Cr Walter George Cresser

L to R: Cr McIntosh, Mrs McIntosh, Mrs Cresser, Cr Cresser

Following the Shire of Altona elections on 11 May 1957, Walter George Cresser became the fifth elected councillor of nine, before later becoming the fifth Shire President in 1960. He went on to serve as a councillor in the Altona Shire for a little over ten years, the longest of the original nine.

Walter Cresser was born 19 November 1919 in North Prentice, a small town 6 km northeast of Rutherglen, to parents William Charles Cresser and Bertha Ruby Cresser (nee Smith). Walter was the third born of seven children, with all but one reaching adulthood. After completing his education, Walter worked as a labourer before moving away from the Rutherglen area to Melbourne, finding work within the steel industry as a stell dresser. His employment must have been classified as essential as he did not enlist during World War 2.

On 31 Jan 1943, he married Phyllis Jean Lowe, the daughter of James Edmund Lowe and Martha Jane Lowe (nee Londey) who were residing in Altona. Walter and Phyllis also settled in the Altona area, setting up home in Queen Street. Walter continued his employment within the steel industry, while Phyllis went to work as a munitions worker in Maribyrnong. It was long before Walter immersed himself in community activities and issues. He eventually joined the local Australian Natives Association with his father-in-law in 1950, taking on the role of President.

In 1957, he put his name forward to be included on the Labor Party ticket and was successfully elected with six of his colleagues on 11 May 1957. He was successfully re-elected in 1958, 1961, and 1964. In the elections of 1967, Walter was defeated by the three ‘Ratepayer Association’ candidates. Even though he polled the second highest primary votes, the preferences from the winning candidate ensured his fellow candidates were successful. During his term as councillor, he served as Commissioner of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works and on the committee of the Altona District Hospital.

Walter, Phyllis and their three children (Lesley, Geoffrey, and Ross) remained living in Altona until they moved to the town of Nethercote, near Eden, on the southern New South Wales Coast. At their new home, Walter took up farming.

Phyllis and Walter Cresser Grave_Eden Historic Cemetery

Walter George Cresser passed away on 15 November 1984, aged 64, and was interred within the Eden Historic cemetery. His wife Phyllis passed away on 16 November 1999 and was interred alongside her husband.


  1. Archives – Altona Laverton Historical Society Inc.
  2. Victorian Municipal Directory.
  3. The Age Newspaper 16 Non 1984
  4. Altona Star Newspaper.

Research by: Graeme Reilly (2022)

Edited by: Adam Virgona (2022)