Sidney Fegan

Sidney Joseph Fegan (Sid) 1910-2003 was living in Ultimo when he enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in 1943. He was discharged in 1946.

The Fegan family epitomised the Labor Party patronage system, in which an alderman nominated young men and women to city jobs, and the families always elected Labor candidates to office. Sidney’s father (also named Sidney Joseph) was a City cleaner. His brother (Cecil Francis) served on Sydney City Council for 51 years, being Health Inspector in 1938 and Health Officer from 1953 to 1973. Sidney George was another employee from 1938 to 1963.

Sid was elected a City of Sydney Alderman for Phillip Ward (covering Ultimo and Pyrmont) in 1962, on the death of Jack Byrne. He served until 1967 when the Council was suspended. He was re-elected from 1969 to 1980, and served on most of the important Council committees. When he retired, and the Party attempted to fill two positions with Sid’s nominees, an electoral revolt began to unravel the Labor Party’s patronage system and elected Michael Matthews as the first non-Labor alderman for Phillip Ward.

Further Reading