Australian Dictionary of Biography Volume 19: 1991–1995 (A–Z)
ABAL, Sir TEI (c. 1932–1994), politician, was born probably in 1932 at Sakalis hamlet near Laiagam, Enga, in the Western Highlands of the Mandated Territory of New Guinea, only son of Monapale, a warrior and cultural leader of the Temanga clan. His mother, whose name is unknown, died during his childhood. After witnessing his father being murdered, Tei suffered frightening destitution, which probably initiated his lifelong poor health. A caring Yandamau couple from Wapenamanda eventually adopted him. Enga communities observed the ethic of ‘payback’ for favours and perceived injuries. In this patriarchal society, men gained temporary ‘big man’ status through their wealth, number of wives, civil and military leadership, and oratory. Social advancement could also come from association with foreigners. Living in the contrary worlds of custom and colonial law, Abal would never avenge his father’s death.
Abal had no formal education and did not see a white man until about 1945. When he became the ‘boi’ (servant) of a police constable, accompanying government officials on tours of pacification and census taking, he learnt about the Australian administration. He taught himself literacy in Pidgin, but never mastered written or spoken English. Trained as a medical orderly in 1947, he later supervised indigenous staff at Wabag Hospital. His marriage in 1954 to Nael, daughter of a village ‘big man’, raised his status. He grew coffee, raised pigs, and prospected for gold.
As the Territory of Papua and New Guinea approached independence, influential expatriate Australian landholders and civil servants, notably the long-serving Western Highlands district commissioner Tom Ellis, promoted Abal’s entry into politics to do their bidding, while politics offered him the opportunity to promote the interests of Highlanders. He won the seat of Wabag Open in the 1964 national elections, was re-elected unopposed in 1968, and held the seat with significant majorities in 1972 and 1977. In 1966 he had successfully proposed the Development Capital Guarantee Declaration to safeguard expatriate properties after independence. As a ministerial member, he held responsibility for labour (1967), and agriculture, stock, and fisheries (1968–71). In 1968 he told a United Nations visiting mission that independence should be delayed until the Highlands had caught up with the more developed coastal regions, which had a longer history of colonisation. He travelled with a select committee in 1970 to investigate decolonisation in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Ghana, and Kenya. His fellow members valued his contribution to the cross-party Constitutional Planning Committee (1972–75).
Short and stocky, Abal was a ‘notable orator, with a broad smile and warm personality that won him affection and wide respect’ (Sinclair 2016, 411). As leader of the Highlander-dominated and conservative United Party (UP), which won more seats than any other party at the 1972 election, he was expected to become chief minister following the introduction of self-government (December 1973). Instead the pro-independence Pangu Pati’s (Sir) Michael Somare negotiated a fragile multi-ethnic national coalition and formed an administration. Somare’s skill as a negotiator and his ability to defuse conflict were an object lesson for Abal and his shell-shocked party. He relinquished leadership of the Opposition to Matthias Toliman [q.v.16], an educated New Britain UP member. When Toliman died suddenly in 1973, Abal again took on the leadership, but showed little talent for it, his ardour focussed primarily on delaying independence rather than on the parliamentary contest. Amid the jubilation on Papua New Guinea’s Independence Day (16 September 1975), some Highlanders wept, and one cut off his finger in mourning. Abal was remarkably conciliatory, but wary of his nation’s destabilising regionalism. He was knighted the next year.
A modest man of ‘virile sincerity’ (Griffin, Nelson, and Firth 1979, 195), Sir Tei was critical of Pangu’s progressive policies but admired Somare’s political success. After Iambakey Okuk, a Highlander, claimed leadership of the Opposition in May 1978, Abal joined the Somare government with other UP members and became minister for public utilities (1978–79). Wary of friction and betrayals, he advocated a unifying single party state; the proposal was undemocratic and politically inept. Having suffered a stroke in 1979, he was partially paralysed by a second in 1980. After polling poorly in the 1982 election, he retired from politics. He died at his home at Keas Village, Wabag, on 14 March 1994, survived by his wife, three sons, and three daughters. After a service at Messiah Lutheran Church at Pawas and a state funeral at Wabag Community School, which he had established, he was buried at Keas. Over 2,000 mourners came to show respect and gratitude. A son, Sam Abal, later represented Wabag in the national parliament, serving as foreign minister (2007–10) and deputy prime minister (2010–12) under Somare.
Denoon, Donald. A Trial Separation: Australia and the Decolonisation of Papua New Guinea. Canberra: Pandanus Press, 2005; Griffin, James. ‘PNG Politician Who Sought to Delay Independence.’ Australian, 24 March 1994, 24; Griffin, James, Hank Nelson, and Stewart Firth, eds. Papua New Guinea: A Political History. Richmond, Vic.: Heinemann Educational Australia, 1979; Hegarty, David. ‘The Political Parties.’ In Development and Dependency: The Political Economy of Papua New Guinea, edited by Azeem Amashi, Kenneth Good, and Rex Mortimer, 187–204. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1979; Korugl, Peter. ‘Sir Tei, Man of Enga and PNG.’ National, 22 March 1994, 3; Sinclair, James. The Middle Kingdom: A Colonial History of the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Goolwa, SA: Crawford Publishing, 2016; Australian External Territories. ‘Tei Abal.’ 8, no. 6 (December 1968): 22–23.
Helga M. Griffin
ABEL, Sir CECIL CHARLES (1903–1994), missionary and politician, was born on 1 February 1903 at Kwato mission, Milne Bay, British New Guinea (Papua), eldest of four children of English-born parents Charles William Abel [q.v.7], missionary, and his wife Elizabeth Beatrice Emma, née Moxon. His father, a Congregational minister and agent of the London Missionary Society (LMS), had arrived in British New Guinea in 1890. Educated first at Kwato, Cecil boarded between 1918 and 1921 at Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore). From 1921 he attended the University of Cambridge (BA, 1925), where he lived at Cheshunt College and, with his brother Russell, studied anthropology under A. C. Haddon [q.v.14], who had researched and published anthropological works on the Torres Strait. Described as his father’s ‘twin’ in appearance and to a large extent in character, Cecil was expected to succeed his father as head of the mission at Kwato. Both were Independents in the Congregational sense of not depending upon central authority and in the broader sense of resisting obligation to others.
In 1917 the Kwato mission had seceded from the LMS, which rejected Charles Abel’s policies of encouraging self-sufficiency through the development of plantation enterprises. He was unusual among missionaries in Papua in personally owning and leasing lands for secular, non-religious purposes. The mission operated on the principle that Papua’s future lay in creating an English-speaking environment offering a complete break with traditional culture, for which Charles had little respect. Village influences would be minimised and, on Kwato and at Milne Bay, groups of Christian Papuans (called gana-aro, or ‘those inside the fence’) would perpetuate themselves through intermarriage. Numbers rose to about 400 between World Wars I and II. In most parts of the territory there was a high degree of racial segregation but, in sharp contrast, sporting and religious camaraderie prevailed at the mission.
Abel succeeded as head of mission after the death of his father in 1930. He continued the plantation enterprises, but his leadership differed from his father’s owing to a significant change in religious direction, which further undermined racial aloofness. While at Cambridge he had been influenced by the American Lutheran Frank Buchman, founder of the Oxford Group (later Moral Re-Armament). He led a party of Kwato adherents in 1934 to preach racial brotherhood and the public confession of sin to the Kunika (or Keveri) people 125 miles (200 km) along the south Papuan coast. Here, with government endorsement, they brought about major social reforms, including the end of customs of homicide. The anthropologist F. E. Williams [q.v.12] wrote that the Kunika Papuans valued Abel’s friendship and declared that he feared nothing. Knowing that civil authorities now proscribed the slaughter of enemies, they accepted that a new order, inspired by Kwato—confession, schooling, rice growing, football, and friendliness to all—had prevailed over the old.
Following Japan’s entry into World War II in December 1941, many Europeans in Papua were evacuated to Australia. Abel and his colleague, Geoffrey Baskett, were allowed by army authorities to remain at Kwato. They provided equipment and labour to assist army engineers developing Milne Bay as a base. When the Japanese landed at Abel’s Milne Bay plantation, Koeabule, in August, superior Allied forces, mostly Australian, defeated them decisively. Abel’s ethnographic, linguistic, and geographical knowledge proved useful as the Papuan campaign progressed. Papuan labour gangs under his direction built a military aerodrome behind the Musa River in the Owen Stanley [q.v.2] Range which became operational in October and was named Abel’s Field.
After the war the mission declined, due partly to Abel’s own conduct. Most of the Papuan community were scattered by the war, and few of the European staff returned. On 14 August 1951 at Waga Waga village, Milne Bay, Abel married Semi (Andrew) Bwagagaia, a granddaughter of the clan elder who had been Kwato’s traditional owner. The marriage, which followed allegations of liaisons between Abel and Papuan mission women during and after the war, was denounced by influential Papuans in the mission community. Furthermore, reduced support from overseas donors, compounded by financial irregularities during Abel’s period as treasurer, threatened the subsistence of the Kwato Extension Association, the body that had managed the mission’s land assets since 1917.
Abel resigned from the mission and he and his wife lived at nearby Gamaudodo village, from where he worked on a plantation and with the Copra Marketing Board of Papua and New Guinea, before moving to Hohola, Port Moresby. In 1964 he joined the staff of the newly founded Administrative College and taught political science. With a number of Papuan and New Guinean students, including (Sir) Michael Somare, Sir Albert Maori Kiki [q.v.], and Joseph Nombri, he became involved in an informal group of ‘thirteen angry men’ (Epstein, Parker, and Reay 1971, 119) known as the ‘Bully Beef Club’. In 1967 the group evolved into the Pangu Pati (Papua and New Guinea Union Party), which adopted a platform demanding self-government within two years. Representing the party, Abel was elected to the House of Assembly as member for Milne Bay (Regional) in 1968. Later that year he was responsible for drafting the party’s economic policy.
Pangu’s campaign for self-government reflected international pressure for change that had been building for fifteen years at the United Nations. The Australian government under Sir Robert Menzies [q.v.15] and his successors Harold Holt [q.v.14] and (Sir) John Gorton acknowledged that it was better to grant self-government sooner than later, thus keeping ahead of nationalist demands. Following the 1972 elections, under a revised constitution, Pangu formed an administration with Somare as chief minister. Abel had not contested the election but remained as an advisor to Somare, who became prime minister following independence in 1975. Abel is credited with writing the preamble to the Papua New Guinea constitution. Appointed OBE in 1972, he was knighted in 1982.
Describing Abel as a ‘living institution’, and a ‘scholar, soldier and statesman’, Somare praised his ‘high principles and impregnable Christian virtues’ (Post Courier 1994, 12). He loved cricket, and even in his old age was ‘cheerful and canny enough to juggle a last lithe slips catch’ (Griffin 1994, 13). Predeceased by his wife (d. 1989), he died on 25 June 1994 in Wesley Private Hospital, Auchenflower, Brisbane, and was buried at Kwato Island. Two daughters and a son, all adopted, survived him.
Epstein, A. L., R. S. Parker, and Marie Reay, eds. The Politics of Dependence: Papua New Guinea 1968. Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1971; Griffin, James. ‘Missionary Held Sway in PNG.’ Australian, 4 July 1994, 13; Griffin, James, Hank Nelson, and Stewart Firth. Papua New Guinea, a Political History. Richmond, Vic.: Heinemann Educational Australia, 1979; Post Courier (Port Moresby). ‘Sir Cecil Abel.’ 4 July 1994, 12; Wetherell, David. Charles Abel and the Kwato Mission of Papua New Guinea 1891–1975. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1996; Wetherell, David, and Charlotte Carr-Gregg. ‘Moral Re-Armament in Papua, 1931–1942.’ Oceania 54, no.3 (March 1984): 177–203; Williams, F. E. ‘Mission Influence among the Keveri of South-East Papua.’ Oceania 15, no. 2 (December 1944): 89–141.
ABEL SMITH, Sir HENRY (1900–1993), army officer and governor, was born on 8 March 1900 at Westminster, London, third of four children of Francis Abel Smith, banker, and his wife Madeline St Maur, née Seymour. He was tutored privately at home and, though a member of one of England’s oldest private-banking families, chose an army career. Entering the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, he was commissioned in the Royal Horse Guards in 1919.
In November 1928 Smith (his surname before his marriage) was appointed as an aide-de-camp to Honorary Major General the Earl of Athlone, governor-general of South Africa. Romance blossomed between the ‘dashing young cavalry captain’ (Times 1993, 17) and Athlone’s daughter, Lady May Helen Emma Cambridge (1906–1994). She had been born Princess May of Teck on 23 January 1906 at Claremont, Esher, Surrey, eldest of three children and only daughter of the then Prince Alexander of Teck (Queen Mary’s brother), army officer, and his wife Princess Alice, formerly princess of Albany (Queen Victoria’s granddaughter). In 1917, in the midst of World War I, the family, in common with other Tecks and the Battenbergs, relinquished their German titles at the request of King George V. Created Earl of Athlone, Alexander assumed the surname Cambridge. Smith’s and Lady May’s engagement was officially announced in August 1931. Despite some opposition from Lady May’s family because of her royal lineage, the King consented to the marriage, which took place on 24 October that year at St Mary’s parish church, Balcombe, Sussex. Lady May became the first royal bride to omit the word ‘obey’ from the marriage service.
Abel Smith was promoted to major in 1934. Following the outbreak of World War II in 1939, he served in Palestine and Iraq with the 1st Household Cavalry Regiment, one of two mechanised reconnaissance units formed by merging the Royal Horse Guards and the Life Guards. In 1941 he was promoted to temporary (substantive, 1944) lieutenant colonel and appointed to command the 2nd HCR. ‘Universally respected, if not always liked by those who did not match his standards, and known [in the 1st HCR] as “Aunty” because he was so fussy’ (White-Spunner 2006, 539), he trained his men hard. From July 1944 the 2nd HCR took part in the invasion of Europe; its armoured and scout cars probed ahead of the advancing army, reporting enemy dispositions, skirmishing, and capturing strategically important bridges. The unit won an enviable reputation and Abel Smith was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership.
Lady May worked with the British Red Cross Society and the St John Ambulance Association during the war. Back in London and promoted to acting colonel (1946), her husband served on the staff of the Household Cavalry at Whitehall and worked closely with King George VI to revive the ceremonial life of the peacetime capital. Abel Smith was largely responsible for implementing the King’s wish for the cavalry to play an enhanced role in the parade of Trooping the Colour. In 1950 he was appointed KCVO. That year he retired from the army to his estate, Barton Lodge, at Winkfield, Berkshire, where he and his wife bred Arab horses. They enjoyed outdoor activities, particularly riding, hunting, and shooting.
With Sir John Lavarack’s [q.v.15] term as governor of Queensland due to end in 1957, Premier Vincent Gair’s [q.v.14] Labor government intended that another Australian would succeed him. The Country and Liberal parties’ coalition, which gained power under (Sir) Francis Nicklin [q.v.15] in August, preferred a British vice-regal representative. Abel Smith’s appointment was announced in November and he assumed office on 18 March 1958. A newspaper article suggested that the selection of the husband of Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin was ‘a compliment’ to Queensland, with the State’s centenary to be celebrated in 1959 (Courier Mail 12 November 1957, 11).
Queenslanders took an immediate liking to the couple and their popularity grew quickly. Both were regarded as approachable, energetic, jovial, sporty, and charming, and as ‘true party givers’ (Matheson 1957, 3). Sir Henry was slim, with erect military bearing, and ‘was always well turned-out’ (A Portrait of a Governor 2016, 40). ‘Diminutive but with an unmistakable presence’ (Daily Telegraph 1994, 23), Lady May ‘notably wore a tiara to the Beatles concert at Festival Hall in 1964’ (A Portrait of a Governor 2016, 40). They travelled extensively throughout the State; invited the Australian Broadcasting Commission to Fernberg to film At Home at Government House; and hosted successful royal visits by Princess Alexandra in 1959, the Queen in 1963, and Lady May’s mother in 1964.
Demonstrating the respect Abel Smith had gained, his five-year term was extended by three years. From May to September 1965 he served as administrator of the Commonwealth of Australia. He was appointed a knight of the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem (1958) and KCMG (1961). The University of Queensland conferred an honorary LLD (1962) on him and named a lecture theatre after him. In March 1966, thousands lined the streets of Brisbane to farewell him and his wife. The lord mayor, Alderman Clem Jones, declared that ‘nobody had ever done a better job as Governor than Sir Henry; probably nobody in the future would exceed what he had done’ (Courier Mail 1966, 3). He was the last British governor of Queensland.
The Abel Smiths were a devoted couple. They returned to Barton Lodge, where they took an active part in country life and worked their Arab stud. In her eighties Lady May still drove her own car, ‘which she parked with cavalier dash’ (Times 1994, 19). Suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Sir Henry spent his last years in a nursing home, Wellington Lodge, Winkfield. He died there on 24 January 1993 and was cremated. Lady May died on 29 May 1994 at Kensington, London, and was buried in the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore, Windsor. The couple’s son and two daughters survived them.
