James Roche was born in 1851 in Clare, Ireland to parents Michael and Ann Roche, née Mcnamara. Roche arrived in Sydney with his mother and four siblings on 18 December 1865 aboard the Star of Brunswick. He arrived as an assisted immigrant and was listed as a labourer. His mother was listed as a needleworker.
He married Bridget Davoren in Sydney in 1880 and they had nine children. The couple lived at 45 Gibbens Street, Redfern and then at 114 Wilson Street, Redfern (Newtown).
He died at his Wilson Street residence on 17 August 1924, and was buried the following day in the Catholic section of Rookwood Cemetery.
Occupation & interests
Roche arrived in Sydney as a 14-year-old labourer. He subsequently worked as a timber merchant at 114 Wilson Street, Redfern (Newtown) and then as a publican from the early 1900s. In January 1902, Roche faced Redfern Court for selling watered down rum in his pub, the Parkview Hotel on Mitchell Road, Alexandria. He was fined 20 shillings, in addition to £1, six shillings and sixpence costs (instead of one month’s hard labour). The Parkview Hotel changed hands from Roche to a James T Egan in August 1910.
Local government service
Roche was elected as an alderman of the Golden Grove Ward, Redfern Council on 8 February 1892, serving until 1900 when he lost his seat to John Macnamara, 293 votes to 242. A meeting was held in Roche’s Parkview Hotel in December 1901 to discuss the better representation of ratepayers in the local council. A committee was elected to deal with the issue, with James Roche as treasurer. He served as an alderman of Alexandria Council from 1906 to 1912.
‘Family Notices’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 August 1924, p. 7., http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16176636
‘THE SPIRIT WAS WEAK’, The Australian Star, 10 January 1902, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article229080364