Cr Frederick Rush

Cr Frederick Rush

Following the Shire of Altona elections on 11 May 1957, Frederick Rush was the eighth of nine elected councillors to the newly formed council. However, his term as a councillor was ultimately short lived for in the ensuing election of August 1957, he was not re-elected. This outcome may have been linked back to his role within the larger Labor stronghold of seven councillors on the original council, with the public deciding this was one too many. It just so happened that as he was one of the three last candidates elected in May, he was required to stand for re-election along with Catherine McIntyre and Alfred Frederick Ford. Whilst Catherine was successful in being re-elected but, Alfred Ford, like Frederick Rush, was not.

Frederick (Edward) Rush was born in 1893 in North Kensington, London, to parents Edward Tenswell Rush and Caroline Rush (nee Phillips). He was the second eldest of eight children born to the couple. Like his father, Frederick also became a boot maker/repairer, a job which he first started after leaving school. It was a skill and career that he eventually brought with him to Australia.

With the outbreak of World War 1, Frederick enlisted into the Royal Air Force where he met Edith Mary Curteis. Following the end of the war, they married in Willesden, London, in 1919. The newlywed couple settled down as best they could in a city recovering from the conflict and the influenza pandemic. During the mid-1920s, they made the decision to pack up everything and move to Australia.

Frederick and Edith initially settled in the eastern suburb of Auburn in 1928 where Frederick found employment as a car body builder. They eventually made the move to the town of Warragul, in Gippsland, where Frederick began his own business as a boot repairer. The family soon immersed themselves into the local community where Frederick served for five years on the Warragul Shire Council with one term as president. He also served for three terms as the president of the West Gippsland Base Hospital and four as president of the West Gippsland Infectious Diseases Association Group.

Frederick was also actively associated with the Food for Britain appeal, the Sports Ground Improvement Committee, the Warragul Housing Estate, and the Indoor Bowls Association. Adding to the already impressive list, he was also the Warragul delegate to the Gippsland Shires & Boroughs Association, the Municipal Association, as well as the West Gippsland representative of Country Hospitals Associations, and many other organisations.

In 1949, the family moved to the suburb of Altona where Frederick re-established his boot repair business from his home at 22 McBain Street. He also instituted a free library which he supported from his own personal savings.

In early 1957, when Altona was granted succession from the Shire of Werribee, Frederick Rush added his name and council experience to the list of growing candidates to form the first Shire of Altona council. He was successful, but his term ended at the next election in August of the same year.

The Rush family remained in Altona, and Frederick continued running his business from his home in McBain Street until his passing on 31 May 1971. He was interred within the Altona Memorial Park. His wife Edith passed away on 8 July 1976 and was interred next to her husband.

Frederick Rush grave, Altona Memorial park

Edith Rush grave, Altona Memorial park


  1. Electoral Roll: 1928 – 1972
  2. England Census 1911
  3. Victorian Municipal Directory.
  4. Williamstown Chronicle 21 Oct 1949
  5. Altona Star Newspaper.

Research by: Graeme Reilly (2022)

Edited by: Adam Virgona (2022)