‘Colonel the Honourable Sir Henry Abel Smith KCMG KCVO DSO.’ A Portrait of a Governor. Brisbane: Office of the Governor, 2016, 40–41; Courier Mail (Brisbane). ‘Wife of New Governor is Queen’s Cousin.’ 12 November 1957, 11, ‘Governor’s Line Goes Back to Cromwell.’ 13 November 1957, 5, ‘Don’t Overdo Ceremony, Says Sir Henry.’ 14 November 1957, 5, ‘Sir Henry One of the Crowd.’ 7 March 1966, 3; Matheson, Anne. ‘Queensland Governor is Royal Friend.’ Australian Women’s Weekly, 11 December 1957, 3; Daily Telegraph (London). ‘Lady May Abel Smith.’ 31 May 1994, 23; Times (London). ‘Colonel Sir Henry Abel Smith.’ 30 January 1993, 17; Times (London). ‘Lady May Abel Smith.’ 1 June 1994, 19; White-Spunner, Barney. Horse Guards. London: Macmillan, 2006.
ABOUD, NICHOLAS (NICK) (1911–1992), softgoods manufacturer and Lebanese community leader, was born on 28 June 1911 at Redfern, Sydney, second of ten children of Lebanon-born Abraham Daher Aboud, handkerchief manufacturer, and his Sydney-born wife Cissie, née Malouf. Abraham founded Pioneer Softgoods Industries Ltd and became a leader of the Lebanese community in Sydney. Educated at The King’s School, Parramatta, at the age of eighteen Nicholas was sent to Beirut, where he studied French and Arabic at the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchal College for a year. He then went to the United Kingdom and gained experience in the linen and cotton mills of Belfast and Manchester.
Returning to Sydney, Aboud began work in the family business (Nile Textiles Ltd from 1954). He was a keen rugby union player and in 1935 was selected as a reserve back for the New South Wales Waratahs. On 26 April 1937 at St Augustine’s Church of England, Unley, Adelaide, he married Lorna May Hambour (d. 1978). During World War II he served briefly in Sydney with the Naval Auxiliary Patrol and the Volunteer Defence Corps. In 1952 he was appointed a director of Buckinghams [q.v.13] Ltd, a well-known Sydney department store. Succeeding Ashley Buckingham as the firm’s managing director in 1963, he advocated the formation of a central credit rating agency to reduce losses through bad debts, and in 1967 oversaw a strategic merger with the menswear specialists F. J. Palmer Holdings Ltd, becoming the joint entity’s managing director.
In 1971, when Gordon Barton and Greg Farrell’s Tjuringa Securities Ltd bought Buckinghams, Aboud was retained. Made managing director (1974) of the retail arm of a Tjuringa subsidiary, Angus [q.v.7] and Robertson [q.v.11] Ltd, he turned its loss-making bookshops into a successful business before its sale in 1979. Two years earlier he had become managing director of Barton and Farrell’s IPEC Holdings Ltd group of companies, which included transport, insurance, property investment, hotel, and retail firms, such as Traders Prudent Insurance Ltd, Direct Acceptance Corporation Ltd, The Federal Hotels Ltd, and IPEC Transport Group Operations. He retired in 1983. Appointed OBE (1979) for services to business, he later presided (1988–92) over the Australian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce.
Aboud played a crucial role in fostering Lebanese culture among expatriates and their descendants in Australia and the wider world. From 1962 to 1964 he was president of the Australian Lebanese Association of New South Wales. This non-political and non-religious organisation assisted Lebanese migrants. It also organised social functions to raise funds for people in need and to honour visiting dignitaries from the homeland. On the global stage, Aboud held office as president (1967–71) of the World Lebanese Cultural Union. Initiated by the Lebanese government, the WLCU was for several years very successful in its aims. Primarily, it conducted annual, international conventions, bringing together delegates from many nations to work on the difficult tasks of assisting the homeland while keeping overseas communities as united as possible. The first convention, held in Miami, United States of America, in 1969 under Aboud’s presidency, was extremely productive. He had been appointed to the Lebanese National Order of the Cedar in 1965 and was promoted within the Order in 1968.
In 1976 Aboud helped establish the Australian Medical Mission to Lebanon to relieve suffering during the civil war (1975–90). In February 1977 he and others escorted a small volunteer medical team (a doctor and twelve nurses) to the country; some members of the team stayed two years. Back in Sydney, Aboud spearheaded fundraising that by 1983 had accumulated $250,000 for a second mission. During an official visit to Lebanon the same year, he assisted in distributing ‘the money to hospitals, convents and churches of all denominations—Moslem, Christian and Druze’ (Jarjoura 2005, 76).
A prominent member of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, Aboud was lay president (1970–92) of its patriarchal diocese of Australia and New Zealand. He also served on the parish council of St George’s Church (Cathedral from 1988), Redfern, Sydney, from 1970 to 1986. On 15 September 1979 at the church, he married Heather Margaret Wood, née Agnew, a widow.
Nick Aboud developed a vast network of contacts in the business world and among politicians from all parties. He was highly respected for his generosity, hospitality, and service to the Lebanese and wider community. Survived by his wife, and by the two daughters and two of the three sons of his first marriage, he died on 24 March 1992 at Darlinghurst and was buried in Northern Suburbs cemetery. Portraits of him by (Sir) William Dargie (1962) and Reg Campbell (1963) are held by the family.
Batrouney, Andrew, and Trevor Batrouney. The Lebanese in Australia. Melbourne: AE Press, 1985; Dan, Emil, and Nicolas Mansour. St George Cathedral and Its People, Past Present and Future. Double Bay, NSW: Longueville Media, 2004; Everingham, Sam. Gordon Barton: Australia’s Maverick Entrepreneur. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2009; Jarjoura, Michel. Life is What You Make of It. Alexandria, NSW: Longueville Media, 2005.
Sam G. Everingham
ACKROYD, JOYCE IRENE (1918–1991), professor of Japanese, was born on 23 November 1918 at Newcastle, New South Wales, second child of locally born parents Alfred Walter Goldsmith Ackroyd, architect, and his wife Constance, née Lloyd. Educated at Newcastle and Parramatta High schools, Joyce attributed her lifelong interest in Japan to a childhood fascination with the East and an intellectual curiosity sparked by later history studies at school. Japan’s art, its language and ‘arcane script’, and its samurai tradition attracted her most (Queensland Art Gallery 1990, 1). Not being permitted to study Japanese at the University of Sydney on a teacher’s scholarship in 1936, because of lack of demand in secondary schools, made her determined that Japanese culture and language would one day be taught in Australian schools. Meanwhile, she graduated with honours in English and history and a major in mathematics (BA, 1940; DipEd, 1941).
While teaching mathematics at a Sydney boys’ school, Ackroyd studied Japanese part time at university. She lectured in Japanese at the University of Sydney (1944–47), and then went to Cambridge University, where she wrote her doctoral thesis on the Confucianist Arai Hakuseki (PhD, 1951). Visiting Japan for the first time in 1952 as the inaugural Saionji memorial scholar, she studied at Keio and Tokyo universities for two years. From 1952 to 1956 she was a research fellow at The Australian National University, after which she became senior lecturer at Canberra University College (1956–59) and associate professor in Japanese at the ANU (1959–65). On 12 May 1962 at the Anglican Church of St John the Baptist, Canberra, she married Frank Warren (John) Speed, a military historian in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the ANU.
In 1965 Ackroyd was appointed foundation professor in the new department of Japanese language and literature at the University of Queensland. ‘When I went to Queensland in 1966,’ she later recalled, ‘students flocked to Japanese as an escape from the seeming irrelevance of European languages’ under the then mandatory Arts language-study requirement (Ackroyd 1986, 13–14). An aptitude test had to be administered to cut 280 intending students down to a more manageable 120.
Giving her inaugural lecture, Ackroyd stressed the importance of the study of Japanese language and literature in meeting Australia’s need to understand the Japanese people better. To this end, in 1967 she convinced the Queensland government to establish Japanese classes in six metropolitan high schools on a trial basis. She later wrote textbooks for use in schools. Before retiring in 1983, she also inaugurated a ground-breaking, professionally accredited, coursework postgraduate degree in Japanese interpreting and translation.
Appointed OBE in 1982 for her services to education, Ackroyd was elected to the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1983. Japanese honours included the Yamagata Banto Prize (1983) for outstanding publications introducing Japan’s culture to the world, and the Third Class Order of the Precious Crown for furthering relations between Australia and Japan, also in 1983. Her best-known books are her annotated translations of the autobiography of Arai Hakuseki, Told Round a Brushwood Fire (c. 1979), and of his Tokushi Yoron, Lessons from History (1982).
Known throughout the university for her often prickly personal style, Ackroyd could be dictatorial on occasion, but her tenacity and determination enabled her to achieve much for her discipline, in particular pushing through the introduction of the teaching of Japanese in Queensland schools. The Japanese department she established became one of Australia’s largest and strongest. Survived by her husband, Ackroyd died on 30 August 1991 at Auchenflower and was cremated. In 1990 she had been the first woman to have a building on the University of Queensland campus named after her.
Ackroyd, Joyce. ‘Japanese Studies: Then and Now.’ Japanese Studies 6, no. 1 (1986): 13–18; Alumni News (University of Queensland). ‘40 Years of Promoting Australian and Japanese Ties.’ 16, no. 1 (1984): 6–7; Queensland Art Gallery. The Joyce Ackroyd Gift: Japanese Woodblock Prints and Decorative Art Objects. South Brisbane: Queensland Art Gallery, 1990; University News (University of Queensland). ‘Japanese Studies Pioneer Saw Benefits of Her Labour.’ 18 September 1991, 4.
AHERN, JOHN JAMES (JACK) (1904–1994), dairy farmer, dairy industry leader, cattle grazier, and political party organiser, was born on 15 December 1904 at the family property, Connemara, in the Conondale district, near Maleny, Queensland, second of six children of Queensland-born parents George Ahern, dairy farmer, and his wife Bridget Agnes, née McCarthy. When one of the children, Andrew, died in 1913 before he could receive medical attention, the family moved to Kilcoy, from where George worked the farm. Educated at Mount Kilcoy State School and in Brisbane at St Joseph’s College, Nudgee (1919–21), Jack returned to Connemara and in 1933 took it over. He sold pine, beech, cedar, and hardwood from the property, including much of the timber used in the construction of the 1.7-mile (2.7 km) Hornibrook [q.v.14] Highway bridge that linked Brisbane and the Redcliffe Peninsula in 1935.
On 8 February 1936 at St Stephen’s Catholic Cathedral, Brisbane, Ahern married Gwendoline May Thornton (d. 1962), a typist. In World War II he served part time (1942–44) as a corporal in the 6th Battalion, Volunteer Defence Corps, based at Nambour. At Connemara he applied scientific principles to produce a superior herd of Jersey dairy cattle. One of the first farmers in Australia to use artificial insemination to improve bloodlines, he also bought top-performing bulls. He worked with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation to develop his pastures. When he switched to grazing beef cattle in 1967, he paid the same attention to enhancing his Polled Hereford herd.
Earlier Ahern had been prominent in the Queensland Dairymen’s Organisation as a member for eighteen years and sometime chairman of the Wide Bay district council and the district’s representative (1963–67) on the State council. In 1964 the Queensland government appointed him to the Dairy Industry Advisory Committee, which studied production problems. On the committee’s recommendation, the government instituted the Dairy Pasture Subsidy Scheme that enabled farmers to establish improved perennial pastures. Ahern was appointed OBE (1969) for his services to dairying.
Active in rural politics, Ahern had risen through the ranks of the Australian Country Party – Queensland (National Party of Australia – Queensland, from 1982), becoming a member of the central council’s influential management committee in 1952. Locally, by 1954 he had progressed from chairman of the Maleny branch to chairman of the Landsborough electorate council, a position he would hold for some thirty-five years. In this role he became campaign manager for the member for Landsborough in the Queensland parliament, (Sir) Francis Nicklin [q.v.15], who was premier from 1957 to 1968. Ahern was State president of the party between 1964 and 1967.
At St James’s Catholic Church, Coorparoo, Brisbane, on 18 December 1971, he married Olive Marion Laherty, née Roginson, a nurse and a widow. He had parliamentary ambitions but these remained unfulfilled when he missed out on selection for the Liberal and Country parties’ coalition Senate ticket in 1964 and 1967. His son, Mike, succeeded Nicklin in the seat of Landsborough in 1968. Committed to the coalition but equally determined to preserve his party’s separate identity, Jack resisted demands by elements in the Liberal Party for three-way electoral contests and calls by the Australian Labor Party for a one-vote, one-value electoral system. The Nationals awarded him life membership in 1988.
The Aherns were unusual in being Catholics in a largely Protestant party. ‘A tall, spare man in a big bush hat’ (da Costa-Roque 1987, 5), Jack was a fine horseman, who when young had enjoyed campdrafting and hacking. Shooting and fishing were other recreations. Alan Shannon described him as friendly and good-humoured (1991, 45). In 1989 he reluctantly sold Connemara and moved to Caloundra. He died there on 24 August 1994 and was buried in Nudgee cemetery, Brisbane. His wife survived him, as did the children of his first marriage: two daughters together with Mike, who was premier of Queensland from 1987 to 1989.
da Costa-Roque, Sylvia. ‘State is Lucky to Have Him, Says Father Jack.’ Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 29 November 1987, 5; Queensland Country Life (Brisbane). ‘Queen’s Honors [sic] Presented.’ 30 October 1969, 5; Reynolds, Paul. Lock, Stock and Barrel: A Political Biography of Mike Ahern. St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 2002; Shannon, Alan. Twentieth Century Profiles. Vol. 2. Bowen Hills, Brisbane, and Sarina, Qld: Boolarong Publications with A. Shannon, 1991; Statham, Anne. The Fight for a Fair Go: A History of the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation. Brisbane: Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation, 1995; Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Qld). ‘John Ahern’s Dedication to Politics Spanned a Lifetime.’ 26 August 1994, 7; Whittington, Dot. ‘What Now for Connemara Dad and the Conondale Kid? Sale of the Ahern Stud Ends an Era.’ Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 5 March 1989, 7.
ALBISTON, HAROLD EDWARD (1897–1994), veterinary scientist, was born on 26 March 1897 at Launceston, Tasmania, the second of four children of Victorian-born parents Arthur Edward Albiston [q.v.7], Methodist minister, and his wife Harriette, née Skinner. The family moved to Melbourne in 1899 and eventually settled at South Yarra. Harold attended Woodbury College (1903–06), Kew, and then Rathdown Street and Malvern State schools. Having won a State government and an Old Wesley Collegians’ Association scholarships in 1911, he went to Wesley College, where he was put into the bright boys’ class known as ‘the twenty’. He did well in his final exams, achieving honours and winning an award to study veterinary science.
At the University of Melbourne (BVSc, 1918; DVSc, 1929) Albiston proved to be a brilliant scholar. In the fourth year of his degree he obtained first-class honours in all subjects together with the Payne exhibition, the Georgina Sweet [q.v.12] prize for parasitology, and the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria medal for clinical acumen. While studying he served in the Melbourne University Regiment. On 26 August 1918 he was commissioned in the Australian Imperial Force as a captain, Australian Army Veterinary Corps. Sailing to Britain, he was sent to France and Belgium, where in April and May 1919 he helped in the demobilisation and classification of horses used in the war. After studying briefly at the Royal Veterinary College, London, he returned to Australia in September. His AIF appointment was terminated on 12 October.
In March 1920 Albiston became the Caroline Kay scholar in veterinary anatomy at the University of Melbourne and the next year was awarded a Walter and Eliza Hall [qq.v.9] fellowship to study lung worm and braxy-like diseases in sheep. Motivated by the work of Sydney Dodd in New South Wales, Albiston’s research helped to confirm the existence of black disease (infectious necrotic hepatitis), the most serious braxy-like condition, in Victoria. He also added to the understanding of its pathology and produced pure isolates of the organism. In 1922 he was appointed to the faculty of veterinary science where he lectured in pathology and bacteriology. On 22 August 1923 his father officiated at Albiston’s marriage to Hazel Ruve Hattam at Queen’s College chapel, Carlton.
By 1928 a worldwide reduction in veterinary work, following a decline in the use of horses as a source of transport and power, saw student numbers diminish, and teaching at the school ceased. In March that year Albiston was made assistant director of the veterinary school. During 1929 papers on his research into black disease, tubercle bacilli in Melbourne’s milk supply, and actinomycosis of the mammary glands of cows in Victoria were accepted as his doctoral thesis. Following the university’s decision that the veterinary school should change its focus and become a research institute for the Department of Agriculture, Albiston was appointed (1931) director of the Veterinary Research Institute (VRI).
