Born at Lauraville
(Gaffney’s Creek), Victoria on 15 June 1878 the son of Timothy Jones a
storekeeper who migrated from Ireland around 1865 and Maria née
O'Keefe (d 1938); Jones was educated at the
local state school and at John
O’Hara’s (q.v.) revered South Melbourne College where he
matriculated in 1891. After working at the A.1 Consolidated mine in his
home town for seven years, he was awarded a scholarship to study teaching at
the Melbourne University (M.A., Dip. Ed.) and later spent a number of
years as a school teacher. Prior to enlisting in the Great War in June 1916
as a lieutenant with the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company, Jones was a
superintendent of Physical Training with the permanent forces. Gassed in
April 1917, after recuperating he was transferred to various training
positions in England, notably as a bayonet fighting instructor from October
1917. After the war, Jones’ interests were varied: on the board of
management of the Australian War Memorial (1930-46); secretary of the
Australian Tobacco Growers’ Association (1931-38); as well as holding mining
interests as director of the A.1 mine (1942-68). But it was as a politician
that Jones is best remembered. He was known as the “accidental member for
Indi” (1928-31) when the sitting Country Party member for the Federal
Parliament seat, Robert Cook, forgot to nominate for the 1928 election; he
later served in the Victorian Legislative Council seats of Melbourne
(1938-40) and Doutta Galla (1940-58) until his retirement in 1958. A
constituent once described Jones as “the sort of man I would love to have as
a neighbour, but he is too honest to be a politician”. As a Catholic member
of the Labor Party, Jones joined the break-away Australian Labor Party
(Anti-Communist) group - later renamed the Democratic Labor Party - after
the infamous split in April 1955; two years earlier, he was a pall-bearer at
John Wren’s (Boroondara Cemetery) funeral. A life-long bachelor, he
resided at 76 Grosvenor Road, East St. Kilda where he died on 27 December
1972 at the age of 94. Jones' brother was Timothy George Jones
(1886-1958) who married Louisa née Nathan, daughter of
Benjamin Nathan (q.v.), owner of Rippon Lea.
(above) Paul Jones
(By permission of the
Library of Australia, nla.pic-an24282640)
AWM “Biographical Cards for the Official
History 1914-18”, AWM140.
Browne, G., “Biographical Register of the
Victorian Parliament 1900-94” (1985).
Lloyd, B & Combes, H., “Gold at Gaffney’s
Griffin, J., “John Wren. A life reconsidered”
(2004).The Herald 5 October 1937.
The Sun 22 February 1958 & 28 December 1972.
The Age 22 February 1958.
“Who’s Who in Australia” (1941 & 1944).
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