Australian Dictionary of Biography Volume 19: 1991–1995 (A–Z)
LAIDLAW, AUBREY SCHACKLETON (AUB) (1909–1992), surf lifesaver and beach inspector, was born on 2 March 1909 at Balmain South, Sydney, third of five children of New South Wales–born parents Herbert Milton Laidlaw, hospital attendant, and his wife Jane Florence, née Wicks. The family moved around. Aub attended Rozelle Superior Public School, among others. Taught by his father to swim at age five, he developed into a teenage 100-yard freestyle champion, winning club, school, and district titles. In 1925 he moved to North Bondi and joined the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club (NBSLSC). He distinguished himself at Surf Life Saving Association of Australia championships, winning the Junior Surf (1927) and Senior Belt (1931) titles, and captaining (1930–36) the NBSLSC rescue and resuscitation team that won in 1930, 1931, and 1933.
Having trained as a carpenter, Laidlaw became resident member-caretaker of the NBSLSC in 1929. The following year he joined Waverley Municipal Council as a permanent surf lifesaver and beach inspector. Charles Christensen said Laidlaw could read the surf ‘as we would read traffic lights’ (Arnold 1992, 22), while Laidlaw himself professed to know ‘every inch’ (Daily Mirror 1969, 7), and every current and eddy at Bondi Beach. This knowledge, combined with advanced lifesaving skills, equipped him admirably to fulfil the water safety role of an inspector. At the end of his career he reckoned he had rescued more than 6,000 bathers, including several on ‘Black Sunday’, 6 February 1938. That day lifesavers pulled some 240 people from dangerous surf at Bondi and five drowned. Laidlaw believed that the tragedy should not have occurred and blamed an inspector who, he said, ‘didn’t understand the surf’ (Laidlaw 1989) and, against his advice, opened the unsafe middle section of the beach.
Laidlaw’s physical presence and bearing helped him control Bondi beach-goers who could number more than 50,000 on fine summer weekends and public holidays. Standing more than 6 feet (183 cm) tall, with massive shoulders and a barrel chest, and wearing a distinctive white panama hat with ‘INSPECTOR’ embroidered on the band, and a blue singlet bearing the regal-looking crest of Waverley council, he was known as the ‘King of Bondi’. His strict policing of surfboard riders and bikini-wearing women enhanced his lordly reputation.
Contending that bathers needed protection from surfboards, which could inflict serious injury, Laidlaw urged aldermen to support their beach inspectors and introduce regulations to control surfboard use. Some board-riders accused him of being officious, high-handed, intolerant, and threatening.
Bathing costumes were an issue of public decency and morality throughout the twentieth century but particularly between the 1930s and 1960s as they became briefer. In 1930 Laidlaw had provoked press comment by wearing the new backless costume for men. Popular history presents him later as an uncompromising defender of conservative morals who never hesitated to order bikini-clad women from the beach. Maintaining that he was enforcing council by-laws and simply doing his job, he attributed press reports of bikini incidents to publicity stunts contrived by journalists and swimsuit manufacturers. He admitted his attraction to the female form. Nevertheless, he thought one-piece swimsuits were more flattering and he opposed skimpy costumes that he alleged attracted sexual perverts.
In late 1969 Waverley council terminated Laidlaw’s appointment on medical grounds, despite his assertion that he was physically fit, a petition by more than 2,000 supporters, and sympathetic newspaper reports. The council transferred him to its carpentry workshop where he finished his career in 1974. In retirement, he taught adults and children to swim. The NBSLSC had honoured him with life membership in 1934 and he was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1972. On 1 September 1933 at St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Bondi, Laidlaw, an Anglican, had married Doris Mary Mallon (d. 1980), a domestic and an enthusiastic beach-goer. Survived by his son and daughter, he died on 10 January 1992 at Randwick and was cremated.
Arnold, Ann. ‘Legend’s Last Wave.’ Eastern Herald (Broadway, Sydney), 16 January 1992, 22; Booth, Douglas. Australian Beach Cultures: The History of Sun, Sand and Surf. London: Frank Cass, 2001; Daily Mirror (Sydney). ‘After 40 Years, Aub May Lose His Job.’ 25 November 1969, 7; Elder, Bruce. Ready Aye Ready: A Century of North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club: 1906–2006. North Bondi, Sydney: North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club, 2006; Laidlaw, Aubrey. Interview by Diana Rich, 15 March 1989. Transcript. Lifeguard Oral Histories, Local Studies. Waverley Council Library, Sydney; Waverley Council Library, Sydney. Waverley Council subject-based correspondence files, Box 11, Local Studies collection; Yates, Skye. ‘Bondi’s Bikini Police.’ Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 9 December 2002, 49.
LAKE, GRANTLY SEBASTIAN (1914–1991), Catholic priest and naval chaplain, was born on 15 December 1914 at Paddington, Sydney, son of New South Wales–born William Henry Francis Lake, salesman, and his Queensland-born wife Elizabeth, née Martin. His early years were spent in Darwin where his father held an administrative post with the British pastoral and import company, Vestey Brothers. The family then moved to the Canungra district south of Brisbane and began farming and operating a mixed store. Grantly was educated at Canungra State School and St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace, Brisbane, being awarded a junior public certificate in 1932.
From January to June 1934 he was employed as a surveyor’s assistant by the Main Roads Commission, after which he was appointed a cadet clerk in the Queensland Police Department. In February 1935 he began studying for the priesthood at St Columba’s Catholic College, Springwood, New South Wales. He completed his studies at St Patrick’s Seminary, Manly, Sydney, and on 25 July 1941 was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Brisbane. His first assignment was to Bribie Island and in February 1942 he was transferred to Wynnum as chaplain of Nazareth House, an orphanage and home for the aged. On 21 January 1943 he was appointed chaplain 4th class, Australian Imperial Force. He became chaplain to the 20th Infantry Brigade, 9th Division, in May 1944 and from May to December 1945 served in Borneo. His appointment terminated on 23 April 1946 and he transferred to the Reserve of Officers.
Lake then held dual chaplaincies at Nudgee Junior College, Indooroopilly, and the Repatriation General Hospital, Greenslopes, Brisbane. He also ministered to army units in the area as well as serving as assistant priest in the parish of Rosalie until 1948. On 29 July 1949 he was appointed naval chaplain to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). He served in HMA ships Sydney (1949–51, 1951–52 and 1967–68), Australia (1951), and Melbourne (1956–58 and 1963–64), and in shore establishments in Victoria and New South Wales. His second posting to Sydney included operations from August 1951 to February 1952 in the Korean War, and his third entailed eight voyages transporting troops and equipment to and from South Vietnam. In May 1960 he was promoted to senior chaplain and in 1968 elevated to the ecclesiastical rank of monsignor. When the Catholic Church formed its Military Vicariate of Australia in 1969, he was made a vicar general. He had been appointed OBE for services to naval personnel in 1967.
‘Mons’ Lake smoked, and enjoyed a drink with his shipmates. As a coach and supporter of many RAN rugby teams, he donated the Mons Cup—the annual prize for the best rugby union team from the ships and shore establishments. He also took part in recreational diving expeditions, was a knowledgeable surfer, and enjoyed rowing in skiffs. Possessing an easy manner, he was known for his compassion and devotion to people of all denominations. Fearing for his health, commanding officers, on more than one occasion, directed him to take time off. Despite his association with the military, he believed that ‘violence in all its forms is foreign to the proper aspirations of man’ (Navy News 1971, 3).
Allowed a two-year extension beyond the usual retiring age of fifty-five, Lake left the RAN on 14 December 1971. Returning to the Brisbane archdiocese, he became Vicar for Youth serving at Beaudesert, Nanango, and Corinda until 1977 when he became parish priest at St Lucia. He died in Brisbane on 27 November 1991 and was buried in Nudgee Cemetery.
Johnstone, Tom. The Cross of ANZAC. Virginia, Qld: Church Activist Press, 2001; National Archives of Australia. A3978, LAKE G S, B883, QX43975, A6769, LAKE G S; Navy List. July 1950, 20, October 1951, 21, July 1957, 23, January 1960, 25, July 1960, 25, March 1965, 15, March 1975, 11; Navy News. ‘Monsignor Lake – Priest Extraordinary.’ 12 (November 1971): 3; Strong, Rowan. Chaplains in the Royal Australian Navy: 1912 to the Vietnam War. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2012.
LANE, DONALD FREDERICK (DON) (1935–1995), police officer and politician, was born on 18 July 1935 at Toowoomba, Queensland, eldest of three sons of Frederick James Lane, an English-born mechanic and later shopkeeper, and his locally born wife Mary, née Bentley. The family moved a number of times. Don attended the State primary schools at Somerset Dam (Silverton), Sandgate in Brisbane, and Harlaxton at Toowoomba, and the State Industrial High School, Brisbane (1950). He was an apprentice turner and fitter at Warwick, before joining the Queensland Police Force as a cadet on 11 February 1952 in Brisbane.
Appointed as a constable in 1955, a plain-clothes officer in 1958, and a detective constable in 1961, Lane was posted to Cloncurry (1956), Mount Isa (1958), and then back to Brisbane (1961), where he joined the Consorting Squad. While temporarily performing general duties, on 27 January 1962 he assisted Detective Sergeant Jack Ryan to apprehend an overwrought man who fired a rifle at Ryan as the two officers ran towards him. For his part in the arrest, Lane was awarded Queen Elizabeth II’s commendation for brave conduct. In 1965 he was promoted to detective senior constable and two years later was transferred to the Special Branch, which investigated activities deemed subversive.
On 28 April 1962 at St Andrew’s Church of England, Lutwyche, Lane had married Beryl Rose Pankhurst, a secretary. An active member of the Liberal Party of Australia, he won a by-election for the safe inner-Brisbane seat of Merthyr on 24 July 1971, having resigned from the police service the previous day. He had campaigned on law and order issues during the tour of the South African Springboks rugby union team (June–August), which attracted anti-apartheid demonstrations and prompted the Queensland government, headed by Premier (Sir) Joh Bjelke-Petersen, to declare a state of emergency.
Appointed as minister for transport in December 1980, Lane proved to be confident, capable, and effective in the portfolio. He championed the ambitious Main Line Electrification project, approved in 1983. School crossing traffic wardens (‘lollipop people’) were introduced at his instigation (1983). Construction of the Brisbane Transit Centre in Roma Street, begun in 1984, was another of his projects, as was the introduction of photographic drivers’ licences (1986). He oversaw (1982) the reduction of the legal blood alcohol level for drivers and the introduction (1986) of the Reduce Impaired Driving scheme of random breath-testing. In 1986 he claimed to have saved the railways ‘$25 million a year initially and another $15 million a year ongoing’ (Stewart 1986, 12), the efficiencies contributing to an operating profit of $108 million in the previous financial year. Sir Llew Edwards, the State treasurer from 1978 to 1983, later said Lane was the best transport minister Queensland had ever had.
The National and Liberal parties’ coalition collapsed in August 1983 and an election was called for October. Though he supported the notion of a coalition, as a Liberal Lane had to resign from cabinet. The Nationals narrowly failed to win government in their own right, gaining 41 seats in a legislature of 82, and the Liberals were reduced in numbers from 20 to 8, Lane being among the survivors. With a bleak backbench future in mind, he was amenable to a suggestion by one of his fellow ‘Coalition Liberals’ (Lane 1993, 123), Brian Austin, that the pair join the National Party of Australia – Queensland. The switch attracted public opprobrium and the scorn of the Australian Labor Party politician Tom Burns, who accused Lane in parliament of being a ‘police pimp’ and a ‘rotten scab’ (Lane 1993, 127). Many in the Liberal Party’s Merthyr branch, however, followed him into the National Party and he saw the change as ‘a move I have never regretted’ (1993, 127). He was reappointed as transport minister, remaining in cabinet until Bjelke-Petersen’s resignation in December 1987.