As director, Albiston worked under the aegis of the university while performing diagnostic and research tasks for the department. In addition to overseeing operations, he maintained the institute as a focus for the veterinary profession, and demonstrated the drive and vision necessary for the institute’s success. As members of an organisation serving the State’s expanding livestock industries, VRI staff often worked with scientists attached to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s division of animal health to solve disease and nutritional problems faced by farmers. Although the university and the department were supposed to finance the VRI jointly, funding was rarely sufficient. This shortfall led Albiston to seek money elsewhere for new equipment and minor building alterations. One source was the ‘Monkey Account’ (University of Melbourne 1961/1410). The Commonwealth Serum Laboratories imported monkeys for use in the manufacture of poliomyelitis vaccine in the 1950s and the CSL paid the VRI to undertake post-mortems of deceased animals.
Albiston was awarded the Gilruth [q.v.9] prize for meritorious services to veterinary science in 1959. He retired in 1963 and was appointed CBE. Guided by his genial, intelligent, and perceptive personality, the VRI had become a meeting place, almost a club, where any veterinarian was welcome. A colleague recalled that he ‘dressed well, spoke well and, while always friendly and helpful, exuded authority’ (Arundel 1993, 282). Devoted to the profession, he had been president (1932–34) of the Australian Veterinary Association, spent decades serving on the board of the Veterinary Association of Victoria (president 1934) and the Zoological Board of Victoria (chairman by 1962), and for twenty-three years was the editor (1939–62) of the Australian Veterinary Journal.
In retirement Albiston prepared the second edition of H. R. Seddon’s [q.v.16] six volume work Diseases of Domestic Animals in Australia and wrote its seventh volume, Some Metabolic Diseases, Deficiencies, and Toxaemias (1975). From 1965 the Harold E. Albiston prize in veterinary pathology was awarded at the university, and the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists named its 1993 oration in his honour. He died on 13 August the following year at Richmond and was cremated. Survived by two sons and two daughters, he was predeceased by his wife and a son.
Albiston, Harold E. Interview by the author, 1990; Albiston, Harold E. ‘Veterinary Education in Victoria.’ Australian Veterinary Journal 27 (September 1951): 253–57; Arundel, J. H. ‘The Harold E. Albiston Oration.’ Australian Veterinary Journal 70, no. 8 (August 1993): 281–83; Australian Veterinary Journal. ‘Gilruth Prize Award: Dr. H. E. Albiston.’ 35 (July 1959): 341–43; Clarkson, G. T. ‘The Life and Veterinary Contribution of Dr. Harold E. Albiston.’ MEd diss., University of Melbourne, 1993; Jones, T. E. ‘Obituary: Harold Edward Albiston.’ Australian Veterinary Journal 71, no. 11 (November 1994): 391; National Archives of Australia. B2455, ALBISTON H E; University of Melbourne Archives. 1961/1410, Veterinary Research Institute.
Gerald T. Clarkson
ALLEN, PETER (1944–1992), singer, songwriter, and entertainer, was born Peter Richard Woolnough on 10 February 1944 at Tenterfield, New South Wales, elder of two children of New South Wales–born parents Richard John Woolnough, soldier and grocer, and his wife Marion Bryden, née Davidson. His grandfather, George Woolnough, was a saddle maker, whom he later immortalised in the song ‘Tenterfield Saddler’ (1972). Raised in Armidale, Peter’s performing career began when he was eleven, playing the piano in the ladies’ lounge of the New England Hotel. Educated at Armidale High School, he left school after his violent and alcoholic father committed suicide in November 1958, and moved to Lismore with his mother and sister. In 1959 he went to Surfers Paradise to look for work and met Chris Bell, an English-born singer-guitarist of a similar age. Assisted by Bell’s father, and inspired by the chart-topping Everly Brothers, they formed a singing duo called the ‘Allen Brothers’, making their debut at the Grand Hotel in Coolangatta. Within a year they were based in Sydney, had signed a recording contract, and reached a national audience through the television program Bandstand.
The Allen Brothers toured Australia and Asia. In 1964 the American singer and actress Judy Garland saw them performing at the Hong Kong Hilton and invited them to be the opening act for her upcoming concert tour of the United States of America. Chris and Peter Allen, as they became known, performed in American nightclubs for the rest of the decade, releasing their only album in 1968. On 3 March 1967 in New York, Peter married Garland’s daughter, the singer and actress Liza Minnelli. They separated in 1970 when Allen acknowledged his homosexuality, and were divorced in 1974.
In 1970 Allen also parted ways with Chris Bell and pursued a solo career. Initially performing at small clubs in New York and Los Angeles, he formed a song-writing partnership with Carole Bayer Sager that produced a number of enduring favourites, including ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’ (1976). His songs were increasingly performed by other artists: Olivia Newton-John’s recording of ‘I Honestly Love You’, which Allen co-wrote with Jeff Barry, topped the American charts and earned two Grammy awards in 1974, including Record of the Year. In 1977 ‘I Go To Rio’, from his successful album Taught by Experts (1976), was a hit in Australia, France, and Brazil.
Allen’s biggest successes came in the early 1980s. He presented a series of concerts at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in 1981, becoming the first male performer to dance with the venue’s famous dance troupe, the Rockettes. In 1982 (with Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, and Christopher Cross) he won an Academy award for best original song, for ‘Arthur’s Theme’ (from the film Arthur, starring Dudley Moore and Minnelli). His fame and popularity also grew in Australia, which he visited frequently. During his 1980 tour, a Festival Records executive, Alan Hely, noticing that Allen closed his shows by saying ‘I still call Australia home’, suggested it would make a good song title. Allen agreed and the song became his best loved. His greatest career disappointment was the failure of his musical, Legs Diamond, which was savaged by critics after its premiere on Broadway in 1988.
Allen was charismatic if not conventionally handsome: he had a prominent nose and chin and a receding hairline, but a warm smile and a lithe frame, which was often clad in his trademark Hawaiian shirts. A cheeky, exuberant performer, he was open about his homosexuality at a time when many of his contemporaries were not. From around 1970 he was in a relationship with Greg Connell, a male model from Texas who later worked as the sound and light designer on Allen’s live shows. According to Allen’s biographer, Connell was ‘Peter’s big love’ (Maclean 1996, 166). Connell died from AIDS in 1984.
In 1990 Allen was appointed AM in recognition of his contribution to the performing arts. Diagnosed with throat cancer during a tour of Australia in January 1992, he died of AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma on 18 June 1992 in San Diego, California. The prime minister of Australia, Paul Keating, paid tribute to Allen’s ‘songs of sensitivity which struck an emotional chord with his fellow Australians’ (Jones and Hallett 1992, 11). In 1993 he was posthumously inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame. His life was retold in a musical, The Boy From Oz (1998), written by Nick Enright and featuring Allen’s greatest hits. The National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, holds a tender portrait (1980) of Allen by the photographer William Yang.
Cox, Peter. Spinning Around: The Festival Records Story. Sydney: Powerhouse Publishing, 2001; Jones, Deborah, and Bryce Hallett. ‘Cheeky Allen Kept Sense of Humour to End.’ Australian, 20–21 June 1992, 11; Maclean, Stephen. Peter Allen: The Boy from Oz. Milsons Point, NSW: Random House, 1996.
ALLWRIGHT, JOHN GOSMAN (1927–1994), farmer and primary industry leader, was born on 29 June 1927 in Hobart, second of three children of Sydney Harold Llewellyn Allwright (d. 1940), a Tasmanian-born farmer, and his New South Wales–born wife Ruth Everitt, née Gosman. The Allwrights were a pastoral family who had been farming in the Hamilton-Bothwell area of Tasmania since the 1830s. John’s immediate family ran Glen Quoin at Hollow Tree, and St Patrick’s Plains (later Penstock) on the central plateau. He attended Montacute State School and Clemes College, Hobart, where he was head prefect in 1944. The college headmaster, William Clemes, became a father figure to John. Moving to Victoria for his studies, he worked on trial poppy-growing plots and completed a diploma of agriculture (1947) at Dookie Agricultural College.
Afterwards Allwright returned to manage the family’s properties with his elder brother, Sydney. On 24 September 1958 he married Suzanne Elizabeth Shepley, a typist, at St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Kensington, Adelaide. He was an agricultural visionary: at Penstock he became the first to establish broadacre pastures on the plateau. At his Westbury properties, Roxford and Exton House, he focused on livestock and intensive cropping—cereals, peas, and tick beans. His innovative approach was intertwined with entrepreneurship. By 1970 he was one of the first licensed poppy growers in the State. Soon after, he initiated contact with the pharmaceutical company Abbott Australasia Pty Ltd and facilitated the establishment of an alkaloid processing plant. He also started a produce company, a butchery, and a seed exporting firm—which helped foster such niche markets as tick beans for the horse-racing industry.
As one of the State’s leading primary producers, Allwright was to find his metier on the national and international stages. In 1980 he helped to unite the Tasmanian Farmers’ Federation and the Tasmanian Farmers’, Stockowners’, and Orchardists’ Association. He was elected inaugural president (1980–83) of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA), and president (1988–91) of the National Farmers’ Federation. In both roles he was able to meld disparate groups into cohesive bodies and steer them through times of political and economic turbulence, which he rightly described as the worst rural crisis since the 1890s drought-propelled slump. While at the NFF he repaired relationships with the government and the bureaucracy that had fractured under the confrontational policies of his predecessor. He also paid greater attention to socioeconomic and conservation issues: calling for a more educated rural workforce, advocating the incorporation of scientific research into agricultural practices, and supporting schemes such as Landcare. Throughout his presidency he argued for economic reform, especially liberalisation of trade and tax reform. He was a member of Australian delegations (1988 and 1990) in the Uruguay round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, a vice president of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (1990–92), and an advisor to the World Bank (from 1993).
Community and industry organisations sought the skills and knowledge of this ‘rural gentleman fighter’ (Clark 1994, 3) who was also a capable conciliator. At the University of Tasmania he was a councillor (from 1993), a member of the faculty of agricultural science, and chairman (1991–93) of the board of the Cooperative Research Centre for Temperate Hardwood Forestry. Among other roles, he chaired the Rural Development Task Force, Australian Special Rural Research Council, and Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. Tasmanian Farmer of the Year in 1981, he was appointed AO in 1982, and Tasmanian of the Year in 1992. He died on 6 March 1994 at Devon Hills, Launceston, and was survived by his wife, and their son and four daughters. A TFGA leadership award and an Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research fellowship are named after him.
Advocate. ‘Award Stays at Westbury.’ 9 September 1981, 26; Allwright, James. Personal communication, 21 and 24 November 2014; Allwright, Jill. Personal communication, 5 January 2015; Clark, Nick. ‘Death of a Rural Gentleman Fighter.’ Mercury, 8 March 1994, 3; Duff, Craig. ‘Farming’s Tall Poppy.’ Examiner, 16 June 1988, 28; Limb, Ron. ‘John is Good Choice for a Tough Task.’ Tasmanian Country, 21 March 1980, 7; McErlane, Brian. ‘John Allwright—A Hands On Farmer.’ Rural Business Magazine, June 1988, 33; Reid, Professor J. Personal communication, 15 December 2014; Stevens, Tim. ‘Moderate Voice of Farm Lobby.’ Australian, 9 March 1994, 13; Tasmanian Country. ‘Award Stunned TFGA Leader.’ 18 June 1982, 3.
ANDERSON, DAVID OUTRAM (1917–1994), businessman, was born on 2 November 1917 at Burwood, Sydney, second son and third child of New South Wales–born parents Elias Outram Anderson, company manager, and his wife Gertrude, née Dunlop. Educated at Trinity Grammar School, David left school at fifteen and joined Edwards Dunlop [q.v.8] and Co. Ltd, a paper products company founded by his grandfather in 1869.
On 16 October 1939 Anderson married Nancy Adair Jackson (d. 1987) at the Congregational Church, Killara. When World War II had broken out in September, he had enlisted in the Citizen Military Forces. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in November 1940. Although he transferred to the Australian Imperial Force in September 1941, he remained with his CMF unit, the 55th Battalion (later combined with the 53rd Battalion). Between May 1942 and March 1943 he served in Papua and between December 1944 and June 1945 on Bougainville. Back in Australia, he transferred to the Reserve of Officers on 19 October 1945 as a captain (from 1942). He lived at Burwood before building the family home at Killara.
Appointed to the board of Edwards Dunlop in 1949, Anderson was joint managing director (1959–76) and deputy chairman (1976–83), and became chairman in 1983, a position he held until his retirement in 1988. He served on many other boards, including Australian Gas Light Co. (1972–85, chairman 1974–85), Australian Mutual Provident Society (AMP) (1970–90, chairman 1982–90), Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd (1978–88), G. E. Crane Holdings Ltd (1971–84), and the National Australia Bank Ltd (1976–84).
The AMP Society was the largest of the companies on the boards of which Anderson sat, with assets in 1988 in excess of $30 billion. When he joined the board in 1971, he reflected on his personal connection with the society, which had been ‘ingrained in my nature’ by his father, who considered it an example of business working in such a way as to be important and valuable to the community. In addressing its 138th annual meeting he pointed out that the society’s founders had not established the company as a charity, but as a means through which individuals could help themselves by coming together. ‘It has been the continuing task of the Society’s Board and management,’ he said, ‘to develop, elaborate and defend that means, with the interests both of our members and of the nation at heart’ (AMPNews 1987, 13). During his years as chairman he steered the organisation through a period of change and growth. AMP increased its range of products and services, and also took the first steps to increase its international presence by merging with London Life Association Ltd and taking over London-based Pearl Assurance. The company moved into banking in 1985 with the establishment of the Chase AMP Bank Ltd, of which he was chairman (1985–90). He retired from the AMP board on 31 January 1990.
Inspired by his mother’s example, Anderson engaged in community and philanthropic activities. He was active in a number of civic organisations: a member of the national appeal committee of the Australian Tax Research Foundation, a trustee of the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife, chairman of the Burnside Presbyterian Homes for Children, council member of the St Andrew’s Home for Boys, and chairman of the Sydney Legacy citizens’ appeal committee.
Anderson’s services to commerce and secondary industry were acknowledged in 1987 when he was appointed AO. His recreations included golf, swimming, sailing, music, and gardening. He belonged to several clubs: Australian (Sydney), Melbourne, Avondale Golf, and Elanora Country. Survived by two of his three sons, he died on 18 June 1994 at North Turramurra and was cremated.
Amicus. ‘… And Welcome to Mr David Anderson.’ 21, no. 2 (June 1982): 5; Amicus. ‘Some Changes in our Boardroom.’ 10, no. 1 (1971): 17; AMPNews. ‘Chairman Highlights Key Issues,’ no. 43 (June/July 1987): 13; Anderson, Hugh. Interview by the author, 29 October 2014; National Archives of Australia. B883, NX76325.
ANDERSON, Dame FRANCES MARGARET (JUDITH) (1897–1992), actress, was born on 10 February 1897 at Kent Town, Adelaide, youngest of four children of Scottish-born James Anderson Anderson, sharebroker and pioneering prospector, and his wife Jessie Margaret, née Saltmarsh, a former nurse. Her father, increasingly in financial difficulties, left the family when Frances was about five years old and she never saw him again. Her mother, who then ran a grocery store, encouraged her to take elocution lessons, for which she won prizes. Abandoning her education at Norwood High School, she moved with her mother to Sydney in 1913 to train with elocution teacher Lawrence Campbell. In 1915, as Francee Anderson, she made her stage debut with the touring company of the distinguished actor Julius Knight. She remained with Knight, attracting favourable reviews, until he retired at the end of 1916. While touring with an American company the following year, she decided to follow other talented Australians to Hollywood.
With her mother, Anderson arrived in Los Angeles in January 1918 with a letter of introduction to Cecil B. DeMille. She did not fit the current Mary Pickford style, and, disappointed, they moved to New York, where she worked mainly in stock companies for the next five years. In 1923 she changed her name to ‘Judith’ for her appearance on Broadway in Peter Weston. Her breakthrough came in 1924 when she appeared on Broadway as a sexually predatory sophisticate in Cobra. Described as ‘sure in her technique, clear of diction, entirely without self-consciousness’ she was ‘surely designed for stardom’ (The Billboard, 1924, 23). She had a ‘certain strangeness’, according to one critic, that made her ‘irresistible’ (New York Herald Tribune, 11 May 1924). Signed by the leading producer David Belasco, she appeared to huge acclaim from 1924 to 1926 in The Dove, for which she was given star status. In 1927 she returned to Australia to tour in Cobra, Tea for Three, and The Green Hat, but their subject matter proved too strong for Australian audiences and, despite glowing personal notices, she considered the tour a failure.
Tiny, with small eyes and mouth and a Roman nose, Anderson was not conventionally pretty, but she had an elegance and perfect figure that made her a vivid presence. With a keen sense of fashion, she became a regular in Vogue, and her angular profile made her a favourite with caricaturists. Her sophisticated style, velvety voice, and ability to give the most melodramatic role brought her a series of glamorous Broadway parts from 1928 to 1934 that made her a style icon, most notably in Eugene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude, Pirandello’s As You Desire Me, Chiarelli’s Mask and the Face (with Humphrey Bogart), and her favourite role as ‘the Woman’ in Clemence Dane’s avant-garde Come of Age.
