Len Hales was Mayor of Northcote, 1947/8, 1954/5 and 1963/4. He came to Australia from England in 1912 with his parents when he was 14. They went to Rochester to farm but moved to Northcote in 1914 when his father bought a fruit and confectionery business from aspiring politician, John Cain, Snr, who later became Victoria's Premier. In 1921, the Hales brothers took over the corner store, on the corner of High and Westgarth Streets, a few doors from their father's business. They ran a "call and deliver" service, then moved to "cash and carry" and eventually to self-service.
Len Hales served in the First World War with the Naval Radio Service, after being only one of three out of 37 who gained a first class certificate in proficiency in radio telegraphy international.
Major achievements during his time on council include new municipal offices, two new libraries, bowling and sporting centres, Preston and Northcote Community Hospital (PANCH) and the memorial clock in High Street. He was also involved with the Methodist Church, the Northcote Lions, Westgarth Temperance Masonic Lodge, Northern Weights and Measures Union, Northcote High School, All Saints' Church of England kindergarten and the Aborigines' Girls Hostel in Cunningham Street.
Northcote Leader( 1968, September 11) Northcote, Vic :1882-