910 and took no further part in politics. He was an ardent protectionist and was for some time honorary secretary of the protectionists' association of Victoria; he was for a time president of the Melbourne Total Abstinence Society, and chairman of the Indeterminate Sentences Board; and he presumably found some time for his business as a hatter and mercer. For about 50 years in every movement in Melbourne intended to better the conditions of the mass of the people, Mauger was to be found working incessantly and showing much organizing ability. In 1934 he wrote a brochure on The Rise and Progress of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Victoria, Australia, and some verses quoted on page 29 relating to the success of the staff fund illustrate his philosophy of life. Briefly it was that if anything is brought forward for the good of humanity, the difficulties will vanish if the problem is tackled with sufficient courage. Mauger died at Melbourne on 26 June 1936. He married a daughter of A. Rice who survived him with two sons and four daughters.
The Age and The Argus, Melbourne, 27 June 1936; The Cyclopedia of Victoria, 1903; Commonwealth Parliamentary Handbook, 1901-30.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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