Anderson’s reputation as one of America’s greatest actresses began in 1934 when the producer-director Guthrie McClintic invited her to star in Divided by Three. From that time some of her best roles were played under his management, including Delia in the Pulitzer prize–winning Old Maid in 1935; Gertrude in Hamlet in 1936, with (Sir) John Gielgud; and the Medea tour of 1948–49. Another collaboration was with the actor-manager Maurice Evans, with whom she played in Macbeth in 1941 (as Lady Macbeth), in a version designed to entertain the troops in Hawai‘i in 1943, and in two award-winning television productions in 1954 and 1960. Her most important collaboration, however, was with the poet Robinson Jeffers, who wrote for her the version of Euripides’s Medea that she played on Broadway in 1947 and which is always associated with her name. The play was produced by the then-unknown Richard Whitehead and Oliver Rea in 1947–48 before touring under McClintic’s direction. Medea was chosen to represent the United States in Germany in 1951 and in Paris in 1955, and for the inaugural tour of the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust in 1955, in which a young Zoe Caldwell appeared. In 1982, at Anderson’s suggestion, Whitehead produced Medea with Caldwell—now his wife—as Medea, and Anderson, aged eighty-five, as the nurse.
In 1933 Anderson began her movie career with the pre-code classic Blood Money. She is best remembered, however, as Mrs Danvers in Rebecca (1940), produced by David O. Selznick and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. As a sought-after character actress, she appeared most memorably in Laura (1945), Pursued (1947), and Star Trek III (1984); but she regarded movies as a means of financing her theatrical career and the home outside Santa Barbara, California, that she established in 1950.
Anderson’s other great career was in television, where she was associated principally with the director-producer George Schaefer and the prestigious Hallmark Hall of Fame. She twice won an Emmy for Macbeth, in 1955 and 1961, and was acclaimed in The Cradle Song (1956 and 1960), Elizabeth the Queen (1968), and Bridge of San Luis Rey (Dupont Show of the Month 1958). In her late eighties she played in the soap opera Santa Barbara. She also appeared regularly on radio and made many recordings.
Although she was grateful for the way the United States welcomed her and her talents, Anderson always identified as an Australian and a British subject. She appeared twice at London’s Old Vic, in 1937 as Lady Macbeth opposite Laurence (Baron) Olivier, and in 1960 as Madame Arkadina in The Seagull. In 1960 she was appointed DBE for services to the performing arts. An off-Broadway theatre was named in her honour in 1984, and in 1991, a few months before her death, she was appointed AC.
Anderson admitted that she did not have a serene temperament. Although she could, at her best, be enchanting—companionable, witty and full of fun—she was implacable when crossed. Flirtatious and married to her career, Anderson’s ‘baby love’, Oliver Hogue [q.v.9], the journalist-soldier who wrote as ‘Trooper Bluegum’ from Gallipoli and the Middle East, died of influenza early in 1919. She had two brief marriages, to the Berkeley University professor of English, Benjamin Lehman, from 1937 to 1939, and to the producer, Luther Greene, from 1946 to 1951. She was deeply attached to her family and had a gift for friendship, maintaining ties from her earliest days in the theatre. With a love of music and of ‘beauty’ of any kind, her lifelong friends included the leading musicians, photographers and art collectors of the day.
On 3 January 1992 at Santa Barbara, Anderson died a month before her ninety-fifth birthday. Her ashes were placed in the outside wall of the Festival Theatre, Adelaide, marked by a memorial plaque. A 1962 portrait by Don Bachardy is in the National Portrait Gallery.
Deacon, Desley. ‘Becoming Cosmopolitan: Judith Anderson in Sydney, 1913 to 1918.’ In Transnational Lives: Biographies of Global Modernity, 1700–Present, edited by Desley Deacon, Penny Russell and Angela Woollacott, 238–52. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, ‘Celebrity Sexuality: Judith Anderson, Mrs Danvers, Sexuality and “Truthfulness” in Biography.’ Australian Historical Studies (April 2012): 45–60, ‘Outlaw Fan: Judith Anderson, International Star, Grows Up In Adelaide.’ Journal of the Historical Society of South Australia 40 (2012): 66–80; Gregory, Fiona. ‘High-Cultural Histrionics: Judith Anderson’s 1955 Tour Of Australia.’ Australasian Drama Studies (April 2006): 91–114; New York Herald Tribune. 11 May 1924; The Billboard (New York). 10 May 1924, 23; University of California, Santa Barbara. Dame Judith Anderson Collection.
ANDERSON, JOHN HERBERT (BERT) (1899–1994), rural industry leader and stud cattle breeder and judge, and Donald Mancell Anderson (1938–1991), stud cattle breeder and judge, were father and son. Bert was born on 15 February 1899 at Fairview, the family property in the Southbrook district of the Darling Downs, Queensland, eldest of five children of John Anderson, a locally born farmer, and his Victorian-born wife Alice, née Alden. Young Bert attended Umbiram (Harelmar) (1905–10) and Elville (1911–12) State schools. His father, a district farming leader and breeder of championship-winning Ayrshire dairy cattle, was killed by lightning in November 1920, while mustering stock during a thunderstorm.
Bert and his brother Malcolm took over Fairfield and continued dairying and showing cattle. On 2 June 1926 at St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Toowoomba, Bert married Sylvia Mancell Stone (d. 1987), a typist and bookkeeper. The brothers dissolved their partnership in 1930, Malcolm moving to another property. Two years later Bert began replacing the Ayrshire herd with an Australian Illawarra Shorthorn (AIS) stud under the prefix Fairvale, achieving great success in the show ring and in milking competitions. In late 1944 he sold the property and the stock; the Fairvale dispersal sale in December included numerous prize winners and realised what was understood to have been ‘the top price for a dairy bull at auction to date in Australia’ (Farmer and Settler 1944, 4). During this time, he also emerged as a well-respected cattle judge, presiding at numerous agricultural shows throughout Queensland and New South Wales, including the AIS section at the Kiama Centenary Show (1948).
In January 1945 Anderson moved to Inverary, a 1,728-acre (700 ha) property at Yandilla, near Millmerran. Cultivating its fertile black soil to plant wheat, grain sorghum, oats, and lucerne, he also engaged in some lamb- and cattle-fattening. He joined the local branch of the newly formed Queensland Grain Growers’ Association in 1945, and was elected one of two vice-presidents at the first State conference in 1948. Between 1950 and 1954 he was general president of the association, representing Queensland as a delegate to the Australian Wheatgrowers’ Federation, of which he was a vice-president (1951–54). In the national body, he played a prominent part in negotiating the Commonwealth–State Wheat Stabilisation Plan for the financial years 1953–54 to 1957–58, which guaranteed a minimum return to farmers that would cover their production costs. He remained on the QGGA executive as past president (1954–61) and treasurer (1962–68). From 1954 he had been chairman of the Queensland Co-operative Milling Association Ltd, in which position he ensured farmers’ interests were protected and promoted, until 1976, when the company was sold to Allied Mills Ltd.
Experiencing ‘a hankering to get back into Stud Stock breeding which seemed to be my vocation in life’, in 1948 Anderson had established the Inverary Poll Hereford Stud ‘as a hobby and sideline’, beginning with four foundation cows and ‘an old bull’ (Anderson 1976, n.p.). Joined by his sons Neil and Donald, he gradually bred the Inverary herd to a show-winning standard. He instituted an annual show and sale at the property in 1973. Inverary Poll Herefords won more than 250 awards at the Brisbane and Sydney shows, including ‘Most Successful Exhibitor’ (Anderson 1976, n.p.) at both venues in 1975, the year he retired.
From 1958 to 1967 Anderson had chaired the Millmerran Shire Council. In 1960 he was appointed MBE for his service to the dairy industry and local government. He was a slightly built and quietly spoken man, and suffered occasional bouts of ill health. Survived by his daughter and two of his four sons, he died on 1 February 1994 at Wivenhoe Dam, Queensland, and was buried in the Toowoomba Garden of Remembrance cemetery. Over a ‘long and productive life’, he was recognised as ‘one of the most outstanding leaders in Queensland livestock and grain industries’ (Queensland Country Life 1994, 33). Tributes extolled him as a thorough gentleman who commanded immense respect.
Don Anderson was born on 21 May 1938 at Toowoomba, Queensland, youngest of his parents’ four surviving children. He was educated at Yandilla Provisional School and Scots College, Warwick (1951–55). Inheriting his father’s ‘aptitude for pedigree livestock work’ (Queensland Country Life 1953, 13), he was the champion junior judge of Herefords at the 1953 Royal National Show, Brisbane. On 2 March 1963 at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Warwick, he married Wanda Janice Hope; she was a clerk-typist and, later at Inverary, ‘the formidable office manager’ (Chronicle 2013, 10) of the family business her husband headed from 1975.
Spearheading Australian progressive stud beef cattle breeding, Anderson imported animals from North America and pioneered the use of embryo-transfer technology. He was the most successful exhibitor of Poll Herefords at the Brisbane show for fourteen of eighteen years, and at the Sydney show for thirteen of fourteen years. A director (1968–84) of the Poll Hereford Society of Australia, he was elected its president in 1973. In early 1988 he made the sudden and remarkable decision to disperse the entire herd, holding a record-breaking on-property sale. He then rapidly established the Inverary Salers Stud, soon becoming a world leader among breeders of the strain. ‘One of the great Australian cattle judges in this nation and on the world stage’ (McCosker 1991, 11), he adjudicated in the United States of America, Argentina, New Zealand, and Britain.
Anderson took a special interest in encouraging young people in the beef cattle industry. Renowned as an innovator and communicator, and for his ability to combine skilled breeding with business acumen, he united personal dynamism with the steady temperament required for success in the show ring. He died suddenly of a cerebral haemorrhage on 12 January 1991, while addressing a meeting of the International Salers Federation in Denver, Colorado, United States, and was buried in the Toowoomba Garden of Remembrance cemetery. His wife and their three daughters and one son survived him.
Anderson, Don, on behalf of the Anderson family. Inverary Poll Hereford Stud: Then, Now and Tomorrow. Tara, Qld: Anderson Pastoral Co., 1976; Anderson, J. H. (Bert). ‘Anderson Family.’ Unpublished typescript, n.d. Papers of J. H. (Bert) Anderson 1917–1994, 28996. State Library of Queensland; Chronicle (Toowoomba). ‘World-Leading Cattle Breeder Dies Aged 52.’ 14 January 1991, 3, ‘Whirlwind Leaves Laughter: Obituary: Wanda Janice Anderson.’ 5 August 2013, 10; Curtis, Daphne (née Anderson). Personal communication; Farmer and Settler (Sydney). ‘Fairvale A.I.S. Bring Good Prices.’ 29 December 1944, 4; Queensland Country Life. ‘Mr Anderson On Wheat Issue.’ 18 June 1953, 1, ‘Grain Growers’ President Breeds Prize Cattle.’ 3 September 1953, 13, ‘Rural Leader Made Vital Contribution: Obituary: Bert Anderson.’ 10 February 1994, 33; McCosker, Malcolm. ‘Don Anderson Forged New Cattle Progress.’ Queensland Country Life, 17 January 1991, 11; McVeigh, Tom. ‘Tribute: Mr J. H. Anderson, M.B.E.: Doyen of Farm Leaders.’ Bound typescript, 2012. Papers of J. H. (Bert) Anderson 1917–1994, 28996. State Library of Queensland; State Library of Queensland. 28996, Papers of J. H. (Bert) Anderson 1917–1994.
ANDERSON, MARGARET IRENE (1915–1995), nurse, was born on 11 December 1915 at Malvern, Melbourne, daughter of New South Wales–born Charles Anderson, driver (later foreman), and his Victorian-born wife Jessie Blanchrie, née Urquhart. In 1940 she finished her nurse training at the Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, and soon after completed a massage certificate. Known as Madge within her family, she was a brunette with grey, determined eyes who stood 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm) tall.
Volunteering for service in World War II, on 3 October 1940 Anderson was appointed a staff nurse, Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS). After a brief period of home service, on 8 September she transferred to the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) for overseas duties. She was attached to the 2/13th Australian General Hospital (AGH) based in Singapore on 20 November. Only four days before the fall of the fortress, she was one of a party of nurses who on 11 February 1942 reluctantly boarded the cargo ship Empire Star to be evacuated, effectively abandoning some of their patients. The ship sailed the next day. Nurses who remained in Singapore would embark on the Vyner Brooke and either die at sea, be massacred on Banka Island, or be interned for the remainder of the war.
Although the Empire Star had accommodation for only sixteen passengers, on this voyage it carried more than 2,100 people, including wounded personnel, nurses, physiotherapists, airmen, and civilians. En route to Batavia (Jakarta), Netherlands East Indies, the ship came under fire from enemy planes, and a cabin in which Anderson and other nurses were tending seriously wounded men began to fill with smoke and fumes. Anderson and her colleagues moved the patients on to the open deck but the enemy returned and machine-gunned the vessel. During these attacks she remained on deck sheltering her patients, many of whom were badly injured. At one stage she threw herself across a patient to protect him from the bullets. Many who witnessed her actions commended her for her bravery, for which she was to be awarded the George Medal in September. The Empire Star made it safely to Batavia from where, after emergency repairs, she berthed at Fremantle, Western Australia, on 25 February.
Anderson recuperated and returned to nursing in Victoria at the 49th Camp Hospital, Wangaratta, and the 115th AGH, Heidelberg, for the remainder of 1942. She was promoted to sister in July. Eager to return to military nursing, and despite her ordeal at sea, she joined the hospital ship Wanganella in January 1943. The AANS was incorporated into the AIF in December and nurses afforded military rank. Lieutenant Anderson continued to serve on the Wanganella, apart from brief attachments to military hospitals in Australia, until August 1945, collecting the sick and wounded from New Guinea and travelling as far afield as Taranto, Italy, to pick up prisoners of war. On 5 June 1946 she transferred to the Reserve of Officers after contracting bronchiectasis, a war-induced condition.
After the war Anderson continued to reside at Malvern, working as a clerk for a number of years. On 14 November 1956 at the Presbyterian church, Malvern, she married Allen Ronald O’Bryan, a farmer; he died in 1965, aged only fifty-four years. A long-time sufferer of heart disease, she died of pneumonia on 16 July 1995 at Long Island Village, Frankston, and was cremated. Portraits of her by Henry Hanke and Napier Waller [q.v.12] are held in Canberra at the Australian War Memorial, and the National Portrait Gallery, respectively.
Adam-Smith, Patsy. Australian Women at War. Melbourne: Thomas Nelson Australia, 1984; Argus (Melbourne). ‘Bombing Attack on Convoy.’ 6 March 1942, 3, ‘Bravery of Nurses on Bombed Ship.’ 23 September 1942, 1, ‘Won Bravery Awards.’ 24 September 1942, 3; Bassett, Jan. Guns and Brooches: Australian Army Nursing from the Boer War to the Gulf War. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1992; Goodman, Rupert. Our War Nurses: The History of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corp 1902–1988. Brisbane: Boolarong Publications, 1988; National Archives of Australia. B883, Anderson, Margaret Irene.
ANDREW, RICHARD RODERICK (ROD) (1911–1994), gastroenterologist, army medical officer, and medical educator, was born on 26 February 1911 in Perth, younger child of New South Wales–born Frank Carl Frederic Andrew, medical practitioner, and his Victorian-born wife Jemima, née Urquhart. The family moved to Victoria in 1913. Rod was educated at Toorak Preparatory Grammar School (1919–22) and Geelong Grammar School (1923–29), where he coxed the Head of the River crew in 1927. His father, whom he greatly admired, died of coronary disease in 1926. As a resident of Trinity College, he studied medicine at the University of Melbourne (MB, BS, 1935; MD, 1940), befriending his fellow student (Sir) Sydney Sunderland [q.v.], later the dean of medicine at the university. Following his graduation, he served as a resident medical officer at the Royal Melbourne and (Royal) Children’s hospitals, and in 1939 was appointed acting clinical superintendent at Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth.
While a student, Andrew had trained (1930–32) with the Melbourne University Rifles. When World War II broke out, he immediately volunteered for the Australian Imperial Force and was appointed as a captain, Australian Army Medical Corps, on 13 October 1939. He served in the Middle East with the 2/2nd Australian General Hospital (1940–41), the 2/7th Field Ambulance (1941–42) and the 2/6th FA (1941). As a major with the 105th Casualty Clearing Station (1942–43) and the 2/1st CCS (1943) in Papua, he was mentioned in despatches for his services. At Cairns, Queensland, from June 1943 he commanded the Land Headquarters Medical Research Unit that investigated malaria treatment. His other wartime research included work on dysentery and Queensland tick typhus. In January 1944 he was promoted to temporary lieutenant colonel (substantive, July). Postings as head of the medical divisions of the 2/2nd AGH (1944–45) and the 2/7th AGH (1945) followed. From August 1945 he spent six months in New Guinea, commanding the 102nd CCS from November. On 12 April 1946 he transferred to the Reserve of Officers.