Bjelke-Petersen’s successor, Mike Ahern, left Lane out of his ministry, although he had been a strong Ahern supporter. The premier was aware that G. E. (Tony) Fitzgerald’s commission of inquiry into corruption was investigating Lane. It found that he had booked meals, accommodation, car hire, and other costs to his ministerial expense account when ‘it did not appear [he] had been engaged on some official duty’ (Lane 1993, 249). In 1988 he confessed to the practice and told the inquiry that it was common in Queensland and other States for ministers ‘to live to some extent on their ministerial expenses’ (Lane 1993, 252). Additionally, he admitted to making false claims of about $68,000 as tax deductions. He broke down and sobbed uncontrollably in the witness box after naming fourteen serving or former ministers whom he believed had also misused their expense accounts.
Although Lane intended to remain in parliament until the Fitzgerald inquiry findings were handed down, daily criticism from the Sun newspaper proved too much for him, his family, and even his electorate secretary, who was hospitalised after media harassment. On 30 January 1989 he resigned from parliament. In October 1990 he was found guilty on twenty-seven counts of misappropriation and sentenced to gaol for one year. A week later he pleaded guilty to a further sixty charges, receiving another one-year term, to be served concurrently. Fifty-five other charges were dropped, the prosecutor arguing that he had been sufficiently penalised.
Jack Herbert, a disgraced former policeman, had alleged to the Fitzgerald inquiry that, when in parliament, Lane had accepted bribes. He denied the allegation. Later, claims would be published that Lane had been prominent in a network of corrupt Queensland policemen and politicians (Condon 2015, 364). For the offences of which he was convicted, his imprisonment, together with his public shaming and the destruction of his career, distressed many who had known him as a capable, confident, and considerate minister and as an attentive servant of his constituents.
Determined to be ‘the most cheerful prisoner around this gaol’ (Lane 1993, 273), Lane earned $1.85 a day sorting magazines and later worked in an outside laundry. In April 1991 he was released on parole, deciding ‘studiously [to refrain] from complaining or whingeing’ (Hay 1991, 12). He was a large and imposing man with a prominent, rubicund nose, the result of a medical condition. In retirement he lived in Brisbane at Hamilton and, with his wife, operated a small beef cattle property at Gladfield, near Warwick. Trial and Error, his account of his career, was published in 1993. He died of myocardial infarction on 11 March 1995 at his farm and was buried in the Pinnaroo lawn cemetery, Aspley, Brisbane. His wife and their son and daughter survived him.
Condon, Matthew. All Fall Down. St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 2015; Hay, John. ‘It’s Real Hard Yakka Down on Don Lane’s Farm.’ Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 1 December 1991, Magazine 12; Lane, Don. Trial and Error. Bowen Hills, Qld: Boolarong Publications, 1993; Petersen, Don. ‘Walking with Don Down Memory Lane.’ Courier Mail (Brisbane), 8 April 1991, 9; Queensland. Inquiry. Report of a Commission of Inquiry Pursuant to Orders in Council, Dated 26 May 1987, 24 June 1987, 25 August 1988, 29 June 1989. G. E. Fitzgerald (Chairman). Brisbane: The Commission, 1989; Queensland Police Museum. Service History: Donald Frederick Lane; Stewart, Andrew. ‘Lane Leads Cost Cutting.’ Queensland Times (Ipswich), 8 February 1986, 12.
Brian F. Stevenson
LANG, FREDERICK (FRED) (1901–1993), photographer, was born on 3 March 1901 at Stockwell, South Australia, and named Friedrich, son of Friedrich Julius Lange, farmer, and his wife Elizabeth, née Kleinig. His parents were of Prussian descent. Leaving school at thirteen, Fred, who had a penchant for hyperbole, later claimed to have had sixty-five jobs by the time he was thirty-two, from miner to sewing-machine salesman. He travelled extensively in southern and eastern Australia.
By 1926 he had anglicised his name. On 27 December that year at St John’s Church of England, Heidelberg, Melbourne, he married Dorothy Irene West, a typist; they would be divorced in 1943. In May 1928 he was at Leeton, New South Wales, demonstrating the Rapid fruit-packing press. A self-taught photographer, he started in Wally Ellis’s photographic establishment at Broken Hill in 1932 and afterwards opened his own business at Murwillumbah. In 1935 he moved to Tweed Heads. He obtained work as a police photographer, especially if a death was involved and photos were required for coronial or criminal proceedings.
With the slogan ‘Today’s Photos Today’ and considerable studio backup, Lang would snap thousands of holidaymakers over the next forty years. He worked the guest houses, camping grounds, and beaches of the South (later Gold) Coast, mainly at Tweed Heads and its twin town of Coolangatta, Queensland. His trademark red Akubra hat made him instantly recognisable; beneath its broad brim, his characteristic smile and, when older, horn-rimmed glasses were equally familiar.
As an official pictorial correspondent for the Brisbane Courier Mail, he captured events, including girls and boys taking part in the paper’s Learn-to-Swim Campaign, and people, such as Joe Timbery, who visited from Sydney to demonstrate boomerang throwing. During World War II Lang photographed American soldiers recuperating in military camps at Coolangatta and at Fingal, New South Wales, and posted prints home to their relatives in the United States. In the late 1940s and 1950s he took countless images of people engaged in the hokey-pokey dances on Coolangatta’s Greenmount Beach. On 9 March 1948 in the manse of the Presbyterian Church, St Kilda, Melbourne, he married Phyllis Myrtle Hayward (d. 1992), a typist.
Lang photographed the famous, as well as everyday holidaymakers. His favourite subjects included winners of the Miss Australia contest, and the British model Sabrina, whom he snapped posing on the beach in a fetching manner, framed by a pandanus palm. He also photographed a young Queen Elizabeth II on the 1954 royal tour, and many of the star entertainers who holidayed or performed on the Gold Coast, among them Jack Davey [q.v.13], Bob Dyer [q.v.17], and Barry Crocker.
Other subjects, besides flesh on the beach, caught Lang’s photographic eye. He snapped houses collapsing into the sea at Narrow Neck, Southport, after the 1955 cyclone. His many aerial photographs show the rapid growth of the Gold Coast in the 1950s and 1960s, as it experienced more aggressive development and redevelopment than anywhere else in the nation. No other photographer created such a vast archive of images of one segment of the Australian coastline.
Such was Lang’s fame, to generations of holiday goers in particular, that a thirty-minute episode of the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s A Big Country series was devoted to ‘The Man in the Red Hat’ in November 1977; it featured footage from his own movie camera. He also collaborated with the historian John Vader to produce The Gold Coast Book: An Illustrated History (1980), which showcased many of his most historically important photographs of people and landscapes.
A keen participant in community activities, Lang was prominent in the Tweed Heads Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies were growing roses and target and game shooting. He died on 20 January 1993 at his Tweed Heads home and, following a Uniting Church service, was buried in Tweed Heads lawn cemetery; the daughter and son of his second marriage survived him. His photographic work is to be found in the National Library of Australia, the State Library of Queensland, and the Southport Local Studies Library, and in the major periodicals and newspapers of his era.
Geddes, John. ‘Fred Lang “a Walking History Book”.’ Daily News (Tweed Heads, NSW), 28 January 1993, 6; Healey, Sally. ‘Lang’s Legacy.’ Gold Coast Bulletin (Qld), 30 January 1993, Weekend Review 4–5; Peebles, Karen. ‘It’s all Black and White to this Veteran Photographer.’ Daily News (Tweed Heads, NSW), 28 July 1992, 6–7; Sunday Sun (Brisbane). ‘The Man in the Red Hat Shoots Thousands of Birds.’ 30 May 1976, 49; Veitch, Carol. ‘Six Million Happy Snaps.’ Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 19 May 1991, Magazine 10.
LANIGAN, PATRICK JOSEPH (PAT) (1925–1992), public servant, accountant, and barrister, was born on 20 February 1925 at North Fitzroy, Victoria, only son and eldest of three children of Stephen Lanigan, railway worker, and his wife Millicent May, née Walshe. Pat completed the Leaving certificate at Christian Brothers’ College, St Kilda (1940). After the death of his father in a road accident in November 1942 he became the main breadwinner for his family. He worked for the Postmaster-General’s Department as a postal assistant until mobilised on 22 March 1943 for service in the Citizen Military Forces in World War II. Transferring to the Australian Imperial Force on 1 September, he served in New Guinea (1944–45) with the 2/5th Battalion and in New Britain (1945–46) with garrison units. He was promoted to corporal in March 1946 and discharged from the AIF on 24 December.
Educated at the University of Melbourne (BCom, 1950; BA, 1952), Lanigan joined the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in 1950. He returned to university in 1957 to undertake part-time studies in law. On 24 April he married Margaret Cynthia Llewellyn, a secretary, at St Peter’s Catholic Church, Toorak. Early in 1958 he was transferred to Canberra, where he continued his legal studies at the Canberra University College, graduating with honours from The Australian National University (LLB, 1963). He was admitted to the Bar on 15 October 1964.
Rising through the ranks of the ATO, Lanigan became interested in management, particularly in the use of information technology to modernise processing systems. Believing that the ATO should become a leader in technology, he urged it to acquire its own computer equipment rather than continue sharing that of the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics. In 1976 he was appointed OBE for public service.
The Fraser government appointed Lanigan director-general of the Department of Social Security in August 1977. Both the department and the general field of social security policy had been under review, given the demands arising from the economic recession. Of particular concern was evidence of extensive overpayments of benefits at a time of expenditure restraint. He introduced major changes to the department, improving efficiency in processing welfare payments and in detecting fraud. With an emphasis on training and new management ideas, he bolstered legal and audit capabilities, enabling the department to respond to developments in administrative law, financial management, and new technology. He promoted young, bright officers, many of them female, over officers he thought resistant to change. Expanding the department’s regional office network, he decentralised day-to-day decision-making from formerly powerful State-based offices.
To the public Lanigan became the face of the government’s harder line on welfare. Whether those were his instructions from the prime minister, as the media suggested, or whether he was simply responding to the extent of overpayments, his administration was characterised by widespread crackdowns on eligibility for welfare benefits and pensions. His methods appeared at odds with the sensitive approach sought by the minister, (Dame) Margaret Guilfoyle.
Lanigan’s relationship with Guilfoyle deteriorated during what came to be known as the ‘Greek conspiracy case’. Late in March 1978 Commonwealth police launched early morning raids on 160 homes and five doctors’ surgeries. Dozens of people of Greek ethnicity were taken into custody, accused of pension fraud arising from false medical reports. With further arrests over the following weeks, 181 people, including six doctors, were charged with conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth. More than 700 people had their invalid pensions or sickness benefits suspended pending re-examination of their eligibility. Proceedings became bogged down in the courts, with most prosecutions ultimately failing amidst revelations of unauthorised phone tapping by police and tainted evidence. The minister came under attack in the Senate, on several occasions providing information that later was found to be wrong or questionable. She began qualifying her answers with words such as ‘I am advised by my Director-General that …’ (Guilfoyle, pers. comm.).
In 1981 Lanigan took advantage of new legislation enabling early retirement, leaving a department which had significantly changed under his stewardship. His approach had made him unpopular with many, some seeing him as more interested in maintaining a hard line on benefits than in providing welfare services. A planned departmental farewell did not go ahead but his core supporters did hold an unofficial function to mark his departure. His exit from the public service allowed him to pursue a new career in law. He went to the Bar in Sydney, building a successful second career.
