Book of Life Stories

Adelaide became a Lord Mayoralty

How Adelaide became a Lord Mayoralty and how Sir Lewis Cohen was not the first Lord Mayor of Adelaide.

In 1910 the Mayor of Adelaide, Lewis Cohen, gave a Banquet to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of local government in Adelaide. In his speech at the Banquet Mayor Cohen suggested that Adelaide should apply to the British Government to become a Lord Mayoralty.

Adelaide was the pioneer city of local government in Australia, therefore it had had a mayor the longest time. There were Lords Mayors in both Sydney and Melbourne.

In 1911 Lewis Cohen, as Mayor of Adelaide, and his wife traveled to London to represent the City at the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary, and also to apply for the Lord Mayoralty.

Cohen had difficulty in getting an appointment to see Harcourt, the Secretary of State for the Colonies. When he did see him his application was not well received. The British Government had decided not to appoint any additional Lord Mayors to colonial cities.

Andrew Fisher, the Prime Minister of Australia, was also in London. He had seen Harcourt and told him that if Adelaide was granted a Lord Mayoralty, Brisbane should be also. Fisher came from Brisbane.

Cohen returned home only with the assurance that, when the time came for additional Lord Mayoralties to be granted, Adelaide would be considered.

World War I 1914-18 – A great number of South Australians enlisted. S.A. raised large amounts of money for War Loans and for voluntary organizations connected with the war effort. There was a new Secretary of State who was approached by the Agent General for S.A. in London regarding the Lord Mayoralty. In November 1919 Letters Patent were granted and Adelaide at last became a Lord Mayoralty.

First Lord Mayor Charles Glover
Second Lord Mayor Frank Moulden
Third Lord Mayor Lewis Cohen 1921 – 1923; Knighted 1924

Jewish Mayors of Adelaide

John Lazar 1855 – 1858
Judah Moss Solomon 1869 – 1871
Lewis Cohen 1889 – 1891; 1901 – 1904; 1909 – 1911
Isaac Isaacs 1915 – 1917

Jewish Lords Mayor of Adelaide

Lewis Cohen 1921 – 1923
Walter Lewis Bridgland 1966 – 1968
Henry Ninio 1993 – 1997
Compiled by Margot Bailey, daughter of Walter Lewis Bridgland and great granddaughter of Sir Lewis Cohen, December 1994.

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