Awarded a Nuffield travelling fellowship in 1946, Andrew studied in London under the gastroenterologist Francis Avery-Jones and gained membership of the Royal College of Physicians (fellow, 1959). Returning to Melbourne, he joined the Alfred Hospital as physician to outpatients (1947–57) and started in private practice. He was also a visiting medical officer (1947–57) at the Repatriation General Hospital, Heidelberg. On 1 May 1948 at the office of the government statist, Melbourne, he married Joan Sidney Stuart, née Watt, a divorcee.
From 1947 to 1954 Andrew conducted research on gastrointestinal motility at the Baker [q.v.7] Medical Research Institute. It was the beginning of a long association with the Baker; he later served as a board member (1960–87), and as newsletter editor and archivist. At the Alfred, he became a consultant physician (1957–64) and clinical dean affiliated with the University of Melbourne (1957–60). He gained membership of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 1958 (fellow, 1963).
In 1958 Andrew’s career entered a new phase when he joined the interim council of Monash University. In June 1960 the council appointed him foundational dean of medicine, the role for which he is chiefly remembered. For the council, this was a bold move. Although Andrew had been ‘engaged in teaching medical students since 1947’ (Blackwood 1968, 63), he had been clinical dean at the Alfred only from 1957, and his main occupation had been his medical practice. Despite his lack of academic experience, he flourished at Monash, where his outstanding leadership skills, combined with an incisive intellect, were abundantly evident in the planning and management of the new medical school. The memoirs of his colleagues testify to his achievements, but his lasting memorial is the medical school itself, with its distinctive focus on the social aspects of medicine.
Andrew brought to Monash an egalitarian outlook that often seemed to his contemporaries to be at odds with his privileged position in society. He was, for example, a member of both the Melbourne Club and the Australian Labor Party; a member and councillor (1964–73) of the Australian Medical Association and an advocate of socialised medicine. Interested in promoting government-funded universal health care, he attended a seminal meeting in 1967 with Gough Whitlam, then leader of the Opposition, and the economists Dick Scotton and John Deeble, who produced the blueprint for the universal health insurance scheme Medibank the following year. The Labor politician Barry Jones described Andrew as a ‘major architect’ (2006, 209) of Medibank under the Whitlam government. In 1973 he resigned from the AMA over its opposition to the scheme and helped establish the Doctor’s Reform Society.
Jones remembered Andrew as ‘suave, good-looking, [and] elegantly dressed’ (2006, 209), while a university colleague, Basil Hetzel, described him as ‘a colourful and charming character’, who succeeded as dean owing to ‘his considerable intelligence and wit’ (2005, 106). Andrew was a member of the Monash University council until 1973, also serving as a councillor (1974–77) of The Australian National University. He was a director of the Australian-American Educational Foundation (chairman, 1970–76) and followed the careers of its Fulbright scholars irrespective of their disciplines. Appointed AO in 1976, he retired as professor emeritus at the end of that year and was awarded an honorary doctorate of medicine. His only child, Rosalind, died tragically the same year. He served as director of medical education at St Frances Xavier Cabrini Hospital, Malvern, until 1983. A lifelong amateur writer and artist, he included among his friends the painter Sir Russell Drysdale [q.v.17] (whom he met at school) and the author Alan Moorehead [q.v.18]. Survived by his wife, Andrew died on 12 February 1994 at Cabrini Hospital and was cremated. In 2004 Monash University inaugurated the Rod Andrew Oration in his honour.
Andrew, Rod. ‘How I Survived a World War and the Ire of God.’ Medical Practice, April 1985, 32–37; Andrew, R. R. ‘A Summing Up.’ Medical Journal of Australia, 10–24 December 1983, 653–56; Andrew, Rod. Interview by Bryan Gandevia, 6 September 1993. Videorecording. Royal College of Physicians; Andrew, Rod, and Alf Barnett, eds. In Their Day: The Baker Medical Research Institute Memoirs of Alumni. Melbourne: Hyland House, 1992; Blackwood, Robert. Monash University: The First Ten Years. Melbourne: Hampden Hall, 1968; Firkin, Barry G. ‘Richard Roderick Andrew.’ In Lives of the Fellows, Royal College of Physicians. Accessed 23 October 2017. munksroll.rcplondon.ac.uk/Biography/Details/99. Copy held on ADB file; Hetzel, Basil S. Chance and Commitment. Kent Town, SA: Wakefield Press, 2005; Hurley, T. H., and G. C. Schofield. ‘Andrew, Richard Roderick.’ College Roll, Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Accessed 23 October 2017. members.racp.edu.au/page/library/college-roll/college-roll-detail&id=74. Copy held on ADB file; Jones, Barry. A Thinking Reed. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2006; Parsons, Peter, and Ted Kay. ‘Vale Rod Andrew.’ In Annual Report, 8–9. Baker Medical Research Institute, 1993; Walker, Allan S. Clinical Problems of War. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1952, Island Campaigns. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1952.
ANDREWARTHA, HERBERT GEORGE (ANDY) (1907–1992), entomologist and ecologist, was born on 21 December 1907 at Mount Lawley, Perth, the second of three children of South Australian–born George Andrewartha, schoolteacher, and his New South Wales–born wife Elsie Mabel, née Morgan. He was educated at Perth Modern School and the University of Western Australia, graduating in agriculture (BSc, 1929). In 1931 Andy undertook research on apple thrips at the University of Melbourne (MSc, 1932). Returning to Perth, he was employed as a scientific officer with the Western Australian Department of Agriculture. In 1933 he was appointed field entomologist to the Thrips Investigation League, funded by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Waite [q.v.6] Agricultural Research Institute of the University of Adelaide, and the University of Melbourne.
On 13 April 1935 at St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, Andrewartha married Hattie Vevers Steele, a biologist and keen watercolour artist of native birds. They moved to Adelaide that year. Employed as entomologist at the Waite Institute, Andrewartha continued to study apple thrips, but was primarily responsible for research on the plague grasshopper. Vevers worked with and assisted Andrewartha, spending many weeks as his assistant in outback Australia.
Andrewartha’s work with apple thrips and the plague grasshopper, reinforced by his careful analysis of the work of other entomologists and ecologists, led him to question the dominant orthodoxy that animal numbers were regulated by mortality factors, principally predators or competition. These factors were said to vary in their impact, depending on the population density of the animal, stabilising numbers rather than allowing them to increase indefinitely or become extinct. Andrewartha’s questioning culminated in The Distribution and Abundance of Animals (1954). Co-authored with Louis Charles Birch, his former graduate student, the book proposed the alternative theory that both the abundance and distribution of animals were determined by their heterogeneous and constantly changing environment, and that these changes were not influenced by their numbers. Rather, they were driven by changes in the weather. The book’s impact was immediate and far-reaching, establishing Andrewartha’s reputation as an ecologist of international standing.
Shortly after publication of this major work Andrewartha was appointed a reader in the University of Adelaide’s department of zoology; he had been awarded a doctorate of science by the University of Adelaide in 1946. There he led a new animal ecology unit within which he developed and taught a final-year undergraduate course in experimental ecology, eventually publishing a textbook for it, Introduction to the Study of Animal Populations (1961). In 1962 he was appointed to the chair of zoology. He attracted postgraduate students from all over the world and led the most dynamic and interdisciplinary band of population ecologists in the country. Retiring as emeritus professor in 1972, Andrewartha returned to the Waite Institute as a visiting research fellow, where, in spite of a crippling stroke in 1975, he published, with Birch, The Ecological Web (1984).
Throughout his career Andrewartha played an influential role in agricultural and biological circles in South Australia. He was a member of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and served as president of its South Australian branch (1946). He was president of the Royal Society of South Australia (1952) and the Nature Conservation Society of South Australia, and chairman of the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council of South Australia.
Recognition of Andrewartha’s contribution to ecology came from a variety of sources. In 1961 he was elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. He was awarded the David Syme [q.v.6] prize of the University of Melbourne (1954), the Sir Joseph Verco [q.v.12] medal of the Royal Society of South Australia (1962), the (W. B.) Clarke [q.v.3] medal of the Royal Society of New South Wales (1968), and the gold medal of the Australian Ecological Society (1987). For having ‘inspired the generation widely credited with constructing modern ecology’ (Simberloff 1989, 28), Andrewartha was named, together with Birch, eminent ecologist of the year by the Ecological Society of America in 1988.
Renowned for his ability to invent and improvise in both laboratory and field, Andrewartha, a keen gardener, built an intricate ‘automated’ system of hoses, taps, and slowly filling buckets to turn sprinklers on and off in his large garden. This led to his staff and students dubbing him ‘Heath Robinson Andrewartha’. His other recreational passion was tennis. Vevers and he hosted Saturday afternoon games on his lovingly maintained grass court with family, friends, and colleagues.
A meticulous, demanding, but inspirational academic leader, Andrewartha’s graduate students and colleagues knew his sincerity, humour, and kind attention. Unlike many scientists he did not claim co-authorship of PhD students’ publications. Predeceased by his wife and survived by their daughter and son, he died on 27 January 1992 at Glen Osmond, Adelaide, and was cremated. The University of Adelaide honoured his memory in 1993 with a memorial gate opening on to the rose garden in which he studied thrips, and through which he walked to work, and in 2002 the Royal Society of South Australia established the H. G. Andrewartha medal for outstanding young Australian scientists.
Advertiser (Adelaide). ‘DSc. Degrees for Research Work on Locusts.’ 18 December 1946, 10; ‘SA Ecology Unit is First in Australia.’ 2 December 1954, 6; Birch, Louis Charles, and T. O. Browning. ‘Herbert George Andrewartha 1907 – 1992.’ Historical Records of Australian Science 9, no. 3 (1993): 258–268; Deveson, E. D. ‘The Search for a Solution to Australian Locust Outbreaks: How Developments in Ecology and Government Responses Influenced Scientific Research.’ Historical Records of Australian Science 22, no. 1 (2011): 1–31; Simberloff, Daniel. ‘Eminent Ecologist: Herbert G. Andrewartha and L. Charles Birch.’ Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 70, no. 1 (March 1989): 28–29; White, T. C. R. ‘Memorial Gate to Great Ecologist.’ Adelaidean, 15 March 1993, 9.
T. C. R. White*
ANGELAKIS, GEORGE (1920–1993), fisherman and seafood merchant, was born on 18 December 1920 on the Greek Dodecanese island of Symi, then under Italian administration, eldest of three children of Michael (Mick) Angelakis, fisherman, and his wife Anna (Anika), née Clada. George was descended from a line of fishermen, sponge divers, and shipwrights. His father spent many years living and working as a fisherman in South Australia. Mick first arrived in 1923, staying for six years. He returned in 1930 and by 1932 had settled on the west coast, preparing for his wife and children to follow.
In April 1936 fifteen-year-old George, his mother, and younger siblings, disembarked from the Viminale in Adelaide. They entered on Italian passports, using the Italianised surname ‘Angelachi’ and joined Mick at Thevenard. Their first home was ‘a four-room, iron-clad railway cottage with nail holes in the wall’ (Appleton 1987, 44–45), which they eventually left for a farmhouse that had been reconstructed in the town. Coastal settlements like Thevenard were a popular destination for interwar Greek islander migrants, and the family experienced a familiar sense of community.
Angelakis attended high school in Adelaide. During school holidays at home, he worked with his father and brother, catching whiting in the many small bays. They fished from dinghies, using the Canberra, a larger boat, as a base. His first official job was a six-week fishing contract for a Melbourne-based company; he earned £2 which he gave to his parents (Thompson 1984, 100). Later he was engaged as a labourer but an afternoon catching fish, ‘equivalent in value to the two week’s pay he earned holding a shovel’ (Penberthy 2012, 40), sealed his career in the industry.
During World War II Angelakis became a prominent local figure. In 1941 he was joint secretary of a committee raising funds for Greek and Australian forces, and in May 1945 he accepted a pennant on behalf of the residents of Thevenard who had filled their quota for the Second Victory Loan. He was also spokesman for the Greek community at victory celebrations in August, and a month later successfully petitioned the District Council of Murat Bay to secure a hall for the community. That same year, he helped to form, and became president of, the West Coast Fishermen’s Co-operative Society, a collective of thirty-five Greeks and Australians working in Thevenard and Ceduna. He had been naturalised in November 1943.
The co-operative opened a fish processing works at Thevenard in 1946. It eventually amalgamated with the South Australian Fishermen’s Co-Operative Ltd (SAFCOL), and Angelakis joined the board as the west coast’s representative. His community work continued: he was a member of the Thevenard Progress Association, and in 1949 he helped as an instructor at an English school for European migrants. On 27 July that year he married Dikea Tsouvalas, a migrant from the Dodecanese island of Rhodes whose parents were from Symi. She had arrived five months earlier with her purpose of stay listed as ‘to [be] married’ (NAA D400).
Perhaps swayed by a spell of ill health, Angelakis came to the view that there was no future for him in Thevenard (Penberthy 2012, 40). In 1959 he moved to Adelaide. His brother, Nick, followed and with their families they settled at Woodville. The next year they bought a fish, poultry, and game enterprise and, with their brother-in-law, Sam Sperou, they established Angelakis Bros in the Adelaide Central Market. Alongside ocean-caught South Australian seafood, they sold freshwater fish, such as Murray cod and golden perch, as well as imported oysters and prawns. They worked long hours, getting up at three in the morning and working well into the evening.
Over the following decades, Angelakis Bros became one of the largest fish distributors in Australia. It expanded globally, exporting to several countries including the United States of America, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Europe, Chile, and Argentina. During the mid-1970s George’s son Michael took over as managing director; combining his knowledge of seafood and love of cooking, he raised the profile of the business as the star of the television lifestyle program Out of the Blue. In 1984 the brothers opened their Fish and Game Hall in the Victoria Square Arcade. Respected, well-known, and ‘always smiling’ (Thompson 1984, 100), George remained involved in the business but took more time to enjoy driving cars, travelling, and gardening.
On 7 September 1993 Angelakis died in Adelaide and was buried in the Orthodox section at Centennial Park, Panorama. He was survived by his wife, and their two sons and two daughters. Remaining synonymous with South Australian seafood, Angelakis Bros was inducted (2007) into the State chapter of Family Business Australia’s hall of fame. In May 2018 the firm was purchased by the Knoll family who continued to operate under the Angelakis name.
Advertiser (Adelaide). ‘Angelakis Fish and Game Hall Opening in Victoria Square Arcade.’ 14 December 1984, 12; Angelakis, Nick. ‘The Old Man and the Fish.’ In Still Doing: Twelve Men Talk about Ageing, edited by Tina Koch, Merilyn Annells, and Marina Brown, 71–80. Kent Town, SA: Wakefield Press, 1999; Appleton, Marie. Made in Adelaide: The People. Adelaide: Savvas Publishing, 1987; Murphy, Catherine. The Market: Stories, History and Recipes from the Adelaide Central Market. Kent Town, SA: Wakefield Press, 2003; National Archives of Australia. A659, 1943/1/5176; A714, 16/7719; D400, SA1960/2037; Panousis, Vasilikh. Successful Greek-Australians and New Zealanders. Athens, Greece, and Marrickville, NSW: ‘Spring,’ 1992. Quoted in Forget Me Not. Accessed 18 May 2020. forget-me-not.com.au/obituaries/george-angelakis/248/; Penberthy, David. ‘Insight Special: The Santos series: Angelakis Bros. True Blue.’ Sunday Mail (Adelaide), 9 September 2012, 39–40; Thompson, Glenda. ‘A Game Where There’s No Place for Minnows.’ Bulletin 104, no. 5417 (22 May 1984): 97–100.
ANGELL, HERBERT RALEIGH (1893–1992), plant pathologist, was born on 21 August 1893 at Old England, Manchester, Jamaica, son of Jamaican-born parents Charles Angell, pen keeper, and his wife Rose Edith, née Sconce. In World War I he served in the British West Indies Regiment. Commissioned on 31 May 1917 and promoted to lieutenant (November 1918), he was posted to the 7th Battalion, which was deployed to the Western Front (1917) and Italy (1918). In 1921 he moved to Montreal, Canada, where he studied agriculture at Macdonald College (McGill University), Montreal Island (BSA, 1925). Nicknamed ‘Herbie’, he was photographer for the college magazine and president of the literary and debating society. After graduating, he moved to the United States of America to continue his studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (MS, 1926; PhD, 1928). His doctoral thesis, ‘Purple Blotch of Onion (Macrosporium porri Ell.)’ was published in a shortened version in the Journal of Agricultural Research (1929).