Despite his successes, Lanigan was widely seen as an eccentric for his unconventional habits and interests. Yet even his detractors considered him highly intelligent and able. Outside work, he loved skiing and was a member of the Canberra Alpine Club. He gained his pilot’s licence in 1979 and enjoyed flying himself to meetings interstate. In July 1984 he was flying from Coffs Harbour to Bankstown airport when he lost his bearings and ran out of fuel in the early hours of the morning. In an emergency landing on a suburban street in Sefton the aircraft clipped a power pole and landed nose down on the footpath. He emerged unscathed and was back in court arguing a case the same day. Survived by his wife, three daughters, and a son, he died on 29 September 1992 in Turkey. He had been in Europe for an International Bar Association conference and decided to visit Gallipoli, something he had always wanted to do. He was found dead, apparently of a heart attack, by the Eceabat-Kabatepe road. After a funeral service in Sydney, he was cremated, and his ashes placed at Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens, North Ryde.
Andrews, Ross. ‘Lanigan: The Man and his Methods.’ Canberra Times, 1 March 1981, 7; Australia. Senate. Parliamentary Debates, No. 46, 14 November 1979, 2249–67; Australian. ‘Pat Lanigan Plays Guilfoyle’s Perfect Foil.’ 14 July 1980, 7; Guilfoyle, Margaret. Personal communication; Lanigan, Margaret. Personal communication; National Archives of Australia. B883, VX93353; Simson, Stuart. ‘The Welfare Czar.’ National Times, 2 December 1978, 18–19; Waterford, Jack. ‘An Extraordinary Life’s Journey.’ Canberra Times, 7 October 1992, 4; Wilkinson, Marian. ‘The Biggest Conspiracy Case in Australia’s History.’ National Times, 3 February 1979, 9–13.
LANSBURY, CORAL MAGNOLIA (1929–1991), radio scriptwriter, academic, and novelist, was born at St Kilda, Melbourne, in 1929, second child of Australian-born Oscar Vincent Stephen Lansbury, and his English-born wife May, née Morle. Coral’s parents were London stage actors who toured New Zealand and Australia in 1928 and 1929 with a production of The Vagabond King before joining the cast of Show Boat; auspiciously, they gave Coral the second name Magnolia for the precocious heroine of the musical. The family settled in Sydney after the cast disbanded there in December 1929. By 1933 Oscar had taken a job as a radio sound-effects officer with the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). Coral once told an interviewer that she detested her mother and revered her father, who introduced her to Dickens [q.v.4] and Thackeray to keep her quiet backstage.
Following her parents into the theatre, Lansbury became a child actor in J. C. Williamson [q.v.6] Ltd productions; her first role, aged ten, was a fairy in a Christmas pantomime. She began regularly performing in radio serials. While she was still a teenager, one of her radio scripts was accepted. Educated at North Sydney Girls High School (1941–45), she attended the University of Sydney (1947–50), where she completed the requirements for a first-class Bachelor of Arts Honours degree, majoring in English and history and winning the Maud Stiles and George Arnold Wood [q.v.12] memorial history prizes. As an unmatriculated student, she was ineligible to graduate. She never respected the high and low cultural divide. On the one hand, her verse play Krubi of the Illawarra, about an Aboriginal girl seeking knowledge of the rites and symbols that her people believed belonged to men, won the 1948 Henry Lawson [q.v.10] prize for poetry. From 1953 to 1963 she was a feature and drama writer with the ABC, winning a number of awards for her work. On the other hand, she found steady employment writing an ‘enormous amount of soap opera material … which, while profitable, was of dubious literary worth’ (Lane 2000, 75).
Lansbury was to marry three times. Her first marriage, on 20 February 1953 at the registrar general’s office, Sydney, was to the sixty-four-year-old veteran actor and producer George Harold Edwards [q.v.8]; it was his fourth. He contracted pneumonia and was hospitalised two days after the wedding; six months later he died. Lansbury’s son, Malcolm Turnbull, was born in October 1954; she married his father, Bruce Bligh Turnbull, electrician and later a travelling salesman, on 29 December 1955 at Campbell Street Presbyterian Church, Balmain. Malcolm was sent as a boarder to Sydney Grammar School in 1963, and Bruce took care of him when Lansbury left the marriage soon after. She married John (Jock) Salmon after their respective divorces.
In 1963 Lansbury had been appointed a lecturer in history and Australian studies at the University of New South Wales; it was here that she met Salmon, a New Zealand–born specialist in French history and the university’s foundation professor of history (1960–65). As television supplanted radio drama, she had decided she would not make the transition, although she later appeared on the panel show Beauty and the Beast. She revived research on the growth of trade unionism in Australia, begun as a master’s thesis under the supervision of Bede Nairn in 1952. This remained unfinished. This was a natural topic, perhaps, for a relative of the politician and social reformer George Lansbury, who had lived briefly in Australia (1884–85) and later led the British Labour Party (1932–35).
During 1966 Lansbury joined Salmon at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, where he was professor of history and dean of humanities (1965–69). She was a lecturer in history and a senior lecturer in English and, at the same time, a graduate student at the University of Auckland (MA, 1967; PhD, 1969). Social contexts and the novel’s symbolic role in cultural inventions were innovative themes that pervaded all her academic work. Her postgraduate research was published as Arcady in Australia: The Evocation of Australia in Nineteenth-Century English Literature (1970). She argued that Samuel Sidney [q.v.2], Charles Dickens [q.v.4], Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and Charles Reade transferred the myth of a happy English rural life to Australia with huge success, evoking however ‘a new Australia that bore only passing resemblance to the country as it existed’ (Lansbury 1970, 2). She traced the masculine origins of the bush mateship myth that figures such as Henry Lawson [q.v.10], Banjo Paterson [q.v.11], and William Guthrie Spence [q.v.6] had popularised. For the Australian Dictionary of Biography she wrote articles on Dickens, Hector Lamond [q.v.9] (Spence’s son-in-law), and her first husband; she and Nairn co-wrote an article on Spence.
When Salmon joined the faculty of Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, United States of America, in 1969, Lansbury accompanied him. She was an associate professor of English at Rosemont College (1970–73) and a visiting professor of English and history in the graduate school of Victorian studies at Drew University (1974). Appointed associate professor of English at Rutgers University, New Jersey, in 1974, she was promoted to professor in 1976. She published works on Elizabeth Gaskell’s life and novels and Anthony Trollope’s [q.v. 6] language and structure. She was a socialist rather than a feminist critic, though she combined both in The Old Brown Dog: Women, Workers, and Vivisection in Edwardian England (1985). She and Salmon divorced in 1981. That year she was appointed distinguished professor of English and coadjutant professor of history at Rutgers. Three years later she became graduate dean and director of sponsored research.
Famously, in the mid-1980s Lansbury’s distant cousin, the actress Angela Lansbury, challenged her to write something more interesting than dull academic tomes. She published four novels: Ringarra: A Gothic Novel (1985), Sweet Alice (1986), Felicity (1987), and The Grotto (1988); a fifth, Opium, was not completed. Three had Australian settings. Her colleagues dubbed her the ‘Dean of Dazzle’ (Rothwell 1988, Weekend 4): green-eyed, coppery-haired, and theatrical; and Jane Cadzow described her as ‘tall, glamorous, very funny, [and] highly successful’ (1986, 6). She was quick-witted and a ‘fierce competitor on the squash courts’ (Cipriano 1991).
Especially after the breakdown of her final marriage, Lansbury travelled regularly to Australia. Her son noted that she ‘was a fairly outrageous character’ who did not ‘much care what people thought of her’: ‘she was often wrong but she was never in doubt’ (Cipriano 1991). He nursed her in the weeks before her death from bowel cancer on 2 April 1991 in Philadelphia.
Cadzow, Jane. ‘Triumphs of Coral.’ Weekend Australian Magazine, 13–14 December 1986, 6; Cipriano, Ralph. ‘Coral Lansbury, 61, A Proper Scholar Who Wrote Bawdy Books.’ Philadelphia Inquirer, 4 April 1991, articles.philly.com/1991-04-04/news/25779154_1_opium-squash-courts-radio-dramas; Lane, Richard, ed., with additional research and writing by Lynne Murphy. The Golden Age of Australian Radio Drama. Vol. 2. [Canberra]: ScreenSound Australia, 2000; Lansbury, Coral. Arcady in Australia: The Evocation of Australia in Nineteenth-Century English Literature. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1970; Lansbury, Coral. Curriculum vitae. Private collection. Copy held on ADB file; Rothwell, Nicholas. ‘The Dean of Dazzle.’ Weekend Australian, 15–16 October 1988, Weekend 4.
LASHWOOD, HAROLD FRANCIS (HAL) (1915–1992), entertainer and actors’ advocate, was born on 13 August 1915 at Paddington, Sydney, fifth child of English-born John Richard Davies, actor, and his New South Wales–born wife Christina Margaret, née Colreavy. Hal spent his childhood travelling around Australia with his father, a vaudeville entertainer whose stage name was Joe Lashwood. He credited his desire to become a performer to his early years watching his father’s shows and being surrounded by show business people. He adopted Lashwood as a stage name and later changed it formally by deed poll.
As a teenager Lashwood studied tap dancing and after leaving school at sixteen he joined the theatrical company J. C. Williamson [q.v.6] Ltd as a specialty dancer, touring Australia and New Zealand. Keen for an acting role, he left the company after three years and joined a travelling variety show. Although he once filled in as a clown when a company funny-man became ill, he made his name as a straight man or ‘feed’. He moved from variety to acting in 1941, appearing in The Man Who Came to Dinner at the Minerva Theatre, Sydney, alongside Dick Bentley [q.v.]. He subsequently appeared in a number of stage shows, including The Patsy, The Wind and the Rain, and The Squall, performing with Queenie Ashton and John McCallum.
Lashwood combined stage work with radio, joining Jack Davey’s [q.v.13] Colgate-Palmolive Radio Unit in the early 1940s and meeting Roy ‘Mo’ Rene [q.v.11]. With his catchcry of ‘Aaaaaaah there, McCackie!’ Lashwood became best known as Mister Lasho, Mo’s nosey neighbour in the popular sketch ‘McCackie Mansion’. Premiering in 1947 it ran for nearly three years as part of the Calling the Stars variety program, which was then the most-listened-to show on Australian radio. In 1948 Lashwood was voted the ‘most handsome man in radio’ (SMH 1992, 4).
On 10 March 1947 at the district registrar’s office, Newcastle, Lashwood married Mollie Jean Mackay, née Crothers. Although based in Sydney for most of his adult life, after his wedding Lashwood lived for a few years at elegant Anambah House, a mansion near Maitland built by the grazier family of Mollie’s first husband, Kenneth Mackay (d. 1928). In a more sedate era, Lashwood provoked the ire of the dean of Newcastle, the Very Reverend W. A. Hardie, who complained in 1951 that the entertainer had organised a dance in the city on a Sunday. Lashwood was fined and ordered to pay costs. The case prompted calls by the New South Wales Labour Council for the State government to change legislation to allow public entertainment on Sundays.
During the 1950s the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation monitored Lashwood’s activities, recording in 1957 that he had been ‘active for a number of years in Communist-sponsored Peace campaigns and cultural activities’ (NAA, A6119). With the advent of television, he ventured onto the small screen, compering the variety show Shower of Stars, and quiz programs The Quiz Kids and Beat the Brains. He also hosted Hal Lashwood’s Alabama Jubilee (1958–59) and Hal Lashwood’s Minstrels (1960–61). An unlikely guest on the latter, in a program featuring blacked-up artists in December 1960, was the African-American performer and activist Paul Robeson.
Lashwood’s longest-running role was as president (1951–76) of the Actors and Announcers Equity Association of Australia. He had joined the association while with J. C. Williamson Ltd and was appointed to the federal council in 1941. His advocacy on behalf of Australian performers prompted an unsuccessful tilt at Federal politics in 1955, when he stood as an Independent candidate for the blue-ribbon Liberal seat of Wentworth on the single issue of increasing the level of Australian content planned for the new medium of television. In 1963 he was inaugural chairman of the Australian National Television Council. He was also a long-serving member of two committees of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: the Mass Communications Committee and the Committee for the Arts.
