Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Ernest Albert Laws 1864-1947

This is reproduced with kind permission of Ann Doughty and Helen Butler from a family newsletter in August 1987.

FAMILY NEWSLETTER

AUGUST  1987


 
FAMILY  BRANCH  HISTORY  Continued  •••
This month  we  learn  of the fourth  child  of William &   Sarah Laws, Ernest Albert and his children. (Thank you Helen, for  all your research information)
Ernest Albert Laws was born in England and was four years old when the family emigrated. He went to the Brookfield School, where his teacher for  two years  was  Mr. George Francis.  The Francis family had emigrated in 1872 on "The Light Brigade". A baby had been born on the voyage out.  She was Annie Brigadia Francis,  her second  name being derived  from the  ship's  name as  the  captain  insisted  that  this  custom  be followed.
When Mr.  Francis was transferred from Brookfield  in  1874,  Annie was only two years  old and Ernie  Laws was  ten.  It is said that the two families knew each other well  then, and that Ernie  had often nursed Annie as a baby. Twenty  years later, on 24th March 1894,  these two were married at  Capalaba.
E.A.Laws worked at first with a firm of auctioneers and commission agents named Dickson's, who were then the leading auctioneers in Brisbane.
Ernie became  a competent  public  auctioneer, and later  started a business of  his  own.  It seems from the Post Office  Directories  that  for  many  years from  1901  Ernie's  Auctioneer's Office   shared premises at 192  Queen St  with his  brother Percy's Signwriting business.
The Ernie Laws '  lived at Graham  St  South Brisbane  until 1901, when they moved  and lived  for  some  years  at Prospect Terrace,  Highgate  Hill.  Later they moved  to Water  St, Carlton  St and Fraser  Terrace, all at  Highgate Hill.
In  his  later  working  years, Ernie Laws was accountant  with  F. W. Nissen & Co. Jewellers,  in  Brisbane.  He remained here until he retired.
Ernie Laws is said to have been a dapper city chap, with his gold watch chain and his  walking  stick,  and often his  bowler hat.  At the same time, he was  a very  keen gardener, and was photographed  watering his  vegetable  garden.  He died  at  84  years  in  1947.

Ernie watering his vegetable patch aged 82
 His wife Annie Brigadia  died 20 years  later, when she was  95 years  old. She was  a member  of St Andrews  Church  of England South Brisbane ,  75 years .
Of their  three  children,  their second, Evelyn  died in  infancy. Vivien  attended  St  Andrews  private  school at  Sth Brisbane,  and then Holy Trinity Woolloongabba, where she continued as a teacher.  She then joined the firm of Edwards Dunlop,  where she  was  promoted  to  manager  of the Country  Orders  section .  Then for  some  years  she worked for  Vogue in  their Ladies  Fashion  shop  in  the  City.  From  here  she  became  their  travelling salesman,  covering the whole of Queensland,  carrying  a large  range of  stock
and having an assistant  travelling  with  her. She married Wal Foster, a watchmaker in 1928. They had no family. After her  father's death,  her mother  lived  with Vivie  and Wal  at  their  home in  Pelham  St, Coorparoo .  Vivie died in 1976, four years  after  Wal  Foster.

Eric Laws attended the Normal  School and  then the  Brisbane  Grammar School at  the  same  time as Harry  Roberts,  who was a cousin  of  his  Percy Laws cousins and later a renowned  Headmaster.
Eric had a distinguished  career  in  the  Public  Service .  In  1916  he  joined  the Taxation  Office  as clerk .  In  1924 he  transferred  to Dept  of Labour and served in  Rockhampton,  Bundaberg, Innisfail  and Townsville ,  acting as Labour  Agent  and Industrial  Inspector.                     
He returned to Brisbane in 1940, and in 1941 he transferred  to  the Commonwealth  Dept  of Labour  & National  Service  and established  the National Employment  Office  in  Brisbane.  The following year  he was  appointed Asst Deputy  Director-General  of Manpower  in  Queensland, and held this  important· position  through the war years .  After the war, he remained with the same Commonwealth  Department,  becoming  Deputy  Director of  Employment  for Queensland. In this position he established and organized the Commonwealth Employment Service. 
 In  1952,  Eric  Laws became Queensland  Regional  Director  of Department of  Labour  and  National  Service,  a  post  he  held  until  he  retired  in  1961.
Eric Laws married May Owens and they  lived  happily  until   she died in her  fifties. There were no children.
Later, he married Margaret (Peg) Shaw and they lived  for many years at  Victoria  Point.  Mrs Peg Laws still lives here in Cartwright St. (in 1987 ) (1)
Eric had a remarkable record of community involvement. He  joined  Rotary in  Townsville.  In  the  Cleveland Branch he served as President,  and was so valuable  a part  of the  club  he became  known  as  "Mr Rotary".  As well, he served on the local Ambulance Committee, the Cancer Fund Society  and the church  council.  With his wide experience of public affairs, he was of great assistance to these organizations.  Besides this, he was always ready to help any individual who  came  to him. He was  highly  revered in  the  community.


Unfortunately,  only  three  weeks after  the death  of his  mother, Eric  Laws  died suddenly, aged  66   years .

Percy b 1873 Brisbane, Ernie b 1864 Hampshire England, Frank b 1875 Brisbane, Lionel b 1868 at sea.

 Eldest  son William Camper  Laws was born in  1859 and remained in  England with his  Goodall grandparents. (2)

This  photo was taken  on 19th  Dec. 1940 when some  of the family  gathered  to farewell  Jack Laws  at Redbank Army Camp,  just  before he left  for  overseas service  with 2nd  15t h Battalion.   Jack’s brother  Frank took the photo.

(1) Note added by Judy