Joseph Gardiner

  (Redirected from Joseph Peter Gardiner)

Joseph Peter Gardiner (4 July 1886 – 23 January 1965) was the Labor Party member for the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Roebourne from 1911 to 1915. His sudden and still unexplained departure from Western Australia in 1915 was an important factor in the collapse of John Scaddan's Labor government.[1]

Joseph Gardiner
Joseph Gardiner.jpg
Member of the Western Australian Parliament
for Roebourne
In office
31 October 1911 – 30 September 1915
Preceded byHenry Osborn
Succeeded byWilliam Butcher
Personal details
Joseph Peter Gardiner

(1886-07-04)4 July 1886
Adelaide, South Australia
Died23 January 1965(1965-01-23) (aged 78)
Melbourne, Victoria
Political partyLabor Party
Spouse(s)May Holman (1914-1920)
Bertha Paver (1922-?)

Early lifeEdit

Joseph Peter Gardiner was born in Adelaide on 4 July 1886. He was educated at the Christian Brothers College in that city, and was then apprenticed to his bootmaker father in West Perth. Later he went to the Pilbara region, where he traded on the coast between Cossack and Broome. He was secretary of the Miners' Union at Whim Creek, and from 1910 to 1912 was manager of the Weld Hotel in Cossack.

Political careerEdit

On 31 October 1911, Gardiner was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Roebourne. In 1913 and 1914 he lived in West Perth, and was secretary of the Bootmakers' Union.

In May 1914, Gardiner secretly married May Holman at the Perth Registry Office, but the marriage was never consummated and a divorce was finalised in 1920.[2] Shortly after the marriage Gardiner left the State, never to return. After an extended absence from Parliament, inquiries were eventually made as to his whereabouts. When it was learned that he had left the State, Gardiner's seat was declared vacant on 30 September 1915, on the grounds of non-attendance. The Labor Party did not retain the seat in the subsequent by-election, and its majority of two was erased. Shortly afterwards, another Labor member resigned, and John Scaddan's government was defeated.

Later lifeEdit

Little is known of the rest of Gardiner's life. After he left Western Australia, Gardiner went to South Australia, then to Victoria where he enlisted in early 1916.[2] He was working as a labourer in Adelaide in 1922, and in June of that year, he married Bertha Annie Paver. He subsequently worked at various occupations while living for many years in Melbourne, Victoria. From 1932, he lived at Bentleigh, Victoria. He was listed on the Victorian electoral rolls as a "journalist" when he died on 23 January 1965.


  1. ^ compare this with Findlay, Len (2008) Left, said Fred, West Weekend Magazine, 15 March 2008, p.8 - and Fred Riebeling's comments re this event
  2. ^ a b "A Secret Marriage. Petition for divorce". The West Australian. 4 December 1919. Retrieved 16 March 2017.