In January 1973 the Whitlam Government appointed Lashwood to the board of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. As the first appointee of the new Labor government, Lashwood was a lonely figure in a conservative boardroom, but he enthusiastically promoted the use of Australian programs. In an interview shortly after his appointment he observed: ‘I believe there is an upsurge of nationalism sweeping Australia today and I believe the broadcasting systems should reflect this nationalism’ (Lashwood 1973). The Fraser Government did not reappoint him when his term expired in 1976.
Lashwood subsequently switched his attention to local politics. In 1977 he was elected to Waverley council as a Labor alderman; he served for a decade including three years as deputy mayor. He had smoking banned from the council chamber, led moves to have council meetings opened to the public, and advocated for Bondi Pavilion to be used as a cultural centre. He was awarded the OAM in 1982 for services to the entertainment industry. Predeceased by his wife (d. 1980) and survived by his only daughter, Lashwood died on 26 March 1992 at Darlinghurst, Sydney, after a lengthy battle with cancer. A memorial service was held at the Sydney Opera House on 28 April.
ABC Weekly. ‘Hal Lashwood, Heir of the Footlights, Who Danced from the Tyrol to Drama.’ 10 November 1945, 11; Inglis, Ken. This is the ABC: The Australian Broadcasting Commission, 1932–1983. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1983; Lashwood, Hal. Interview by Hazel de Berg, 12 February 1973. Sound recording. Hazel de Berg collection. National Library of Australia; Muswellbrook Chronicle. ‘ABC Stars of the Air: Hal Lashwood, Versatile Sydney Actor.’ 22 January 1943, 6; National Archives of Australia. A6119, 517; Parsons, Fred. A Man Called Mo. Melbourne: Heinemann, 1973; Swancott, Neal. ‘The ABC’s New Commissioner Finds it Lonely at the Top.’ Financial Review (Sydney). 19 June 1973, 1, 7; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Straight Man Who Became a Star in Radio’s Great Days.’ 28 March 1992, 4.
LAST, FRANK CLIFFORD (1918–1991), sculptor, was born on 13 December 1918 at Pooks Green, Hampshire, England, younger son of English-born parents William Last, cabinetmaker, and his wife Nellie (Nella), née Lord. Shortly after his birth, the family returned to Barrow-in-Furness on the Lancashire coast, where Clifford’s paternal grandfather and a maternal great-uncle had worked as wood craftsmen. His mother was later acclaimed for her diary written for Britain’s Mass Observation Archive, parts of which were published as Nella Last’s War: A Mother’s Diary, 1939–45 (1981). By his own account a mediocre student at Barrow Grammar School, Clifford quit formal schooling aged sixteen, preferring instead an apprenticeship in his father’s shop-fitting workshop. Over a period of four years he learnt basic woodworking skills and gained the particular affinity with wood as a responsive and tactile material that underpinned the deftly carved and assembled sculpture for which he became best known.
In 1939 Last was called up for six months military training. With the outbreak of World War II in September, he went on to serve in North Africa as a private in the Cheshire Regiment. He completed officer training in Palestine and was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1944. Seriously wounded by an exploding German grenade while serving in Italy, he was hospitalised for several months and part of his right hand was amputated. He was mentioned in dispatches for his role in this action, and eventually returned to duty as adjutant to the Glider Pilot Regiment for the remainder of the war.
Demobilised in 1946, Last enrolled in evening classes at the Hammersmith School of Wood Sculpture, London, working by day as assistant to an interior decorator. A regular visitor to exhibitions of modern sculpture, he sought out work by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, pioneers of a new direction in sculpture defined by concise, abstracted, and mostly biomorphic forms. He was awarded a scholarship to the City and Guilds of London Art School, and studied there before a growing disaffection with life in England prompted his migration to Australia.
Arriving in Melbourne in January 1947, Last moved briefly to Sydney and attended classes at the East Sydney Technical College under Lyndon Dadswell [q.v.17]. Back in Melbourne later the same year, he established a studio and home in the hayloft of a coach house behind an old mansion in St Kilda Road. Under the auspices of the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme, he enrolled in further study at the (Royal) Melbourne Technical College, where his instructors were the figurative sculptors George Allen and Stanley Hammond. He held his first solo exhibition in October 1948 at Georges Gallery in Collins Street, showing small-scale wood and stone carvings influenced by the work of Hepworth and Moore. Further solo exhibitions were held in 1949 at John Martin’s Gallery, Adelaide, and again at Georges Gallery in 1950.
In 1951 Last secured a passage to Europe as a crew member aboard a Scandinavian freighter, touring England, France, and Spain, before returning to Melbourne in May 1952. This travel afforded him an opportunity to see recent work by a younger generation of British sculptors, including Robert Adams, whose predominantly geometric abstractions offered a clear alternative to the organic romanticism of Moore and Hepworth. His subsequent sculpture reflected this latest influence, as seen in the works he showed in 1953 in a Melbourne exhibition by the newly formed Group of Four that included, in addition to Last, the sculptors Julius Kane, Inge King, and Norma Redpath.
The 1950s was a period of artistic self-doubt and disillusion for Last, when he also struggled to establish close human and family relationships. In his sculpture he focused accordingly on variations on the theme of family groups and solitary standing figures, attenuated in form and creating interlinked flowing compositions. To supplement his income, he was a lecturer (1955–62) at Mercer House Teacher Training College. He moved to a cottage in Osborne Street, South Yarra, in 1957, later acquiring a neighbouring property that enabled him to extend his studio and living quarters. His house, studio, and a tiny garden were noted for their meticulous neatness and austere elegance. He was naturalised in 1960. After a failed affair the next year, he began to practise meditation and vegetarianism, also attempting celibacy.
In 1961 the Group of Four expanded its membership to include Lenton Parr, Vincas Jomantas, and Teisutis Zikaras. Adopting a five-point plan, they became known as the Centre Five group of sculptors. In this company, Last exhibited on several occasions, participating also in the group’s program of fostering a wider public appreciation of abstract works as well as advocating for architectural commissions for contemporary sculptors. His wood carvings and occasional bronze castings became increasingly fluid and open in structure. While certain works continued to evoke figurative subjects, others were of a more generalised organic character, resembling leaves, bones, and sinewy structure. Mostly vertical in nature, they possess a formal even hieratic presence.
Represented in the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)’s 1964 exhibition Recent Australian Sculpture, which toured State galleries, Last also won the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery’s Crouch prize for contemporary art in 1965. He was awarded a British Council travel grant in 1967, meeting the Scottish sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi. His influence encouraged Last’s increasingly geometric sculpture created by modifying and assembling a trove of old wooden patterns for machine parts salvaged from a foundry. He was awarded a number of public and corporate commissions throughout the 1960s. Christ in Majesty (1962) in carved pine, at Christ Church, Mitcham, represented a major achievement.
Last had been a council member (1952–66) of the Victorian Sculptors’ Society but resigned in 1967 over differences in style and approach, together with other members of the Centre Five group. He was a member of the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board (1970–73) and from 1973 the acquisitions committee of the Australian National Gallery. He was appointed OBE in 1976. In 1989 the NGV mounted a full-scale retrospective exhibition of his sculpture that also included a new series of bronzes cast from the foundry patterns. The titles of many of his later sculptures testify to his interest in Eastern religions and philosophies, beliefs that sustained him spiritually until his death. Even in his final years, he was ever the cravat-wearing, quietly spoken, urbane presence at gallery openings and other social occasions. He died of lymphoma on 20 October 1991 at Prahran and was cremated.
Dimmack, Max. Clifford Last. Melbourne: Hawthorn Press, 1972; Eckett, Jane. ‘Centre Five Sculptors: The Formation of an Alternative Professional Avant-garde.’ PhD thesis, University of Melbourne, 2016; Edwards, Geoffrey. Clifford Last Sculpture: A Retrospective Exhibition. Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 1989; Last, Clifford. Interview by Hazel de Berg, 3 December 1965. National Library of Australia; Last, Clifford. Interview by Barbara Blackman, 19 July 1988. National Library of Australia; Last, Clifford. Interview by James Gleeson, 27 November 1979. National Gallery of Australia.
LATUKEFU, SIONE (1927–1995), Methodist minister and Pacific Islands historian, was born on 16 April 1927 at Kolovai village, Tongatapu, Tonga, eldest of nine children of Siosiua ‘AlopīLātūkefu, Methodist minister, and his wife Mele Vaimoana, née ‘Ahio. Siosiua was an authority on traditional wisdom and Methodist orthodoxy, and he and his wife were prepared to make sacrifices to educate their children. Studious and quick, Sione was fascinated by traditions and Bible stories. In hierarchical Tonga, he was destined to teach in local schools or become a village pastor.
Two vital influences expanded Lātūkefu’s choices. Queen Sālote recognised his gifts and encouraged his studies; and Australian missionaries nurtured his education at Tupou College, at Sia-á-Toutai Theological College (LTh, 1954, Melbourne College of Divinity), and at the University of Queensland (BA, 1958; DipEd, 1959; BEd, 1962) where he studied history. Accustomed to the authority of traditional knowledge and rote learning, he wrestled with long reading lists and the need to argue a case. While working to support himself, he studied heroically for his degrees. The Church vetoed postgraduate studies, so he came home, taught at Tupou College (1959–62), and was ordained a minister of the Free Wesleyan Church in 1960.
With help from friends, particularly Rev. C. F. Gribble, at the time head of Methodist Missions in Sydney, and despite opposition from the Tongan Traditions Committee, Lātūkefu returned to Australia in January 1962 and found temporary work at the University of Sydney carting milk crates. The Methodist network supported his move to The Australian National University (ANU), where scholarships enabled him to study history full time (PhD, 1967). Queen Sālote hoped that he would be Tonga’s first archivist, but her death in 1965 deprived him of her patronage, and no position eventuated. Meanwhile he had courted another great influence on his life, and on 4 June 1966 he married the German-born anthropologist Ruth Annette Fink at Wesley College Chapel, University of Sydney.
Lātūkefu’s loyalty to Tonga never wavered but relations with traditional authorities back home were always delicate for a commoner with an enquiring mind and independent access to archives. In 1965 he had challenged the accepted view of King George Tupou I’s birthplace. Several notables objected, but he repeated the claim in the book arising from his thesis, Church and State in Tonga (1974), and defended his view at a meeting chaired by the premier, Prince Fatafehi Tu’i Pelahake. Eventually King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV affirmed Lātūkefu’s interpretation. A serious dispute arose in 1967 when he published ‘Tonga after Queen Sālote’ in the Journal of Pacific History, which was more analytical and less reverential than the Tongan establishment expected. His reputation in his native country was secured when he was found to be the only scholar equipped to write The Tongan Constitution, a centenary history published in 1975.
After unsuccessful attempts to obtain suitable employment in Tonga, Lātūkefu and his wife applied to lecture at the new University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG). In 1967 they began eighteen productive years on Waigani campus, where he created a Pacific Islands history course. Equally important, he was a role model who embodied a successful career from mission schools to a doctorate, and he offered perspectives other than those of local politicians or Australian academics. Unlike the Polynesian pastors his students remembered, dominating the villages where they served, he did not condescend, but suggested how to reconcile Christian faith with Western rationalism. His empiricism moderated the radicalism of some colleagues and the anti-colonial zeal of some students, and his benign opinions shaped the editing of his last major publication, Papua New Guinea: A Century of Colonial Impact, 1884–1984 (1989).
