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The Telegram Obituaries
McGrath, James J.
There passed to his eternal reward last evening James J. McGrath, a figure for many years prominent in civic and union affairs. His name well be forever linked with the uplifting of the underpaid toiler, Mr. McGrath was for a great number of years President and Delegate off the Longshoremen's Protective Union.
Under his able leadership this organization grew in numbers and influence and commanded the respect of the whole community. No man labored more assiduously for the betterment of the class from which he sprung than he. His virile ability and rugged honesty earned for him not alone the love and admiration of the unskilled worker but also, the respect and esteem of the employer.
The deceased was endowed by nature with a marked talent for organization and gifted with eloquence which would have carried him far in a large field. He was prompt in decision and inflexible in purpose, characteristics soon recognized by the employers with whom the struggle for the recognition of the union brought him in daily contact.
During his tenure of the office of President, the Longshoremen's Protective Union travelled through many uncharted ways, but while travelling that road he carefully examined the ground step by step and won for his co-workers the many advantages which they now enjoy.
He did not cease in his efforts to obtain proper remuneration for their toil, but aimed to give to many of them the rudiments of an education by the establishment of night schools and his efforts in this respect were, be it said to his credit. Seconded by several of the Water Street employers of labor.
It is hard to realize that this big honest and unassuming man, holding in his hands the prosperity or adversity of many thousands has passed from our midst. That he used the power which was his with Judgment, discretion and absolute honesty of purpose none can gainsay.
Mr. McGrath was not only a pioneer and true friend of labor but he was before all, a devout Christian who saw in his everyday life the handwork of the Creator and each day and night found him on bended knees imploring Divine help and assistance. In the materialistic age the lives of men of the type of the deceased are shining examples of how the path of duty can be safely followed even though the going be hard and the road rugged.
Mr. McGrath was for years a member of the Civic Commission where he rendered valuable help by his wise counsel and sound practical knowledge freely given in solving the city's major problems. Also, for many years he occupied the highly important position of Chief Government Fishery Inspector, a position for which he was eminently qualified rendering to the trade of his county that some honesty which characterized his whole life.
The deceased gentleman had passed the allotted span as proclaimed by the Psalmist and it can he said of him in the words of an eminent writer "In the Heraldry of Heaven goodness precedes greatness, so on earth it is more powerful--the lowly and the lovely man frequently does more in his low limited sphere than the gifted." May his soul rest in peace. - M.P.G.
The Evening Telegram - Dated October 3rd, 1934.
Page contributed by Sandra Churchill
Page Revised by Ivy F. Benoit (Wednesday February 20, 2013)
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