Angell was appointed senior plant pathologist in 1928 in the newly established Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Canberra. On 30 October 1930 at Scots Church, Sydney, he married Rosalind Kate Ramsay, a librarian. His research interests were broad; they included the relationship of protocatechuic acid (a type of phenolic acid) with disease resistance in onions, and the control of soft rot (also known as black rot) in pineapples by benzoic acid. In 1929 and 1930 he visited Papua to investigate a disease of coconuts. His most notable work was research (1928–38) into the fungistatic properties of vapours of benzol in the control and prevention of downy mildew (blue mould) in tobacco, a disease that threatened the viability of the industry in Australia. The method he developed was to grow seedlings under tents, using benzol as a mist, but only at night. He found that the vapour prevented development of the disease. According to Angell, before his research, Australian tobacco was unpopular and difficult to market because it had an unpleasant odour. In the course of his research he developed a close relationship with growers, even learning some Italian to communicate directly with many of them. Before he could complete his work on tobacco he was directed to undertake research into take-all of wheat, a plant disease caused by a fungus. However, following requests from the tobacco industry, Angell, who was the only person with the knowledge to introduce growers to the practical application of his research, was allowed to return and finish his work. His solution was described as a ‘boon to Australian tobacco growers, [which] … with modifications, was adopted worldwide’ (Technology in Australia 1788–1988 2001, 43).
In 1934 Angell published the results of his research into the early symptoms of flag smut in wheat in the Journal of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and in 1939 he was appointed OBE for his work on downy mildew in tobacco. Promoted to principal plant pathologist in 1940, his research focused on browning of flax (1945), seedling blight of peas and poppy (1949–54), and brown rot of stone fruits (1949–55). He retired in 1958 but at the request of his employers continued research for another four years, with his wife working as his associate. His hobbies were gardening and mechanical pursuits that included reassembling a T-model Ford, grinding telescope lenses, and casting parts from scrap aluminium that he melted in an open-hearth fireplace in his dining room. Having had a long interest in pottery he produced stoneware that was fired with sump oil in a downdraft kiln he had constructed. He died on 18 March 1992 when visiting his daughter at Mornington, Victoria, and was cremated. His wife, their son and two daughters survived him. A street in Banks, Australian Capital Territory, is named after him.
Angell, Herbert Raleigh. Interview by Judy Cannon, 20 February 1986. Sound recording. National Library of Australia; McCarthy, G. J. ‘Angell, Herbert Raleigh (1893–1992).’ Encyclopedia of Australian Science. Last updated 20 February 2010. Accessed 6 January 2019. www.eoas.info/biogs/P000020b.htm. Copy held on ADB file; Technology in Australia 1788–1988. Melbourne: Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, 1988.
Nancy Poundstone Opdyke
ANTILL, JAMES MACQUARIE (JIM) (1912–1994), civil engineer and historian, was born on 10 June 1912 at Artarmon, Sydney, only child of New South Wales–born Horace Sutherland Antill, stock and station agent, and his Victorian-born wife May Adelaide Victoria, formerly Hannan, née Brook. He was a great-grandson of Major Henry Colden Antill [q.v.1], aide-de-camp to Governor Macquarie [q.v.2]. Many descendants of Major Antill had Macquarie among their given names. Jim’s parents divorced in 1926 while he was a boarder (1925–27) at All Saints’ College, Bathurst. At the age of fifteen he entered the University of Sydney (BEng, 1932).
Antill began his career as an engineer with the Sydney Metropolitan Water Board in 1932, working on the construction of the Nepean and Woronora dams. After travelling to Europe and England in the mid-1930s to gain experience in construction methods, he worked on the Hawkesbury River Road Bridge, then as a shire engineer. On 17 March 1942, at St Mark’s Church of England, Darling Point, he married Hilda Dowling Whitty, a daughter of a solicitor from Berrigan. Declared medically unfit for active service during World War II, Antill supervised the construction of defence facilities in eastern Australia. In 1947 he was elected chairman of the civil engineering branch in the Sydney division of the Institution of Engineers, Australia.
Working for McDonald [q.v.15] Constructions Pty Ltd (1948–55), Antill pioneered tungsten-carbide rock drilling in Australia, introduced stud-welding into construction works at the Balmain Power House, and established a reputation as an expert in the use of prestressed concrete. In 1952 he formed his own company, Stresscrete Constructions Pty Ltd, which in 1953 laid prestressed concrete floors at Footscray, Victoria, a first for Australia. The next year, at Teven in northern New South Wales, Stresscrete built the first bridge in Australia using continuous prestressed concrete over multiple spans. Antill sold the company in 1956 and thereafter practised as a consulting construction engineer.
During the 1960s Antill’s professional reputation grew. He was appointed chairman of three significant bodies: the technical committee on prestressed concrete, established by the Standards Association of Australia; the construction section of the Metric Conversion Board; and the arbitration committee of the Institution of Engineers, Australia. In twenty years as a commercial arbitrator he conducted more than fifty hearings, and he was a foundation member (1975) of the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators, Australia.
Antill also made a significant contribution to engineering education. As a visiting lecturer from the 1950s, he taught engineering students at the University of New South Wales, where he also wrote a thesis on ‘The Use of Network Analysis’ in construction projects (MEng, 1968). From 1973 to 1985 he was visiting professor in the department of engineering construction and management. He was also a part-time lecturer in civil engineering at the University of Sydney for a decade beginning in 1967.
Among civil engineers, Antill’s reputation was confirmed by a growing number of substantial publications. Civil Engineering Construction, co-authored with P. W. S. Ryan, appeared in 1957, with five subsequent editions up to 1988. This was followed in 1965 by Critical Path Methods in Construction Practice, with R. W. Woodhead, which ran to four editions, the last published in 1990. In 1970 Civil Engineering Management appeared; its title changed to Antill’s Engineering Management in 1991. The first of five editions of A Manual for Construction Contracts Administration was published in 1975.
An abiding interest in history was first evident in Antill’s A Short History of the Antill Family of Picton (1944). He contributed a biography of his great-grandfather to the journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS) in 1946, and to the first volume of the Australian Dictionary of Biography in 1966. He twice revised (1952, 1964) Watson Steel’s The History of All Saints’ College, Bathurst, and contributed seven biographies of engineers to the ADB between 1967 and 1981. Having joined the RAHS in 1945, Antill served three terms as vice-president (1963–1968, 1971–75, 1978) and was known for his ‘special professional knowledge, robust business sense and practicality’ (Whitaker 2001, 62). He contributed articles and reviews to the society’s journal and was elected a fellow in 1977.
Antill’s first marriage had effectively ended by 1958 and the couple divorced in 1966. On 29 July 1966 at the Sydney register office he married Audrey Vivian Baker, née Mockett, a divorcee. Survived by his wife and two stepsons, he died on 28 November 1994 at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, and was cremated. An engineering colleague observed that Antill ‘could be gruff and, at times, appeared confrontationist, but that was just his way’ (Farmer 1994).
Farmer, Brian. ‘Leading Engineer and Educator.’ Australian, 5 December 1994, 18; New South Wales State Archives. NRS 13495, 2513/1963; Steel, Watson A., and James M. Antill. The History of All Saints’ College, Bathurst, 1873–1963. Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1964; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Leading Construction Engineer, Teacher and Contract Arbitrator.’ 3 December 1994, 10; Whitaker, Anne-Maree. ‘Biographical Notes on the Fellows of the RAHS.’ Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society 87, no. 1 (June 2001): 59–87.
R. Ian Jack
APPLETON, GEORGE FREDERICK (1902–1993), Anglican archbishop, was born on 20 February 1902 at Windsor, England, eldest of five children of Thomas Appleton and his wife Lily, née Cock. His parents worked at a small estate in Berkshire, his father as a gardener and his mother as a cook. As a child of domestic servants, George grew up in modest circumstances. The parish choir and the church became a focus of his boyhood. Scholarships and bursaries enabled his parents to keep him at school and for him to attend Selwyn College, Cambridge (BA, 1924; MA, 1929).
Ordained as a deacon in the Anglican ministry in 1925, Appleton was made a priest the next year. After serving a two-year curacy at Stepney, East London, he went to Burma (Myanmar) in 1927 as a missionary for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. On 3 October 1929 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Rangoon (Yangon), he married Marjorie Alice Barrett, a teacher; they had met as parish Sunday School teachers. His work in Burma was predominantly among poor Karen village people, and later as warden of the College of the Holy Cross (1934–42). Evacuated in 1942 to India, he spent the rest of World War II as archdeacon of Rangoon, visiting displaced Burmese Anglicans. After the war he worked for the Burmese government-in-exile as director of public relations (1945–47). He returned to Burma in 1946, but amoebic dysentery led to his resignation and return to England.
In 1947 Appleton became vicar of Headstone, London. From 1950 to 1957 he was associate secretary, later general secretary, of the Conference of British Missionary Societies. He was appointed rector of St Botolph’s, Aldgate, in 1957, and archdeacon of London and canon of St Paul’s Cathedral in 1962. By then he had come to international Anglican prominence through his anthologies of prayers and other devotional writings. During this last appointment he was approached by the electors of the diocese of Perth, Western Australia, to be their next archbishop. He initially refused on the grounds that he had just begun at St Paul’s and was an Englishman with no experience of Australia; but, encouraged by Bishop William Wand [q.v.12] of London, who had been archbishop of Brisbane, he enquired further. On being told that the diocese wanted someone with ministry experience in Asia to help its members connect better with that part of the world, he accepted.
Yet Appleton found little sign of this interest in Asia among his episcopate. Instead, it was the English connection that appeared most prominent, as the diocese insisted that he be consecrated in England, rather than Perth, and arrive as an archbishop ordained with authority from Canterbury. Duly consecrated in London on 24 June 1963, he was installed as the sixth archbishop of Perth and Metropolitan of Western Australia on 12 August. He brought considerable experience in ecumenical and interfaith engagement. His years in Burma, in particular his observation of the integration of life and religion that permeated Burmese Theravada Buddhism, had initiated a lifelong reconsideration of Christianity as the only engagement God has in this world. By the time of his Australian appointment he had relinquished as triumphalist the usual Anglican theology of interfaith engagement, known as fulfilment theology, which understood Christianity as the complete realisation of the partial truths of other religions. An early exponent among Australian Anglican leaders of interfaith dialogue, he believed that religious teaching in secondary schools should include lessons on the founders, scriptures, and ways of worship of Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, among ‘other great religions’ (Canberra Times 1964, 3).
As archbishop, Appleton maintained an effective consultative relationship with the dean of Perth, Rev. James Payne, but they disagreed over Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. While Appleton did not openly identify as a pacifist, he supported pacifists ‘because they helped to keep the rest of us up to scratch’ (Tribune 28 April 1965, 9). He also took part in peace vigils and opposed Australia’s intervention in the Vietnam War. In March 1965, with ten Anglican bishops from around Australia, he signed a public letter to Prime Minster Sir Robert Menzies [q.v.15] calling for Australia to take a positive role in settling the Vietnam dispute without an extension of hostilities. He also took part in public discussions with the Western Australian branch of the Communist Party of Australia on the issue of world hunger. As there were ‘more Communists than Christians in the world’, he wanted Christians to ‘take communism seriously and examine it with open and yet critical minds’ (Tribune 24 November 1965, 5).
Appleton was in the minority among Anglican bishops in supporting both remarriage in the church for divorced persons, and the ordination of women. After attending the 1968 Lambeth Conference that decided that existing deaconesses were deacons of the church, he licensed three Perth deaconesses to administer the chalice at the administration of Holy Communion, causing disquiet and anger among conservative Anglicans. Later, drawing on his experience of village priests in Burma, he attempted to address the paucity of clergy in rural communities by enrolling local Anglican men in a program for auxiliary priests. The plan was halted by his successor, Geoffrey Sambell [q.v.16]. His increasingly broad sense of spirituality made him impatient with the fussiness of the ritualism of his original Anglo-Catholicism.
In 1969, at the urging of Archbishop Michael Ramsay of Canterbury, Appleton was appointed the ninth Anglican bishop in Jerusalem. The following year he established a special committee to consider the future of Anglicanism in the region. This resulted in the creation, in 1976, of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, one of the largest and most diverse provinces within the denomination’s communion. He had retired in 1974 and returned to London. That year he published Jerusalem Prayers for the World Today. In 1975 the German Coordinating Council of Societies for Christian–Jewish Cooperation awarded him its Buber-Rosenzweig medal in recognition of his contribution to Christian–Jewish understanding. He continued writing in retirement, publishing a study of the French Jesuit priest and palaeontologist, Teilhard de Chardin; a memoir; and other works. Predeceased by his wife (d. 1980) and survived by their three daughters, he died on 28 August 1993 at Oxford.
Appleton, George. Unfinished: George Appleton Remembers and Reflects. London, Collins, 1990; Canberra Times. ‘World Faith not for Youngsters.’ 27 August 1964, 3; Garnsey, George. ‘Farewell to Archbishop Appleton.’ St Mark’s Review, February 1969, 1–3; Tonkin, John. Cathedral and Community: A History of St George’s Cathedral. Crawley, WA: University of Western Australia Press, 2001; Tribune (Sydney). ‘Bishop’s Strong Call for Peace.’ 28 April 1965, 9; Tribune (Sydney). ‘Must Examine Communism Seriously, Says WA Archbishop.’ 24 November 1965, 5.
ARGY, VICTOR ELIE (1929–1993), professor of economics, was born on 7 September 1929 at Alexandria, Egypt, second of three children of Elie Morris Argy, cotton broker, and his wife Lina Rebecca, née Levy. Victor was educated at Victoria College, Alexandria. At the age of twenty, Argy migrated to Australia to join his elder brother, Morris. His younger brother, Fred, followed two years later; he was to become an economist, like Victor, and a senior Federal public servant. Working by day at an insurance company, Mutual Life and Citizens’ Assurance Co. Ltd, Victor studied English and philosophy, and then economics, as an evening student at the University of Sydney (BA, 1954; BEc Hons, 1960). On 9 February 1957 at the registrar general’s office, Sydney, he married Latvian-born Renate Margarete Erglis, a storewoman.
In 1960 Argy was appointed as a lecturer in economics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He returned to Australia in 1962 as a lecturer in the department of economics at the University of Sydney; he became a senior lecturer in 1965. Departing Australia in 1968 to work in the research department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, he rose to chief of its financial studies division. Leaving in late 1972, he briefly visited the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, before joining Macquarie University, Sydney, in 1973, as a professor of economics.
During his twenty years at Macquarie, Argy returned to the IMF as a consultant in 1977, 1982, and 1990. In 1977 he was elected a fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. From 1984 to 1992, in the Australian summer, he was a visiting professor at the University of Paris (the Sorbonne), where he delivered lectures in French, his native tongue. Over that period, he was also a visiting scholar at the Bank of Japan and later the Japanese Ministry of Finance, and he raised funds to establish the Centre for Japanese Economic Studies at Macquarie University.
Working primarily on international monetary economics, Argy produced eleven books and monographs and more than sixty scholarly articles, including book chapters, in his career. During his first period at the IMF, his scholarly writings were concerned with the effects that monetary and fiscal policy would have on an economy under different exchange rate regimes. Two papers from this period were particularly influential academically. The first, co-authored with Michael Porter, was one of the earliest contributions to incorporate exchange rate expectations formally into the analysis of macroeconomic policy, refining the standard Mundell-Fleming model. The second, written with Pentti Kouri, paid particular attention to the role of international capital market flows under fixed exchange rates.
Argy brought the themes and analysis of his research over the 1960s and 1970s together in his popular textbook, The Postwar International Money Crisis: An Analysis (1981), which the Economist rated one of the twenty bestselling economics texts in the United Kingdom. In the 1980s his research focused on monetary policy rules and monetary targeting in an era of financial deregulation. He prepared an influential paper on exchange rate management for the Australian financial system inquiry chaired by (Sir) Keith Campbell [q.v.17], which reported in 1981. His 1994 book, International Macroeconomics: Theory and Policy, published posthumously, was the culmination of his lifetime of research activity. It brought together the macroeconomic models for open economies that he had developed and worked with in a taxonomic manner, and evaluated the economic performance of several OECD countries that had embraced deregulation from the early 1980s. An abiding interest in Japan led to his last book, The Japanese Economy (1997), written with and completed by Leslie Stein. John Pitchford remarked that he ‘was a scholar who would not stoop to the short cut of favourite solutions’ (Pitchford 1993, 78). His brother Fred described him as ‘refusing to compromise on rigorous scholarship’ (Argy 2007, 5).
An ‘enthusiastic educator’ (Corden and Stein 1994, 76), Argy was deeply committed to his students. Pitchford termed him a man of ‘humanity, enthusiasm and generous nature’ (Pitchford 1993, 79). Bearded, with twinkling eyes, he enjoyed good cinema, French food, tennis, and swimming. He was ‘acutely sensitive to the suffering of the underdog’, and as a humanist and a Jew he was disturbed later in life by the resurfacing of anti-Semitism in Europe and other parts of the world (Corden and Stein 1994, 76). Survived by his wife and their daughter and son, he died of a dissecting aortic aneurysm on 8 July 1993 at St Leonards, Sydney, and was buried in the Northern Suburbs Jewish cemetery. The Macquarie Economics Graduates Association established a memorial lecture, and Macquarie University instituted a memorial prize for proficiency in macroeconomic policy.