Retiring from UPNG in 1985, Lātūkefu became a visiting fellow in the Research School of Pacific Studies at the ANU until 1988, when he was appointed principal of the Pacific Theological College, Suva, Fiji. Three years later a heart condition prompted his retirement. He returned to the ANU where he resumed as a visiting fellow to research the Tongan pro-democracy movement. Down to earth in every way, he had grown such fine crops in the arid soil of his Waigani garden that many suspected magic. His courtesy and steadfastness in the seminar room or on the tennis court disarmed his few opponents: he always expected the debate—or the ball—to come his way. Survived by his wife, and their daughter and son, he died in Canberra on 2 June 1995 and was cremated. His family took his ashes to be interred in Tonga.
Australian National University Archives. ANUA 395/82, Sione Lātūkefu, ANUA 523, Sione Lātūkefu, Papers, 1962–95; Griffin, James. ‘Principled Scholar Made Tongan History.’ Australian, 14 June 1995, 12; Lātūkefu, Sione. ‘The Making of the First Tongan-born Professional Historian.’ In Pacific Islands History: Journeys and Transformations, edited by Brij Lal, 14–31. Canberra: The Journal of Pacific History, 1992; Lātūkefu, Sione. ‘Tonga after Queen Sālote.’ Journal of Pacific History 2 (1967): 159–62; Personal knowledge of ADB subject.
LAUCKE, Sir CONDOR LOUIS (1914–1993), flour-miller, vigneron, and politician, was born on 9 November 1914 at Greenock, South Australia, sixth child of German-born Friedrich Laucke, miller, and his South Australian–born wife Anna Louise Marie, née Jungfer. Condor was named after a German Imperial Navy cruiser that visited Adelaide. He was two when his mother died of cancer. His father had migrated to Adelaide in 1895 and four years later was in business as a miller and grain merchant at Greenock in the Barossa Valley. In March 1914 Friedrich applied for naturalisation, and he swore the oath of allegiance shortly after the outbreak of World War I.
Laucke was educated at local primary schools before attending the Lutheran school Immanuel College (head prefect 1932) and the South Australian School of Mines and Industries in Adelaide. Showing an early interest in politics, as a schoolboy he would listen to debates at Parliament House on North Terrace. After returning to Greenock to work in the family business, he became secretary of the local branch of the Liberal and Country League (LCL) (executive 1933–65). On 13 May 1942 he joined the Volunteer Defence Corps, but was discharged as medically unfit two months later. An energetic member of the community, he was auditor of the agricultural bureau; secretary of the tennis club and the Voluntary Patriotic Contribution scheme; and president of Greenock Park (1939–43) and the Greenock Institute (1946–52). He was also a vigneron and a successful flour and stock feed-miller. As Laucke Milling Co. Ltd (later F. Laucke Pty Ltd) expanded to encompass mills at Strathalbyn, Angaston, Eudunda, and Stockwell, he became general manager and remained a director throughout his later parliamentary career. On 19 June 1943 he married Rose Hambour, dressmaker, at St Augustine’s Anglican Church, Unley.
In 1956, representing the LCL, Lauke was elected, unopposed, to the House of Assembly seat of Barossa. Supporting (Sir) Thomas Playford’s [q.v.18] government, he was a dedicated backbencher who spoke frequently in parliament, mainly along party lines. In 1962 he was appointed government whip. Active in local and State affairs, he was a council member of the University of Adelaide (1956–65) and the Institutes Association of South Australia (1960–68), and a founding member of the Barons of Barossa formed to promote the region’s wine industry. In 1965 he lost his seat when the Australian Labor Party ousted the Playford government.
Shifting to Federal politics, on 2 November 1967 Laucke was appointed to the Senate to fill the vacancy that had resulted from the death of Clive Hannaford. Although his career in the Senate was unremarkable, he considered himself to be a progressive conservative and voiced strong opinions: opposing government support for the arts; supporting the retention of the death penalty; and revealing a sensitive and humanitarian attitude when speaking in support of increased aid for Aboriginal people in 1973. He also conscientiously pursued the interests of his State in water conservation and other measures to counteract the effects of drought. Fond of good wine and generous with the contents of his cellar, he was undoubtedly influenced by his own involvement in the industry when he objected to the introduction of a duty on wine in 1970, and expressed pleasure when it was removed three years later. His parliamentary service included being deputy chairman of the select committee on air pollution (1968–69), temporary chairman of committees (1969–72), and chairman of the Senate standing committee on social environment (1971–73).
During the turbulent days of the Whitlam Labor government from 1972 to 1975, Laucke was Opposition spokesman first for pensions, repatriation, and Aboriginal affairs; and then for social development, encompassing tourism, recreation, the media, the Australian Broadcasting Commission, and Aboriginal affairs. In 1975 he was one of a small number of Opposition senators who had reservations about the blocking of supply that helped to bring down the government. Following the election of the Liberal Party and National Country Party coalition, he was appointed president of the Senate. He would be one of the last presidents that chose to wear the full regalia of the office. In some quarters he was regarded as a political lightweight, one report claiming that ‘derisive laughter’ broke out when it was announced that he was the Coalition’s candidate (O’Reilly 1976, 9). Despite the misgivings, he was a competent president, being balanced and firm. In 1978 he was appointed KCMG.
Sir Condor retired from the Senate on 30 June 1981. Continuing an active public life, he was president of Toc H Australia (1983–85) and inaugural patron of the Association of Former Members of the Parliament of Australia (from 1991). In 1982 he was appointed lieutenant governor of South Australia, a role he carried out until 1992. Laucke was a kind and gentle man who maintained a strong sense of fair play. His rise to high office reflected the esteem in which he was held by most of his colleagues. Survived by his wife, son, and daughter, he died at Greenock on 30 July 1993 and was cremated after a state funeral at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Adelaide. His role in the State’s wine industry is recognised on a plaque at Tanunda. The annual oration of the services clubs of the Barossa Valley, and the road between Nuriootpa and Greenock were named after him.
Advertiser (Adelaide). ‘State Funeral for Sir Condor Laucke.’ 31 July 1993, 7; Australia. Senate. Parliamentary Debates, no. 159, 1993, 28–38; Fatchen, Max. ‘The Miller of Greenock.’ Advertiser (Adelaide), 18 March 1967, 19; Federal Gallery. ‘Association Patron Mourned.’ no. 15 (September 1993): 1–2; Fielding, Jean P. The Golden Grain: A history of EDWIN DAVEY & SONS Pioneer Flourmillers and Grain Merchants of South Australia at Penrice, Angaston, Eudunda, Salisbury, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney 1865–1895. Melbourne: Hyland House, 1985; Marchant, Sylvia. ‘Laucke, Sir Condor Louis (1914–1993).’ In The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate, Vol. 3, 1962–1983, edited by Ann Millar and Geoffrey Browne, 237–41. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press Ltd, 2010; O’Reilly, David. ‘The Quiet Rise of the Senate’s New President.’ Australian, 18 February 1976, 9; Saegenschnitter, Geoff. Greenock and District 1846–1986: A History of Greenock and the Surrounding Districts of Nain, Daveyston, Moppa, Walton and Seppeltsfield. Greenock: G. Saegenschnitter, 1986.
LAW, FRANCIS MICHAEL (1921–1994), community radio pioneer, was born on 24 May 1921 at Purley, Surrey, England, elder son of Irish-born Alexander Henry Law, electrical engineer, and his English-born wife Isabel Norton, née Marshall. Michael was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire, and then at New College, Oxford, where he read engineering. His studies were interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Appointed as a temporary acting sub-lieutenant on 10 November 1941, he was employed as a radar officer in the cruiser HMS Scylla (1942) and the battleships HMS Nelson (1943–44), HMS Duke of York (1944), and HMS Rodney (1944–45). He was promoted to temporary lieutenant in 1943 and to temporary acting lieutenant commander in 1945. In May that year he was posted back to the Duke of York, which was then at Malta, en route to Australia to join the British Pacific Fleet.
While on shore leave in Sydney, Law met Isabel Sheila Moorhouse Cameron, a New Zealand–born student. They married on 28 November 1945 at St Mark’s Anglican Church, Darling Point. After his demobilisation, the couple lived in England. He continued his course at Oxford, gaining a fourth-class pass in his final exams (1947). In the 1950s the family moved from the village of Sandon in Essex, to London, where Law probably worked in engineering. An avid seaman, he operated a boat charter business in the West Indies during the 1960s. By 1970 his first marriage had ended in divorce and he settled in Australia. On 17 July that year he married Pamela Merle Norine Oettle (née McAuley White), a university tutor, at the registrar general’s office, Sydney. The marriage would not last. He worked as a carpet cleaner and as a journalist for a yachting magazine and the Australian Consumers’ Association publication Choice.
A ‘radar “boffin”’ (Keogh 1994, 15), Law became involved in a movement to introduce FM radio in Australia. This in turn evolved into a call for a public broadcasting sector that was led by four distinct groups: fine-music enthusiasts, universities, ethnic communities, and left-wing political groups. Initially Law was associated most closely with the first of these. He was a founding member of the Music Broadcasting Society (MBS) of New South Wales and helped to establish its Sydney-based fine-music station, radio 2MBS-FM, which first went to air in December 1974. As a lobbyist, he was politically adept, persuasive, and able to communicate with both bureaucrats and radio technicians.
During 1974 Law was elected inaugural president of the Public (later Community) Broadcasting Association of Australia. With a fellow advocate, Max Keogh, he also established the Sydney Broadcasting Study Group to determine the nature of and demand for small stations within the metropolitan area. In 1976 their work culminated in the release of an influential report demonstrating significant support for further development of the sector. An indefatigable leader, he chaired (1977–79) the State branch of the MBS and was appointed (1978) to the paid, part-time role of executive director of the PBAA. Outside radio he found time to attend the theatre, concerts, and opera.
In recognition of his role as a pioneer of public broadcasting, Law was appointed OBE in 1979. He published regularly in trade and academic periodicals throughout the 1970s and 1980s on the benefits of community radio. Having been prominent in many of the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal hearings for new public radio licences, he also helped to establish Liverpool-Green Valley’s 2GLF-FM, in the outer suburbs of Sydney, in 1983. Suffering ill health, he returned to live in England in 1988. There he campaigned for the expansion of community radio in the United Kingdom. Survived by his daughter and two sons, he died on 2 June 1994 at Swanage, Dorset. The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia named the Michael Law award for sustained and outstanding contribution to the sector after him.
Jarvie, Trevor. ‘Michael Law as I Knew Him.’ 2MBS-FM Stereo FM Radio 102.5MHz: Program Guide 20, no. 8 (August 1994): 10–11; Keogh, Max. ‘The Voice of Community Broadcasting.’ Australian, 24 June 1994, 15; Robertson, Rosanne. ‘Public Radio Picks Up Steam.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 20 March 1980, SMH 7-Day Guide 6; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Pioneer Served Community Radio.’ 4 June 1994, 13, ‘Reception in Duke of York.’ 28 November 1956, 6; Thornley, Phoebe Neva. ‘Broadcasting Policy in Australia: Political Influences and the Federal Government’s Role in the Establishment and Development of Public/Community Broadcasting in Australia—A History, 1939 to 1992.’ PhD diss., University of Newcastle, NSW, 1999.
LAYTON, REGINALD JOSEPH (REG) (1920–1993), boxer, boxing trainer and promoter, and motorcar dealer, was born on 28 November 1920 at Kelmscott, Perth, third of four children of Western Australian–born Lawrence Joseph Peter Branson, dairyman, and his English-born wife Eveline Lucy, née Dickins. After his parents separated, Reg took the surname of his stepfather, Henry Layton, a motor mechanic. He attended several schools but during the Depression finished his education at age twelve to work on a farm at Collie. By 1939 he was living at Geraldton and working as a labourer.
