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Garmson, Aileen (c. 1861–1951)

Garmson, Aileen (c. 1861–1951)

New Zealand labor unionist and political activist. Name variations: Aileen Anna Maria Cooke, Aileen Anna Maria Douglas, Aileen Anna Maria Wrack. Born Aileen Anna Maria Douglas, c. 1861–1863, in Co. Cavan, Ireland; died May 30, 1951, in Auckland, New Zealand; dau. of John Douglas (miller) and Bridget (Murphy) Douglas; m. Frederick Garmson (carpenter), 1880 (div. 1898); m. Charles Stephenson Wrack (mariner), 1899 (div. 1917); m. Lindsay Cooke (publican), 1917 (died 1931); children: (1st m.) 1 son and 3 daughters.

Arrived in New Zealand at 17 and worked as domestic servant; active in shearers' union, and member of Knights of Labor at Christchurch (mid-1890s); advocated for working-class women on various issues; ran as Independent Liberal in 1st general election permitting women to participate, campaigning for higher taxes on large estates and free education for all.

See also Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (Vol. 2).

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