Argy, Fred. ‘Victor Elie Argy (1929–1993).’ In A Biographical Dictionary of Australian and New Zealand Economists, edited by J. E. King, 3–6. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2007; Corden, W. Max, and Leslie Stein. ‘Victor Argy 1929–1993.’ Economic Record 70, no. 208 (March 1994): 74–79; Pitchford, John. ‘Victor Elie Argy 1929–1993.’ In Annual Report of the Academy of the Social Sciences, 77–79. Canberra: Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, 1993.
Lance A. Fisher
ARLEN, ALBERT (1905–1993), composer, actor, playwright, theatrical producer, and pianist, and Nancy Brown Arlen (1909–2003), singer, actress, and lyricist, were husband and wife. He was born Albert Aaron on 10 January 1905 in Sydney, second and only surviving of four sons of Ezra Abraham Aaron, draper, and his wife Matilda, née Abraham. Albert’s father reported that he and Matilda had been born in Turkey and that they had married in Sydney. Although Albert confessed not to know much about his background, he would later state that his father had been born in Baghdad, that his mother’s family came from India, and that theirs was an arranged marriage. The family moved regularly between rented properties in the inner suburbs of Sydney. Albert was educated at Cleveland Street Intermediate High School and Crown Street Public School. He considered his father a ‘stick-in-the-mud’ (Arlen 1989), and drew greater sustenance from his mother’s interest in theatre and music.
Arlen’s piano studies began at the age of seven, passing along a succession of teachers. Hearing a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra was the epiphany that drove him to pursue serious studies at the piano. He eventually found his way to Frank Hutchens [q.v.9] at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music, whom he found ‘sympatico’ (Arlen 1989) and engaging, and under whose guidance the young pianist flourished. At the age of eleven he had his first taste of the theatrical life when he appeared as one of the Lost Boys in a production of Peter Pan at the Criterion Theatre. Concurrently, he served as an accompanist in the musical evenings that featured in Sydney’s social life.
After leaving school at fifteen, Arlen contributed to the family income by taking odd jobs. In 1923 Ezra departed overseas in search of his fortune, and shortly after, Matilda returned to her family in Calcutta, taking Albert with her. He was able to establish an income there as a pianist with a theatre orchestra and dance band at the Saturday Club. In less than a year Matilda returned to Australia to reunite with her husband, while Albert chose to try his hand in London. He soon found employment playing the piano in theatre and dance orchestras, including a stint on board a cruise liner that stopped in New York, which gave him the opportunity to experience Broadway shows first-hand.
Beckoned home to Sydney by his parents, Arlen resumed piano studies with Hutchens, who introduced him to the violinist Ernest Long, with whom he established a popular and long-running engagement playing for diners at a city restaurant. They were later joined by the bass-baritone Wilfrid Thomas [q.v.], forming the Trio de Paris. He also gained further experience as an actor, in plays presented by the Playbox Theatre at the Hotel Australia in Sydney’s bohemian centre, Rowe Street. In 1929 he decided to return to Europe to continue his progress towards a career as a concert pianist. Although he attended classes at the École Normale de Musique de Paris for a few months, he could not afford the costs of tuition, and instead went on to London to resume his former way of life, freelancing as an accompanist and a pianist in theatre and dance orchestras.
Inspired by Jerome Kern’s The Cat and the Fiddle, which he saw in London in 1932, Arlen started writing songs, musicals, and plays, with modest but immediate success. Throughout the 1930s, he contributed songs for a musical version of the play High Temperature; a revue called Ladies’ Night; an unproduced musical, Stardust; and a play co-written with Cyril Butcher, Counterfeit!, performed at the Richmond and Duke of York’s theatres in 1939. He had by this time begun to use the surname ‘Arlen’. Inspired by his discovery of a Chinese story by Charles Pettit called The Son of the Grand Eunuch, his version of the tale as a play was produced at the Arts Theatre in Soho in January 1937. None of these shows enjoyed substantial seasons, though individual songs, as well as songs or ballads written specifically for his publishers, Ascherberg, Hopwood & Crew, did gain popularity: My Life is a Love Song (1936) and Amore (1939) were two he recalled as hits.
With the outbreak of World War II, Arlen enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1940. He served with No. 905 Balloon Squadron. Commissioned in 1941, he was posted to the Middle East, where he served mostly as an adjutant and public relations officer, being promoted to flying officer (1942) and flight lieutenant (1945). While he was recuperating in a Cairo hospital from a beating sustained in Tripoli, he conceived the idea of composing a piano concerto to celebrate the Allied victory at El Alamein. Presented by the Entertainments National Service Association at a concert in Cairo in 1944, The Alamein Concerto was widely broadcast and recorded by Peggy Cochrane with Jack Payne, and by Monia Liter with Mantovani. To follow it, he composed The Song of England (1946), which made a feature of Churchill’s wartime speeches. He was posted to Singapore, where he was transferred to the Combined Services Entertainment Unit (the successor to ENSA).
Returning to Sydney in 1947, Arlen noted a new interest in Australian identity, and turned his attention to Australian subject matter, with a ballad setting of Banjo Paterson’s [q.v.11] Clancy of the Overflow (1948). His publishers would take little interest until the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) aired it in an orchestration by Charles Mackerras, who recorded it with Peter Dawson [q.v.8] in 1955. In 1948 he changed his surname to Arlen by deed poll. While he was working as program manager at Sydney radio station 2UW, he met—through mutual friends at the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC)—Nancy Brown, who had recently returned to Australia after a significant career in London as a singer of light opera and an actor.
Born on 26 August 1909 in Brisbane, Brown was the eldest of three children of Victorian-born George Earle Brown, manager, and his New South Wales–born wife Rita Lillian, née Collins. After her family moved to Sydney, Nancy had attended Brighton College, Randwick. Her parents separated, and Rita was encouraged by her cousin, the composer Arthur Benjamin [q.v.7], to come to London. Nancy and her siblings moved with their mother in 1923. Following a year at Dorking High School, she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from 1925, and soon secured small roles in the commercial theatre. Among the stage productions and tours in which she participated were Love’s a Terrible Thing (1926), Showboat (1928), My Sister and I (1931), The Land of Smiles (1931), Viktoria and her Hussar (1931), Maritza (1938), Let’s All Go Down the Strand (1939), Old Chelsea (1943), and The Night and the Laughter (1946). Old Chelsea was composed by the famed tenor Richard Tauber, and Brown was a leading lady in the show. In 1932 she starred in the film version of Harold Fraser-Simson’s Maid of the Mountains (1915), and in 1933 took three further roles in early British films: A Southern Maid, Facing the Music, and Red Wagon. She had married Oscar Donald Thompson, a singer whose professional name was Donald Kingston, on 3 October 1929 at the register office, Chelsea, London; they later divorced.
Nancy and Albert married on 31 January 1949 at Temple Emanuel, Woollahra, Sydney. Making their home in Canberra, Albert found employment in the public service, while Nancy worked initially in a shoe shop owned by her mother, and later in a bookshop. They worked as a partnership in a constant struggle to develop musicals for the stage. Their crowning achievement was a musical version of C. J. Dennis’s [q.v.7] The Sentimental Bloke, initially in their own production at the Albert Hall in Canberra in 1961 but, after its success there, in a professional production by J. C. Williamson’s [q.v.6] Ltd, which triumphed in a tour of several Australian cities and New Zealand. The musical has enjoyed a consistent performance life ever since, chiefly among amateur musical and theatrical societies. In 1976 the ABC broadcast a television production with a new cast, and John Lanchbery adapted a dance version for the Australian Ballet, choreographed by Robert Ray in 1985.
During the 1950s, the Arlens had made two trips to London seeking to realise The Bloke. After their intended librettist, George Johnston [q.v.14], pulled out of the project, the public servant and actor Lloyd Thomson joined the team as his replacement. The couple were able to present some of their work through the Canberra Repertory Society, including a musical inspired by the sight of the snow-capped Brindabellas, The Girl from the Snowy (1960).
After the success of The Bloke, the Arlens moved to Watsons Bay in Sydney. They continued to develop musical ventures, while Albert worked at Nicholson’s music store and Nancy set up an amateur company, Shopwindow Theatre, which presented The Girl from the Snowy in 1969. An amateur production of a new musical by Arlen, Brown, and Thomson, Marriages Are Made in Heaven, was staged in Canberra in 1968. Unrealised projects included Oh! Gosh, based on Dennis’s The Glugs of Gosh, and Omar, based on the life and writings of Omar Khayyam, intended for the Australian Opera.
In addition to musicals, plays, and songs, Arlen composed piano music throughout his career, mostly mood music, such as Night Club (An Atmospheric Impression) (1946), Requiem for a Siamese Cat (1965), and Spinnakers: A Sketch of Sydney Harbour (1970). Some pieces were presented as light music on radio in orchestrated versions, as was The King’s Cross Suite (c. 1948) and The Pagoda of Jade Suite, the latter being broadcast by the BBC on 10 August 1939.
The couple, who had no children, retired to Maroochydore, Queensland, and in 1990 Albert was appointed AM. He died on 24 March 1993 at Buderim and was cremated. Nancy published her memoirs, The Black Sheep of the Brown Family: A Magic Life!, in 2001. She died on 27 October 2003 at Maroochydore and was cremated.
Arlen, Albert. Interview by Beryl Davis and Laurel Garlick, 12 January and 23 February 1989. Transcript. Esso Performing Arts collection. National Library of Australia; Brisbane, Katharine, ed. Entertaining Australia: An Illustrated History. Sydney: Currency Press, 1991; Brown, Nancy. Interview by Beryl Davis, 15 March 1989. Transcript. Esso Performing Arts collection. National Library of Australia; National Library of Australia. MS6311, Papers of Albert Arlen (1905–1993) and Nancy Brown (1909–2003); Thomson, John. ‘An Australian Bloke: Albert Arlen and His Musicals.’ National Library of Australia News 15, no. 2 (November 2004): 19–21.
ARNOT, JEAN FLEMING (1903–1995), librarian, trade unionist, and women’s rights activist, was born on 23 April 1903 at Pymble, Sydney, youngest of four surviving daughters of Scottish-born James Fleming Arnot, bank accountant and later bookseller and lending library proprietor, and his wife Jane, née Thorn, who was a daughter of Henry Thorn, a member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly. After attending a small private school and Fort Street Public School, Jean was educated at Marrickville Public School and won a bursary to Fort Street Girls’ High School, Sydney (1916–20), where, inspired by her teacher Fanny Cohen [q.v.8], she excelled in mathematics. Obliged by her father’s ill health to earn a living and abandon hope of attending university, she took the New South Wales public service entrance examination and was appointed temporary junior library assistant at the Public Library of New South Wales in March 1921, following an interview with the principal librarian, W. H. Ifould [q.v.9].
Arnot underwent intensive training, initially in the reference department, and became permanent. Following further examinations in 1923 and 1931 she joined the professional division of the public service. She studied economics for two terms at the University of Sydney before inflexible shift work prevented her from completing a degree. This was not regarded as a handicap by Ifould, a non-graduate, but would later count against her when applying for senior positions.
Showing particular aptitude for cataloguing, Arnot worked in that department from 1938 and for most of her career. She compiled the department’s rules for cataloguing periodicals, which were published in 1939. From 1941 she taught at the library’s training school and later for the Library Association of Australia (LAA) registration examination. Her approach to the card catalogue was not rigid: when users could not find items, she added entries and amended the rules accordingly. Her influence was valued: John Metcalfe [q.v.18], who succeeded Ifould, referred to the card catalogue as ‘Miss Arnot’s baby’ (Arnot 1991).
During 1942 Arnot chaired the successful Book Week Appeal for the Camp Library Headquarters based at the Public Library, collecting and distributing books for Australian troops serving in World War II. She compiled the first detailed listing of newspapers held in the reference department and Mitchell [q.v.5] Library, which was published in 1944. That year she was promoted to head the country circulation department. In 1946 she applied for the position of principal librarian at the Public Library of Queensland but was not interviewed. She protested against the appointment of a less-qualified man in a letter to the Courier Mail.
Having been awarded travel grants by both the British Council and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Arnot undertook a study tour of major libraries in Britain and the United States of America in 1948 and 1949. The New South Wales Public Service Board also asked her to examine library services for inmates of state institutions. Her observations enabled her to make a major contribution to the improvement of access to books in prisons, children’s homes, and mental hospitals. Appointed head cataloguer in 1950, she was unexpectedly made acting Mitchell librarian in November 1956 to cover the absence of Phyllis Mander Jones [q.v.17]. Bitterly disappointed in June 1958 that the Mitchell librarianship was simply added to the duties of the deputy principal librarian, Gordon Richardson, she resumed her cataloguing position, which she held until her retirement on 19 April 1968.
Outside the library Arnot was active in her trade union, her professional association, and a host of other organisations. She had joined the Public Service Association of New South Wales in the early 1930s, outraged that women were entitled to only 54 per cent of the male wage rate: ‘we had this low salary and it just bit into my soul really—the injustice of it’ (Arnot 1979). In 1937 she joined the Council of Action for Equal Pay and was inspired by Muriel Heagney [q.v.9], one of its founders. That year she addressed the PSA and the Australian Public Service Federation on equal pay, using a carefully researched, rational, and persuasive approach to this divisive issue: both male-dominated organisations subsequently affirmed the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. For many years she held office in the PSA; she chaired its women’s council and was awarded its gold medal in 1944. It would not be until 1963 that she enjoyed the benefits of equal pay in the public service.
A foundation member of the Australian Institute of Librarians, Arnot was an office-bearer and conference speaker from its earliest years. In 1961 she was one of two Australian delegates attending the International Conference on Cataloguing Principles in Paris. She was a member of the National Council of Women of New South Wales and, encouraged to stand by Ruby Board [q.v.7], was elected president (1960–66). In addition, she was prominent in the Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association; the Women’s Club (Sydney); the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Sydney (president 1953–54, 1959–60); the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (president 1955–57); the Australian Freedom from Hunger Campaign; and the League of Women Voters. From the early 1930s to 1969 she was a member of the Kooroora Club.
After her retirement Arnot worked part time as a cataloguer for the antiquarian bookseller Isidoor Berkelouw [q.v.17], and until 1980 was honorary librarian of the Royal Australian Historical Society. She contributed biographies, including on former colleagues, to the Australian Dictionary of Biography; helped plan libraries for colleges of advanced education; and catalogued private libraries. Remaining active in many organisations and in demand as a public speaker, she still found time to welcome to her home researchers and oral historians seeking to draw on her excellent memory.
Elected a fellow of the LAA in 1963, Arnot was appointed MBE in 1965. Her pragmatic approach to catalogues influenced a generation of staff and students, while her forty-year advocacy of equal pay for work of equal value was a major contribution to the cause. Fresh-faced and usually smiling, she was ‘gracious, broad-minded, good-humoured, articulate, observant, caring and eternally curious’: talking with her ‘one shared her amusement, was enthused by her animation, and glimpsed in the fire in her eyes the resoluteness which sustained her’ (Jones 1995, 176). She never married, and lived in the family home for all her adult life. She died on 27 September 1995 in Sydney and was cremated after an Anglican service. The annual Jean Arnot memorial lecture and the Jean Arnot memorial fellowship of the National Council of Women of New South Wales and the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women commemorate her.
Arnot, Jean F. ‘Embedded in the Soul.’ In Taking a Stand: Women in Politics and Society, edited by Jocelynne A. Scutt, 116–28. Melbourne: Artemis, 1994; Arnot, Jean. Interview by Amy McGrath, 8 March 1979. Transcript. National Library of Australia; Arnot, Jean. Interview by John Macallister, 1991. State Library of New South Wales; Arnot, Jean. Interview by Rosemary Block, 1994. State Library of New South Wales; Arnot, Jean. Interviews by Ros Bowden, 1985, 1987, and c. 1975–89. State Library of New South Wales; Jones, David J. ‘Jean Fleming Arnot MBE FLAA 1903–1995.’ Australian Library Journal 44, no. 4 (November 1995): 173–76; McLeod, Louise. ‘Women in Australian Librarianship: The Example of Jean Fleming Arnot.’ Australian Library Journal 56, no. 3–4 (November 2007): 322–34; Sorbello, Louise. ‘Jean Fleming Arnot, Librarian and Activist, Fortian 1920.’ Fortian, 2015, 65; State Library of New South Wales. MLMSS 3147, Jean Fleming Arnot papers.
David J. Jones
ASHWORTH, HENRY INGHAM (1907–1991), architect, educator and soldier, was born on 20 February 1907 at Manchester, England, the son of Charles Stanley Ashworth, hotel proprietor, and his wife Edith Jane, née Ingham. As a child Harry was interested in architecture and building. Educated at North Manchester School and Manchester Grammar School, he was indentured to a firm of architects for about a year before beginning study at the University of Manchester in 1924 (BA, 1929). Completing a professional course in architecture as part of his degree, he graduated with first-class honours.