Layton became a popular boxing drawcard, having received early training from the American former world junior-lightweight champion Tod Morgan (Albert Pilkington), who admired his courage. The raw-boned, craggy-faced Layton was 5 feet 10 inches (178 cm) tall; his fighting weight of 10 stone 12 pounds (69 kg) would later increase to 12 stone (76 kg). Although knocked out in two rounds by Eric Drage in December 1939, the following year he stopped Ron Saunders in three rounds, outpointed Drage in a rematch, and fought a draw with the former Western Australian welterweight champion Jack Prater. He ended 1940 with a win and loss against Harry Jackson.
On 26 October 1941 Layton was called up for full-time duty as a rough rider with the 3rd Remount Squadron, Citizen Military Forces. In May 1942 he was posted to ‘K’ Field Security Section. He transferred to the Australian Imperial Force on 19 August. A report, following a course at the School of Military Intelligence, described him as industrious, reliable, enthusiastic, friendly, and tactful, but lacking self-assurance. Continuing to box, on 26 October 1942 at Perth’s Hollywood Stadium, he won the Western Australian light-heavyweight title with a fifteen-round decision over Ralph Finkelstein. Gordon McAullay took the title from him in May 1943 and in Melbourne the Filipino Francisco (‘Young Frisco’) Eusebio knocked him out in December. He had defeated Jack Marr in November, however, and he beat Jack ‘Kid’ Dale in March 1944 and Don Luff in May.
From July 1944 Layton served with his unit at Merauke, Netherlands New Guinea (Papua, Indonesia). In Brisbane, after his return to Australia in April 1945, he outpointed Bill Broome on 20 July and a week later knocked out Jack Oliver. He had suffered a bout of malaria before a match on 30 November against Doug Brown, who flattened him in the second round. Discharged from the army as a lance sergeant on 1 February 1946, Layton joined the Queensland Police Force six days later. At Holy Cross Catholic Church, Wooloowin, on 27 June 1946, he married Alma Eileen O’Connor, née Bell, a widow and a stenographer; they later separated. In January 1947 he attempted to swim across a flooded creek near Archerfield to reach a stranded family but was swept some 400 yards (370 m) downstream; the Royal Humane Society of Australasia awarded him its bronze medal.
Posted in 1949 as an instructor with the Queensland Police-Citizens’ Youth Welfare Association, Layton trained boxers at its Lang Park gymnasium. He coached the Australian amateur team for the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff in 1958, guiding Wally Taylor and Tony Madigan to gold medals and Ollie Taylor to silver. On 14 February 1960 he resigned from the police force as a senior constable. In partnership with Wally Taylor, he opened Laylor Motors Pty Ltd at Woolloongabba and would sell Peugeot, Renault, BMW, and Nissan vehicles over the next three decades. The pair also formed Layton-Taylor Promotions and Stadiums Pty Ltd.
For more than forty years, at Lang Park and later a gym next to his car yard, Layton trained some of Australia’s greatest boxers, including the Taylor brothers, Madigan, Hector Thompson, Gary Cowburn, Fred Casey, Noel Kunde, Barry Michael (Swettenham), Brian and Mark Janssen, Steve Aczel, Doug Sam, Emmanuel Otti, Don Green, Arthur Bradley, Jeff Dynevor, Boyd Scully, and Neil Kerle, who fought as ‘Young Layton’. He promoted bouts that drew large crowds to Brisbane’s Festival Hall. In the 1970s he staged major fights at the Milton tennis centre, featuring Thompson, Lionel Rose, Jeffrey White, and Tony Mundine. Layton guided Thompson to the Australian light-welterweight and welterweight titles and the Commonwealth light-welterweight crown, and to two attempts at a world championship.
Although he trained his boxers hard, Layton always put their welfare first. They and others close to him knew a kind and good-natured man. He was noted for his honesty in business affairs. With his second wife, Jacqueline, he moved to Surfers Paradise in 1976, then to Oxenford, and finally in 1989 to Lowood. He died there on 19 April 1993. Following a Baptist funeral, he was cremated. His wife and the three sons of his first marriage survived him.
Courier Mail (Brisbane). ‘Boxing Mourns the Loss of a Legend.’ 21 April 1993, 56; Kieza, Grantlee. Australian Boxing: The Illustrated History. Smithfield, NSW: Gary Allen, 1990; Layton, Jacqueline. Personal communication; Layton, Reginald Jr. Personal communication; National Archives of Australia. B883, WX30993; Queensland Police Museum. Service History Reginald Joseph Layton; Taylor, Wally. Personal communication.
LEAHY, DANIEL JOSEPH (DAN) (1912–1991), explorer, gold miner, and coffee planter, was born on 14 June 1912 at Toowoomba, Queensland, eighth of nine children of Irish-born parents Daniel Thomas Leahy, railway guard, and his wife Ellen, née Stone. Educated at St Mary’s Christian Brothers’ College, Dan struggled at school. He held seasonal farming jobs, before joining his brothers Michael (Mick) [q.v.10], James (Jim), and Patrick (Paddy) in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea in 1931.
Having worked at Lae and Bulolo, Dan accompanied Mick on two exploration expeditions into the Highlands. No gold was found in commercial quantities, but the film footage they shot became the basis of an award-winning documentary, First Contact (1983). The two brothers camped at Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands, where they prospected for alluvial gold at Kuta. Sluice mining started in 1934, and by the end of that year the brothers had built a house. After two missionaries were killed by local people, in October 1935 the Highlands region was proclaimed an Uncontrolled Area, open only to field officers and their patrols. The Leahys were allowed to continue mining, but were not permitted to go more than a few miles from their diggings. The Highlands remained effectively closed until after World War II.
Leahy joined the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles on 5 May 1942 and transferred to the Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit in August as an acting sergeant (acting warrant officer, class two, from 1943). He undertook a number of arduous treks for ANGAU, on one of which he rescued eight missionaries, five of them nuns, hiding from the Japanese in the Sepik district. In December 1943 he was sent to Australia for medical reasons. Suffering poor vision and hearing, he was discharged from the army as medically unfit on 15 April 1944. He travelled to the United States of America for treatment at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and other hospitals, but was told he would never have more than tunnel vision, and his sight would likely deteriorate.
Returning to Mount Hagen in June 1947, Leahy worked the area until the alluvial gold ran out in 1953. Not wanting to leave, he had begun growing coffee at nearby Korgua. He also grew other crops and ran livestock; operated trade stores at Mount Hagen, Kuta, and Togoba; and for a time supplemented his living with the agency for Vacuum Oil Co. at Mount Hagen, and as the recruiting agent for the Highland Labour Scheme. In 1960 he moved to live at Korgua.
Determined to make the Highlands his home, in about 1949 Leahy had married a Jiga Pangaga wife, Koka. After she left him, he married Biam Powa, daughter of Powa, the leader of the Jika Mugmana clan, in a traditional ceremony. Later he also married Mancy Tuplga, of the Jika Komp clan, thus coming—as was customary for a ‘Big Man’—to have several wives. Proud of his family, he sent his ten children to Australian boarding schools, and insisted that they each obtain trade or university qualifications. Visitors saw him as ‘quietly spoken and a ready smiler, an incredibly modest man’ (Hollinshed 2004, 51), but his family saw a strong, imposing man with great fortitude. His parenting style was autocratic, yet the family was close and loving. He also raised Mick’s three sons and Paddy’s daughter, whose mothers were local women; Mick’s children were not acknowledged by their father.
When independence came to Papua New Guinea on 16 September 1975, many white settlers left the Highlands. Dan stayed but did not accept citizenship. As much as he loved the country and its people, he remained an Australian. In 1979 he suffered a stroke, which partly paralysed him. He was appointed OBE for services to the development of the Western Highlands in 1983. Biam died in 1984, leaving Mancy to care for Dan, who was frail and frustrated. Reluctant to talk of his early days in New Guinea because he worried for his children if it were known that he and others had shot and killed warriors in armed clashes, he nevertheless maintained that the violence had been unavoidable. He refused to mourn the loss of the Highlands way of life, believing there was nothing in their lives ‘that was better than what they have now’ (Connolly and Anderson 1987, 285). He died at Korgua on 25 November 1991 and was buried next to Biam.
Ashton, Christopher. ‘The Leahy Family.’ In Papua New Guinea Portraits: The Expatriate Experience, edited by James Griffin, 169–94. Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1978; Connolly, Bob. ‘Daniel Leahy.’ Independent, 1 December 1991, 26; Connolly, Bob, and Robin Anderson. First Contact. New York: Viking Penguin, 1987; Dynasties Special: The Leahy Family. Television broadcast, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 4 October 2007. Transcript. Accessed 28 August 2012. www.abc.net.au/dynasties/leahy_transcript.htm, copy held on ADB file; Fowke, John. Kundi Dan: Dan Leahy’s Life Among the Highlanders of Papua New Guinea. St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1995; Fox, John R., and Daniel Leahy. Interview by W. F. Straatmans, 1973. Pacific Manuscripts Bureau, Australian National University; Hollinshed, Judith. Innocence to Independence: Life in the Papua New Guinea Highlands 1956–1980. Canberra: Pandanus, 2004; Leahy, Dan. Interview by Tim Bowden, 1 May 1980. National Archives of Australia. C100, 80/10/604 M: 30417982, & C100, 80/10/605 M: 30329008; National Archives of Australia. B884, NG2497.
P. A. Selth*
LEDGER, Sir JOSEPH FRANCIS (FRANK) (1899–1993), engineer, industrialist, and philanthropist, was born on 29 October 1899 at East Perth, Western Australia, third of nine children of English-born parents Edson Ledger, iron founder and engineer, and his wife Annie Francis, née Sumner. Frank attended Mount Lawley Primary and Perth Boys’ schools; at fourteen he was apprenticed to his father and uncle Joseph, proprietors of the engineering firm J. and E. Ledger. The partnership had prospered during the Western Australian gold boom of the 1890s, supplying pipes to take water from Perth to Kalgoorlie. He worked a forty-eight hour week for seven shillings and sixpence at the premises in Pier Street, Perth. His apprenticeship included general engineering, blacksmithing, and founding.
On 4 May 1918 Ledger enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. World War I ended while he was training in Victoria as an air mechanic in the Australian Flying Corps and he was discharged from the AIF on 24 December in Perth. While attending night classes at Perth Technical School, he worked in Perth and the country gaining broad experience in different sorts of engineering, including motor vehicles. On 10 March 1923 he married Gladys Muriel Lyons (d. 1981) at Trinity Congregational Church, Perth.
Ledger’s role in the family business grew after Joe died in 1924. Alarmed by the impact of the Depression, he diversified into the manufacture of print machinery, brickmaking, and pottery as well as developing a sales arm, extending the premises, and purchasing more land. In September the firm was incorporated as a company. By the time his father died in 1940, he was running the company and would do so until 1965, when it was sold to an English firm, Mitchell Cotts.
In 1943 Ledger was the instigator and inaugural president of the Institute of Foundrymen, which was formed to raise standards and promote new techniques in metallurgy. He was also involved in the Metropolitan Ironmaster’s Association (president 1938–48), the West Australian Chamber of Manufactures (president 1946–49), the Associated Chamber of Manufactures (vice-president 1949), and the Western Australian Employers Federation (1957–60; president 1958); he was a board member of the State Electricity Commission (1949–54).
Part of a group who encouraged the future premier (Sir) Charles Court to stand for parliament, Ledger strongly supported industrial development to foster economic growth in the State. During the 1963 royal visit he was knighted for his services to industry and in 1964 he led Western Australia’s component of a national trade delegation to Asia. Between 1966 and 1970 he chaired the State government’s Industries Advisory Committee. He also promoted agricultural development, ranging from the Ord River scheme in the far north, to opening up new farming lands near Esperance in the south of the State.
Having played for both the Perth and East Perth football clubs in his youth, Ledger was vice-president of the East Perth Football Club (1936–41). He was a member of the Western Australian Trotting Association, serving as vice-president (1966–69) and president (1969–77), and he was inaugural chairman of the Australian Harness Racing Council (1974–76). Under his leadership the WATA redeveloped its racecourse at Gloucester Park, constructing grandstands along the home straight and making significant improvements to the public amenities.
During his final years Sir Frank became almost penniless amidst controversy over the management of his estate. As his health deteriorated his grandson Kim took over the running of his affairs and bought back the family company, renaming it Ledger Engineering. It later went into receivership and Ledger’s estate was in debt at the time of his death. Survived by his two daughters, he died at Applecross, Perth, on 8 April 1993, and was buried in Karrakatta cemetery; a son had predeceased him. A great-grandson, Heath Ledger (1979–2008), became an internationally famous actor. The Sir Frank Ledger Stand at Gloucester Park, opened in 1976, recognised his contribution to harness racing. The Sir Frank Ledger Charitable Trust, established in 1971, provides financial support to benefit needy young people. A scholarship at the University of Western Australia Business School is named after him.
‘Former WATA President Dies.’ Westrot (Western Australian Trotting Association). May 1963, 16; Ledger, Sir Frank. Interview by Christine Shervington, 1982. State Library of Western Australia; National Archives of Australia. B2455, LEDGER FRANCIS JOSEPH; Personal knowledge of ADB subject; Taylor, Paige. ‘The History of Ledger’s Bottom Line.’ Australian, 15 March 2008, 6; CCI Business Report (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia). ‘Vale Sir Frank Ledger.’ April 1993, 5; Wellington, Angela. ‘Knight Gave His Life to WA.’ West Australian (Perth), 10 April 1993, 61.
LEE, ALBERT (1916–1993), restaurateur and community leader, was born on 10 September 1916 at Shekki (later part of Zhongshan), Guangdong, China, elder child of New South Wales–born Len Boo Lee, businessman and herbalist, and his Chinese-born wife Ruby Poon. Len travelled between Australia and China, where Ruby raised their children. Permitted to enter Australia temporarily as a student, Albert sailed alone to Sydney in 1927, joining his father at Scone and attending the town’s Catholic primary school. In 1931 they moved to Killarney, Queensland, and Albert continued his education at the Christian Brothers’ College, Warwick. He returned to China in 1933. There, an uncle taught him to cook Cantonese food.
In 1936 Lee again secured temporary entry into Australia. His status would later change to permanent resident (1958) and naturalised citizen (1962) as the government relaxed its policy of restricting non-European immigration. He worked as an assistant to Chinese retailers at Goondiwindi, Queensland (1936–39), and Inverell, New South Wales (1941–43), and operated companies in Brisbane importing Chinese herbs and groceries (1939–41 and 1946–50). His father had set up as a herbalist at 536–38 Queen Street. In World War II father and son, with various partners, established the Oriental Café at 202 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley, and the Paradise Café at the Queen Street premises. Albert cooked at the Oriental and from 11 October 1948 was its sole proprietor.
Through hard work, culinary excellence, and business acumen, Lee developed the Oriental into Brisbane’s premier Chinese restaurant. Upstairs became the restaurant, named the Pagoda Room, while downstairs remained a café and milk bar. In 1962 the Oriental was one of the first five restaurants in Brisbane granted licences to sell liquor. On 4 November 1964 at St Barnabas’s Anglican Church, Bondi Junction, Sydney, Lee married Judith Anne Grace (d. 2015), a fashion consultant, whom he had met on her promotional visits to Brisbane. Known to their devoted staff as ‘Father-Lee’ and ‘Mother-Lee’, she managed the restaurant while he supervised the kitchen. Celebrities flocked to the Oriental: on a memorable night in 1965 a flamboyant young Luciano Pavarotti dined there with (Dame) Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge, and entertained customers and staff.
Working quietly and modestly behind the scenes, and shunning public recognition and personal gain, Lee promoted the welfare of Brisbane’s Chinese community. He advised and staked men starting out in business; contributed to the restoration of the Temple of the Holy Triad at Breakfast Creek; and helped found the Chinese Club of Queensland (1953). His integrity and earthy amiability drew people in the wider society to him; the doctor Sir Raphael Cilento [q.v.17] and the prominent businessman William Brett were among his friends.
The Lees became Valley identities, he noted for his sartorial smartness and she for her outgoing personality. After preparing fine Cantonese food for his customers, he liked nothing better for his own dinner than roast lamb or an Australian meat pie. He was a good poker player but warned his children against punting on racehorses. Saddened by the Valley’s decline as a respectable commercial district, and unimpressed by moves in government and business circles to develop a Chinatown there, he sold the restaurant and retired in 1988. He died on 4 October 1993 in Brisbane and was cremated. His wife and their two sons and one daughter survived him.
Biggs, Andrew. ‘Sweet and Sour: Bizarre Times at that Old Pagoda.’ Courier Mail (Brisbane), 26 April 1988, 9; Courier Mail (Brisbane), ‘Pagoda Room Memories Live On: Obituary.’ 6 October 1993, 12; Ip, David. ‘Contesting Chinatown: Place-making and the Emergence of “Ethnoburbia” in Brisbane, Australia.’ GeoJournal 64, no. 1 (2005): 63–74; Lee, Ferris. Personal communication; Lee, Judy. Personal communication; Liu, Peter. ‘A Special Memorial Service for Mr. Albert Lee.’ Eulogy, 8 October 1993. Copy held on ADB file; McKay, Belinda. Personal communication; National Archives of Australia. J25, 1961/5008.
LEES, RONALD BERESFORD (1910–1991), air force officer, was born on 27 April 1910 at Broken Hill, New South Wales, fifth of seven children of Australian-born parents John Thomas Lees, hotelier, and his wife Eliza Jane, née Moyle. Lees was educated in Adelaide at Prince Alfred College and at the Collegiate School of St Peter where he was a prefect and captain of boats. Standing almost 6 feet (183 cm) tall, with piercing blue eyes, he was light on his feet and had a cheerful demeanour.
After taking private flying lessons at Parafield airport, Lees joined the Royal Australian Air Force at Point Cook, Victoria, on 15 January 1930 and graduated as a pilot later that year. He was one of five officers to be offered a short service commission in the Royal Air Force (RAF); it turned into a thirty-five-year career. Lees’s first operational posting was in March 1931 as a pilot officer to No. 29 Squadron based at North Weald, Essex, England. On 24 August 1931 at the parish church, North Weald Bassett, he married his childhood sweetheart Rhoda Lillie Pank.
Lees was a natural pilot and, being rated as exceptional by his seniors, went to Egypt in May 1935 as a flying instructor. By June 1936 he had been offered a permanent RAF commission. Two months after promotion to squadron leader in October 1938, he was placed in command of No. 72 Squadron, which flew the new Spitfire fighter. In 1940 the unit covered the British Expeditionary Force’s evacuation from Dunkirk, France. On 2 June Lees’s flight intercepted a formation of German Stuka dive-bombers and he shot one down.
Although posted in July to a ground job at group headquarters, Lees continued to fly with his old squadron during the Battle of Britain. On 2 September he was shot down early in the fighting and crash-landed. Later that day his aircraft was badly hit and he crashed again, being wounded in the arm and leg. In the following month he was awarded a DFC for ‘his leadership and efficiency in numerous combats’. A Bar to the DFC followed in December 1941. The historian of No. 72 Squadron later recorded: ‘it was difficult to envisage the squadron under any other’s command … there could be no replacement’ (Elliott, 36).
From January 1941 Lees commanded RAF Coltishall and from September held the rank of acting group captain. In September 1942 he was posted as commander of No. 324 Wing in Tunisia for the Allied invasion of French North-West Africa. He continued to fly and on 25 November shot down an Italian bomber. He spent the next three years in the Mediterranean theatre and oversaw RAF participation in Operation Avalanche, the Allied invasion of Italy. During this period, he was also A.D.C. to King George VI.
Appointed CBE in May 1943 and CB in January 1946, Lees was mentioned in despatches three times. On 1 January 1946, he was appointed officer commanding RAF Bassingbourn, during which time he personally flew the Duke of Gloucester, Prime Minister Attlee, and other VIPs to postwar talks. He was promoted to substantive group captain in 1947 and air commodore in 1953. In 1949 he had been re-appointed A.D.C. to King George VI, and, until 1955, was A.D.C. to Queen Elizabeth II.
Lees’s postwar career was with RAF Fighter Command, first as a sector controller and culminating as air officer commanding the Second Tactical Air Force in RAF Germany. In July 1960 he was promoted to air marshal and became the deputy chief of air staff. Appointed KCB in 1961 and commander-in-chief, RAF Germany on 25 June 1963, he retired on 3 February 1966. Notwithstanding his rank, Lees treated everybody with respect and was at ease with anyone, whether they were labourers or royalty.
Returning to Australia, he became a grazier near Albury, New South Wales, before settling in Adelaide in 1981. Survived by his wife, son, and daughter, he died on 18 May 1991 at Monreith Private Hospital, Toorak Gardens, and was cremated at Centennial Park Crematorium, Adelaide.
Barrass, Malcolm B. ‘Air of Authority: A History of RAF Organisation.’ 2013. www.rafweb.org/Biographies/LeesRB.htm. Copy held on ADB file; Elliott, Deacon. ‘72 Squadron World War II, Dec 1939–1940.’ Unpublished manuscript, RAF Museum, Hendon, England; Lees, Ronald. Interview by the author, 8 August 2013; London Gazette. No. 34976, 22 October 1940, 6136, No. 35393, 26 December 1941, 7299, No. 36033, 28 May 1943, 2430, No. 37407, 1 January 1946, 6, No. 42370, 10 June 1961, 4145; Shores, Christopher. Those Other Eagles. London: Grub Street, 2004.
LEHANY, FREDERICK JOHN (FRED) (1915–1994), physicist, was born at Wyndham, New Zealand, on 10 April 1915, son of Frederick James Lehany, farmer, and his wife Olive May, née Oates. After secondary schooling at Southland Boys’ High School, Invercargill, where he was dux (1932) and an excellent boxer, Fred enrolled at the University of Otago (BSc, 1935; MSc 1936) completing his tertiary education with a diploma of honours (effectively a second master’s degree) in physics in 1937, and obtaining first-class honours in both master’s-level courses. His thesis was on a topic related to radio.
Employed as a teacher at Nelson College in 1938, Lehany resigned mid-year when appointed tutor in physics at Canterbury University College, Christchurch. The head of department, Professor F. W. G. White [q.v.], was an authority on the physics of radio and it was no doubt with his support that in 1939 Lehany joined the research laboratories of Amalgamated Wireless Australasia Ltd (AWA), Sydney. He became an expert on radio frequency and microwave technology. On 22 August 1942 at Burwood Methodist Church, Sydney, he married Kathleen Corderoy, a school teacher.
Throughout World War II Lehany remained with AWA, working on the development and manufacture of various electronic and optical products for military use. In 1944 he became supervising engineer in charge of the section that supplied a general electrical measurement service within the company, while also pursuing related development projects. Appointed a senior research officer in the radiophysics division of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR; from 1949 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) in September 1945, he later took charge of a section jointly staffed by the divisions of radiophysics and electrotechnology—which shared laboratory space at the University of Sydney—to develop microwave standards of measurement.
In 1948 Lehany transferred to the CSIR division of electrotechnology, acting as chief when the incumbent, D. M. Myers, went overseas for several months. With Myers’s resignation the following year, Lehany replaced him. When the divisions of electrotechnology and metrology merged in 1962 to form the division of applied physics, he was appointed chief. In 1974 the National Measurement Laboratory was created by uniting the divisions of physics and applied physics, and he became director. Awarded an honorary doctorate of science in 1976 by the University of Sydney, he was appointed AO two years later.