Becoming an associate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1929, that year Ashworth worked briefly for an architectural firm before obtaining a junior teaching position at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College, London (UCL). He was appointed as a lecturer in 1931. The same year, on 25 July, he married Ella Needham at the parish church, Poynton, Cheshire, with Church of England rites. He had formed a partnership with Frank Scarlett in 1930 and the pair collaborated on a competition-winning scheme for a major development along Ferensway, Hull, Yorkshire. In 1933 the partnership was dissolved and Ashworth published Architectural Practice and Administration. Between 1934 and 1937 he was also lecturer at the Regent Street Polytechnic, London. He undertook postgraduate study at the University of Manchester (MA, 1936), and published a second book, Flats: Design and Equipment (1936). Continuing to undertake private commissions, he became a fellow of the RIBA in 1938.
Work toward a PhD was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. In 1939–41 Ashworth administered the planning and building of air raid shelters for the Harrow Urban District Council. Following the temporary closure of UCL, he worked for the Ministry of Defence. He was released from his reserved occupation and commissioned in the Corps of Royal Engineers on 31 December 1941. Posted abroad in 1942, he served as a staff officer largely in the Assam and Burma theatres and reached the rank of lieutenant colonel. Twice mentioned in despatches, he was demobilised on 12 October 1945.
For a short time Ashworth resumed his pre-war career. Dissatisfied, he applied for appointments at several universities outside Britain and in November 1948 was selected for a new chair of architectural design and history at the University of Sydney. He arrived in Sydney with his family on 25 February 1949. His early years at the university were stimulating, but he was not universally popular with students, being perceived as too British and conservative, and holding traditional views about the place of women in the workforce that discouraged female students.
In 1950 Ashworth became dean of the faculty on the retirement of Alfred Hook [q.v.14]. Within a few years, assisted by the appointment in 1953 of Henry Cowan as professor of architectural science, he had overhauled the undergraduate course in architecture, introducing a common core course for first-year students and modernising the curriculum to reflect international trends. Serving on the university’s building and grounds committee (1951–63), in 1953 he designed the War Memorial Arch (later Gallery) with his predecessor Leslie Wilkinson [q.v.12], and a memorial to Professor Sir Francis Anderson [q.v.7].
Having applied for registration as an architect on 22 March 1949, Ashworth became extensively involved with the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. A member of the Board of Architects (1950–72), in 1954 he was elected to the council of the New South Wales chapter of the RAIA (president 1956–58). Vice-president of the federal council in 1960–61 and president in 1961–62, he became a life fellow in 1970. He was also a member of the (Royal) Australian Planning Institute, a fellow of the Australian Institute of Building, and an honorary fellow of the Royal Architects Institute of Canada.
Ashworth played a central part in the design and increasingly controversial construction of the Sydney Opera House. He was a member of a committee set up by Premier Joseph Cahill [q.v.13] to investigate the site and design. After the decision was made to hold an international design competition, he was appointed chairman of assessors. The panel—Ashworth, New South Wales government architect Cobden Parkes [q.v.15], English architect (Sir) Leslie Martin, and American architect Eero Saarinen—chose Danish architect Jørn Utzon as the winner in January 1957.
An opera house executive committee was formed in 1957. Two advisory panels were appointed: a music and drama panel and a technical panel, chaired by Ashworth, which was to advise the committee on building matters. The project was plagued by escalating costs and delays, which were causing considerable concern by the time the Liberal Party–Country Party coalition came to power in May 1965. When Utzon resigned in February 1966, Ashworth attempted to achieve a compromise in discussions with the premier, (Sir) Robert Askin [q.v.17], the minister for public works, (Sir) Davis Hughes, and Utzon, but to no avail. Utzon left Australia in April 1966, believing Ashworth had not been supportive; Ashworth denied this, pointing out his continuous support and efforts to reach a resolution. The final technical advisory panel meeting was held in December 1967, and Ashworth became a member of the newly formed Sydney Opera House Trust.
Ashworth entered a new stage in his career when, invited by the vice-chancellor, (Sir) Philip Baxter [q.v.17], he joined the University of New South Wales on the retirement of Frederick Towndrow. He became dean of the faculty and head of the school of architecture and building in January 1964. During his tenure the departments of town planning and of building, previously part of the school of architecture, became separate schools, and a department of landscape was established. Other achievements were the restructuring of the undergraduate architecture course and the setting up of the Architecture Foundation, a sponsorship scheme enabling prominent architects to visit the university. He retired, as emeritus professor, in 1972.
Although dedicated to his academic and committee work, Ashworth made time to consult on various architectural projects. During the 1960s he worked on the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney. Other consultancies included Moore College in Sydney, the arts and architecture buildings at the University of Adelaide, the Reserve Bank in Sydney and Canberra, and new stands for the Australian Jockey Club at Randwick. He was appointed OBE in 1963.
A fit, healthy-looking man who had suffered from poor eyesight since the age of twelve, Ashworth enjoyed golf and woodworking. He was a member of the Anglican Church. Survived by his wife and three daughters, he died on 26 November 1991 at Wahroonga, Sydney, and was cremated.
Ashworth, Henry I. Interview by Susan Ogg, November 1984 – January 1985. The University Interviews Project, edited by Victoria Barker and Linda Bowman. University of New South Wales Archives; Daniels, Eric. ‘Retirement.’ Bulletin (Royal Australian Institute of Architects New South Wales Chapter), no. 9 September 1972, 2; Johnson, Paul-Alan. ‘Ashworth, H. Ingham.’ In The Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture, edited by Philip Goad and Julie Willis, 47–48. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2012; National Library of Australia. MS 4500, Papers of Henry Ingham Ashworth, 1954–1968; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘An Architect of Foresight.’ 29 November 1991, 9; University of Sydney Archives. G3/187, Personnel file H. I. Ashworth; Wollaston, Barry. ‘Emeritus Professor Harry Ingham Ashworth.’ Uniken, 6 December 1991, 6.
ASPREY, KENNETH WILLIAM (1905–1993), judge and taxation system reviewer, was born on 15 July 1905 at Marrickville, Sydney, second of three sons of New South Wales–born parents William Asprey, musician, and his wife Elizabeth, née Palmer. Ken was educated at Newington College. He was awarded a public exhibition at the University of Sydney (BA, 1926; LLB, 1929), where he played first-grade cricket and won a Blue for the sport. After graduating—with honours in law—he joined the solicitors Minter, Simpson, & Co. He was admitted to practise as a solicitor in June 1929. On 4 March 1935 at St Philip’s Church of England, Sydney, he married Margaret Elizabeth (Betty) Gosling (d. 1977), the daughter of the solicitor J. E. Gosling.
By 1934 Asprey had become a partner in the firm of Baldick, Asprey, and Co. and was developing a wide practice in taxation and commercial law. His father was a musician, and he represented interests in the entertainment business. Pursuing his interest in the theatre and films, he visited and worked in London, New York, and Hollywood in the mid-1930s. He met the studio chiefs Louis B. Mayer and Sam Goldwyn, and, among many others, the actors (Sir) Noël Coward and Shirley Temple, experiences which added to the fund of anecdotes with which he later entertained his friends and colleagues. After negotiating a reconstruction of J. C. Williamson [q.v.6] Ltd’s businesses, he became chairman of J. C. Williamson Theatres Ltd in May 1938. He was also for a time chairman of Australian and New Zealand Theatres Ltd. Later he would represent the nascent television industry.
In 1939 Asprey was admitted to the Bar of New South Wales. From Denman Chambers in Phillip Street he rapidly established a large practice in commercial law, equity, common law, and taxation. He took silk in 1952 and began his judicial career with an appointment in October 1962 as an acting justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. In June 1963 he was appointed to that bench. On its commencement on 1 January 1966 he became a judge of the New South Wales Court of Appeal.
Asprey was highly regarded as a solicitor, barrister, and then judge. Among those who read with him were (Sir) Anthony Mason, who became chief justice of the High Court of Australia; (Sir) Ken Jacobs, later a judge of the High Court of Australia; the leading barrister and Federal attorney-general Tom Hughes; and Gordon Samuels and Frank Hutley [q.v.17], who became colleagues on the bench of the New South Wales Court of Appeal. Mason remembered Asprey’s ‘rare ability’ and ‘excellent mind’ (1994, 84), and thought his ‘judicial performance was exemplary’ not least because Asprey was ‘at heart an actor and he acted the part of both a trial judge and an appellate judge splendidly’ (2008, 843). More than a decade after his death, Asprey’s rulings were still being quoted in cases before the courts. One of his judicial contributions, recalled Mason, was his insistence on a contextual approach to contract interpretation, against the ‘plain meaning’ approach then predominant. He was vindicated by later interpretations, Mason commenting in 2008 that this shift was ‘one of the defining changes in judge-made law in the last half-century’ (843).
Tall and imposing, Asprey was a lively, good-humoured, and sharp raconteur. Familiarly known in Phillip Street as ‘Aspro Jack’ or ‘The Grand Cham’ (Mason 2008, 843), he was known for the care with which he prepared for cross-examinations, striding around his office, his firm belief being that the first question would usually be decisive. ‘Conferences with him,’ Mason recalled, ‘invariably involved stories of his endless successes, whether … as a deadly cross-examiner’, a cricketer, or ‘an astute adviser’ to businessmen; tales about his cross-examinations ‘generally featured the words “When I rose to cross-examine, the witness went white with terror”’ (2008, 843).
While prominent among his colleagues as a lawyer and judge, Asprey became best known to the public for his work on two government inquiries. In 1967 he was one of three judges appointed to the second royal commission into the sinking in 1964 of the destroyer HMAS Voyager. This second commission exonerated Captain John Robertson, the commander of the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne, which had collided with and sunk the escorting Voyager. On 14 August 1972 he assumed the chairmanship of the Commonwealth Taxation Review Committee set up by the Liberal and Country parties’ coalition government. ‘I am no stranger to matters of taxation’, he confidently told the press. ‘During my time at the Bar, I handled quite a few cases and appeared both for and against the Taxation Commission’ (Sydney Morning Herald 1972, 1). What became known as the Asprey Committee held its first meeting on 14 September, shortly before the election that brought the Australian Labor Party to power. The new Whitlam government confirmed that the committee’s work should continue.
The terms of reference required the committee to investigate the structure and functioning of the Commonwealth tax system and propose improvements, bearing in mind the need for revenue to match spending, the effective use of resources, fairness, and the avoidance of undue complexity. The committee was not specifically asked to look at the spending side of the budget, or into State and local government taxation, though it did so.
When tabled by the acting treasurer, Bill Hayden, on 27 May 1975, the full report exceeded 500 pages, with a companion volume of commissioned studies. Its major findings had been published earlier, however, in a preliminary report delivered on 1 June 1974, and released on budget night, 17 September. Asprey and his fellow committee members made a number of major proposals in the interim report, which were little changed in the final version. They argued that Australia should introduce a value-added or goods and services tax to replace the inefficient wholesale sales tax. The committee reported that ‘the lack of tax on capital gains is seriously inequitable’ (Taxation Review Committee 1974, 39), and suggested that the absence of a fringe benefits tax was also undermining the fairness of the personal income tax system. Looking at company tax, Asprey and his colleagues recommended a form of imputation that would recognise company tax already paid on dividends disbursed to Australian shareholders.
The most important of the recommendations had been advanced in a 1964 article by the only economist on the committee, David Bensusan-Butt. The committee presented the proposals clearly, without unnecessary technical detail, with supporting facts drawn from Australian experience, and with arguments designed to appeal to the middle ground of Australian politics. Though the government of Malcolm Fraser largely ignored the report, the major tax reforms in Australia over the following twenty-five years built on the Asprey report. In 1985 the treasurer, Paul Keating, proposed, in a Treasury white paper, all the major recommendations of the report—a 12.5 per cent broad-based consumption tax, a capital gains tax, dividend imputation, and a fringe benefits tax. While a goods and services tax (GST) did not proceed at that stage, the other three measures were legislated, together with cuts to personal income tax rates. The government of John Howard eventually introduced a GST in 2000.
Not all lines of thought in the committee’s report, however, were successful. It had called for a national system of death and gift duties. Instead, the existing duties were scrapped. Asprey and his colleagues also thought that once the GST was in place it would be possible gradually to increase the rate, and to reduce income tax rates. Though often suggested, to date there has been no agreement among politicians over raising the rate and the related necessity of either compensating or not compensating low-income earners.
Asprey had retired from the bench in 1975. Recognising his services to the government, in 1977 he was appointed CMG. After the death of his first wife he would marry Mary Dent Rutty, née Snow, daughter of the retailer and United Australia Party stalwart Sir Sydney Snow [q.v.12], on 10 September 1977 at St Andrew’s Uniting Church, Longueville. Survived by his wife, and the two daughters of his first marriage, he died on 28 October 1993 at Wahroonga, and was cremated. His daughter Sally and her husband Robert Stitt QC gave his vast collection of colonial and modern law texts to the University of Sydney Law School in 2011.
Mason, Anthony. ‘The Hon Kenneth William Asprey.’ Australian Law Journal 68, no. 1 (January 1994): 84; Mason, Anthony. ‘Supreme Court of New South Wales: Opening of Law Term Judges’ Dinner.’ Australian Law Journal 82, no. 12 (December 2008): 839–48; Stitt, Sally, and Robert Stitt. Personal communication; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘NSW Judge to Head Tax Inquiry.’ 15 August 1972, 1; Taxation Review Committee. Full Report 31 January 1975. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1975, Preliminary Report 1 June 1974. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1974.
AUSTIN, MERVYN NEVILLE (1913–1991), headmaster and professor of classics, was born on 1 August 1913 at Ascot Vale, Victoria, second of four sons of James William Ashworth Austin, real estate agent, and his wife Jane Elizabeth, née Tymms. Mervyn was educated at Melbourne Church of England Grammar School and the University of Melbourne (BA Hons, 1935) where he earned a Blue for cricket. The award of a Rhodes Scholarship in 1935 took him to Christ Church College, Oxford, to read classics (MA, 1939). On returning to Australia in 1939 he became senior classics master at his old school.
Enlisting in the Royal Australian Air Force on 15 August 1941, Austin trained in Australia, Canada, and Britain and was commissioned in May 1942. From March 1943 to September 1944 he navigated Mosquito fighters in day and night operations with No. 456 Squadron, RAAF. His commanding officer admired his ‘pleasing personality’ and ‘highly developed sense of moral discipline’ (NAA A9300). He was demobilised as a temporary flight lieutenant on 30 August 1946. On 29 April 1944 at the Cathedral Church of Winchester, England, Austin had married Rosemary Belle im Thurn, an officer in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. Appointed to a lectureship at the University of St Andrew’s, Scotland, in 1946, he did not return to Australia until 1950.
Following a brief stint as headmaster (1950–51) of Newington College, Sydney, Austin was appointed to the chair of classics and ancient history at the University of Western Australia in 1952. The only full-time member of staff, he worked hard to increase student numbers. A gifted and versatile teacher, he offered courses in classical Greek, Latin, Greek and Roman history, and New Testament Greek. By the late 1970s the department boasted nine full-time members of staff and almost 400 students, including twelve postgraduate students. He retired as emeritus professor in 1978 and was appointed AM in 1981.
From 1956 until 1978 Austin served as public orator at the University of Western Australia, delivering citations and addresses at graduation ceremonies and other formal occasions. A selection of his citations for the awarding of honorary degrees was published as Certain Persons of Importance (1981). His wide-ranging research interests included eighteenth-century studies, to the classical origins of Western civilisation, and from Western Australian church history to St John’s Gospel. His book of essays, An Ignorant Man Thinking, was published in 1966. Several of his lectures and addresses, including a short biography, John Wollaston: Man of God (1986), were also published.
Austin’s enthusiasm and advocacy for his subject led him to give a wide range of extension courses, addresses to community groups, and radio broadcasts. This encouraged many mature people to study classics at university level. The breadth of his learning was such that he also gave courses in English literature and theology (in 1951 he had gained a bachelor of divinity degree from the University of London). In retirement he gave talks to primary school classes for gifted children and taught Latin at Scotch College, Perth.
A dedicated lay member of the Anglican Church, he was a frequent guest preacher at University Sundays and he served on the council of Christ Church Grammar School, Claremont, and St Hilda’s Church of England (later Anglican) Girls’ School, Mosman Park. He was a strong supporter of the ordination of women.
Survived by his wife, daughter, and two sons, Austin died on 11 June 1991 at Claremont and was cremated. The Mervyn Austin Bursary for ancient Greek and the Austin lecture theatre at the University of Western Australia commemorate his work.
Austin, Mervyn Neville. Interview by Christine Shervington, 1981. Transcript. State Library of Western Australia; Civic Centre News (Cottesloe, WA). ‘An Appreciation: Emeritus Professor, M. N. Austin.’ 42, no. 12 (1991): 10; Dalziell, Rosamund. ‘Demanding to See Sophocles.’ Canberra Times, 31 October 1998, 5; Dalziell, Rosamund. Personal communication with author; National Archives of Australia. A9300, Austin, M. N.; National Library of Australia, MS 9098, Papers of Mervyn Austin, 1981–1995; Personal knowledge of ADB subject; Uni News (Perth, WA). ‘Obituary.’ 10, no. 20 (1991): 4; West Australian. ‘Studies in Classics.’ 15 February 1952, 3.