Lehany published a number of papers during his early years in Australia, most of them in the well-regarded journal, the AWA Technical Review. His major contributions to science and to the nation, however, came from his work as a scientific administrator. Within the division of electrotechnology and its successors, he established an environment that fostered innovative research and led to several new fundamental, internationally recognised electrical standards. Beyond the division, he played an important role in the development and implementation in Australia of a national system of standards of measurement. He was a founding member (1950) of the National Standards Commission, set up under the National Weights and Measures Act (1948), through which the Commonwealth government for the first time exercised its constitutional power in this area. He served on the commission until his retirement from the CSIRO in 1979.
Following the creation of the National Association of Testing Authorities in 1947, Lehany became heavily involved in its advisory committee for electricity. He was president of the Australian Institute of Physics (1965–67), and chairman of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science (1975). Active internationally, his negotiating skills and deep scientific knowledge were highly valued, and he helped to achieve international consensus on various fundamental issues in electrical measurement. In 1963 he had become the second person from Australia to be elected to the eighteen-member International Committee on Weights and Measures, serving as president (1968–80) of its consultative committee on electricity.
Lehany was short of stature, firm of eye, square-jawed, and solidly built. He would have been a formidable opponent in the boxing ring but in his later years was a recreational bowls player. A modest man, straightforward in his dealings with others but firm when he deemed it necessary, he was both trusted and respected by those with whom he dealt. In his later years he suffered increasingly from heart problems. On 6 August 1994 he died of cancer at his home in Hunters Hill, Sydney, and was cremated. His wife, and their three sons and one daughter survived him.
Blevin, Bill. ‘Obituary: Frederick John Lehany, 1915–1994.’ Australian & New Zealand Physicist 32, no. 4 (April 1995): 63–64; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. Historical Directory of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, 1926 to 1976. Canberra: CSIRO, 1978; Personal communication with ADB subject; Todd, Jan. For Good Measure: The Making of Australia’s Measurement System. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2004.
R. W. Home
LEMPRIERE, HELEN DORA (1907–1991), painter, sculptor, lithographer, and printmaker, was born on 12 December 1907 at Malvern, Melbourne, only child of Melbourne-born parents Charles Algernon Lempriere, merchant, and his wife, Dora Elizabeth Octavia, née Mitchell. Helen’s great-grandfather was Thomas James Lempriere [q.v.2], a colonial painter, and her aunt was the soprano Dame Nellie Melba [q.v.10] (Helen Porter Mitchell). Her parents lived at Toorak until 1920, when her father took up grazing at Yea. As a child she loved to draw animals on the farm, recalling: ‘I have always drawn … I can never remember a time when I did not paint’ (Martyn 1969, 7). She graduated from Toorak Ladies’ College in 1925, her education interrupted by several visits to Europe with her parents. By this time she was well known in Melbourne society and beyond as ‘a keen student of languages and art’ (Daily News 1926, 9).
Lempriere initially studied under A. D. Colquhoun [q.v.17], who painted her portrait in 1929; in 1930 she moved to Justus Jorgensen’s [q.v.14] studio. A mutual acquaintance, the writer Betty Roland, thought that, although ‘very talented’, Lempriere had been ‘restless and unhappy’. ‘Two years with [Jorgensen] … brought a striking change; she looked relaxed and happy [and] laughed easily’ (Roland 1984, 145–46). In 1935 Lempriere became closely involved in building Montsalvat, Jorgensen’s artists’ colony at Eltham, moving there in 1938 after inheriting £3,200 on her father’s death. Investing her money, time, and talent, she undertook a range of building, cleaning, and gardening activities, as well as sculpting and painting. ‘Cheerful, energetic, [and] gifted’, she was described by Roland as a ‘delightful person’, whose ‘rollicking good-humour’ often verged ‘on the bawdy’ (1984, 170).
On 15 June 1945 at the office of the government statist, Melbourne, she married Keith Augustine Wood, a returned serviceman. Cutting her ties with Jorgensen and his followers, the couple moved to Sydney, where Wood worked as a radio producer. They moved to Paris in 1950. When in Sydney, Lempriere had felt ‘stuck’ with her art (Watson 1994, 22); however, in Paris she ‘found a world of wonderful ideas and techniques’ (Australia and New Zealand Weekly 1961, 4). She studied under Fernand Léger, who taught her drawing, line, and composition, and Fred Klein, who tutored her in the use of colour. Believing that great artists drew inspiration from their own countries, she studied Australian Aboriginal myths and legends and developed a paper surface she called paper bark on which to create Aboriginal-inspired works.
Between 1953 and 1965, Lempriere appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Paris, Milan, London, Utrecht, New York, The Hague, and Amsterdam. When her mother died in 1958, leaving her an inheritance of more than £41,000, the couple moved to London; they returned to Sydney in 1965. Exhibitions of her work based on Aboriginal themes were held in Sydney (1966) and Hobart (1967). In the late 1960s the couple formed a company, Lemwood Productions Pty Ltd, to make documentary and educational films. Lempriere exhibited art inspired by visits to Angkor Wat, Cambodia (1969), and to the Great Barrier Reef (1976).
Initially a tonalist painter in the style of Max Meldrum [q.v.10], she later thought of herself as an expressionist: ‘I draw my inspiration from reality and then I use it as a means to an end … the way in which I see the thing myself’ (Lempriere 1965). According to the French critic René Barotte, Lempriere ‘gathered a rich cultural harvest’ from the study of anthropological texts, ‘which she … further embellished by her own imagination’ (1960, n.p.). He considered Odilon Redon to be her ‘spiritual father’ (1960, n.p.), but the Australian art historian Joan Kerr thought that her paintings more closely resembled ‘the surreal frottages of Max Ernst—with similar echoes of fin de siècle symbolism’ (1993, 7). Kerr believed that Lempriere had ‘achieved her aim of combining the international and national in a personal, original vision’ (1993, 8) and regretted that the artist was not better appreciated in Australia.
Survived by her husband, Lempriere died on 25 November 1991 at Mona Vale and was buried in Mona Vale cemetery. Retrospective exhibitions of her work were held in Sydney in 1993 and 1994. After Wood’s death in 1995, a travelling art scholarship and national sculpture award were established in Lempriere’s name; later the Helen Lempriere scholarships became part of the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at Waverley, New South Wales. Her work is represented in galleries in Australia, the United States of America, and Israel, and in private collections. Portraits, including a self-portrait from 1945, are held by the Grainger Museum, University of Melbourne.
Australia and New Zealand Weekly. ‘People & Places.’ 23 December 1961, 4; Barotte, René. Preface to Lempriere, by Helen Lempriere. Paris: Galerie Furstenburg Paris, 1960; Daily News (Perth). ‘Mainly about People.’ 3 June 1926, 9; Germaine, Max. A Dictionary of Women Artists of Australia. Roseville East, NSW: Craftsman House, 1991; Kerr, Joan. Helen Lempriere 1907–1991: Retrospective Exhibition Part I: Paintings from 1930s–50s. Woolloomooloo, NSW: Woolloomooloo Gallery, 1993; Kerr, Joan, ed. Heritage: The National Women’s Art Book. Roseville East, NSW: Craftsman House, 1995; Lempriere, Helen. Interview by Hazel de Berg, 31 August 1965. Hazel de Berg collection. National Library of Australia; Martyn, Barbara. ‘Artist Was Inspired by an Ancient Temple.’ Australian Women’s Weekly, 16 July 1969, 7; Roland, Betty. The Eye of the Beholder. Sydney, NSW: Hale & Iremonger, 1984; State Library of New South Wales. MLMSS 7849, Helen Lempriere and Keith Wood Papers, 1822, 1894–1995; Watson, Bronwyn. ‘Face from the Lost Generation.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 15 October 1993, 22.
LEONARD, JACK GRAHAM (1929–1995), air force chaplain, was born on 27 May 1929 at Bexley, Sydney, son of New South Wales–born parents, Jack Hardy, commercial traveller, and his wife Sylvia Monica, née Deane. Young Jack attended Bexley Public School. In 1939 his parents divorced and the next year his mother married Cuthbert Charles Leonard, a postal officer. They moved to Brisbane where Jack and his sister went to Windsor State School, and in 1943 to Newcastle, New South Wales. He left school and became an assistant to a professional photographer. Recognising a call to the church, at seventeen he joined the Wesley Central Mission, Sydney, from which he matriculated.
Two years later Leonard entered Leigh College, Enfield, a Methodist theological training centre, and subsequently went as a probationary minister to Tamworth. Experiencing doubts about a career in the church, he resigned and took a job as a local salesman for Commonwealth Oil Refineries Ltd; at the same time he became a breakfast announcer on radio station 2TM, and also sold radio advertising. On 27 September 1952 at the Crown Street Methodist Church, Wollongong, he married Patricia Joan Robens, a receptionist. She was the daughter of Rev. Alfred A. T. Robens, Methodist minister at Tamworth.
After four years Leonard decided to return to the ministry. He was sent to North Sydney to complete his training and was ordained there in 1959 by his father-in-law, then president of the Methodist Conference. Earlier he had taken up ventriloquism as a hobby, and at North Sydney had begun using a ventriloquist puppet named ‘David’ in services for children. During his first ministry in the Canberra–Queanbeyan area from 1960, he used a puppet called ‘Cedric’ in a television show, Children’s Television Corner; both puppets became household names. His sermons were enlivened with humour and a sense of the ridiculous.
Late in 1965, after two years working as a part-time chaplain at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base, Fairbairn, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Leonard was appointed to full-time duty. Over the next seventeen years he provided pastoral care to RAAF personnel on bases at Fairbairn; Williamtown and Richmond, New South Wales; Pearce, Western Australia; and Butterworth, Malaysia.
When the Uniting Church was formed in 1977, Leonard disagreed with the decision of the Methodist and Presbyterian churches to amalgamate. Believing that the Church of England was his true home, he became an Anglican minister; in this capacity he completed his last decade with the RAAF. Promoted to the rank equivalent to wing commander in the following year, he was appointed AM in June 1979. In January 1983 he became secretary of the RAAF’s principal chaplains committee and a year later accepted the post of Anglican principal air chaplain, with rank equivalent to air commodore. He was proud of his association with the RAAF, and demonstrated his attachment by his attention to appearance and bearing, and an insistence that chaplains under him match those standards. Following the death of his wife in 1984, on 16 February 1985 at St John the Baptist Anglican Church, Reid, ACT, he married Noelle Veronica Buckley, a senior RAAF nurse.
In mid-1988 Leonard retired from full-time RAAF duty and took up residence on a rural block of 16 hectares at Jeir, outside Canberra, where he grazed a small herd of Murray Grey cattle. He continued to minister to the ACT community, from 1990 serving as senior assistant priest and administrator of St John’s parish. ‘Charming and hospitable’ (Coulthard-Clark 1995, 15), he had a ‘rich, resonant voice’ that ‘was every inch a personal hallmark, as was his huge love of life’ (Canberra Times 1995, 19). On the night of 5 October 1995, he was driving to a parish meeting when he was killed in a car accident on the Barton Highway at Hall, ACT. Survived by his wife, and the one son and two daughters from his first marriage, he was buried with full air force honours in St John’s cemetery. His funeral service at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, was attended by 1,000 mourners including the administrator of the Commonwealth, in the governor-general’s absence abroad. Throughout his clerical career, both as chaplain and priest, he was held in the highest esteem for his dedication, commitment and ability.
Canberra Times. ‘Chaplain Had Zest for Life.’ 11 October 1995, 19; Coulthard-Clark, Chris. ‘RAAF Chaplain Piloted Changes.’ Australian, 24 October 1995, 15; Davidson, Peter A. Sky Pilot: A History of Chaplaincy in the RAAF, 1926 to 1990. Canberra: Principal Air Chaplains Committee, 1990; Leonard, Andrew. Personal communication; Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Sermon by Ventriloquism.’ 10 August 1959, 3.
LETHAM, ISABEL RAMSAY (1899–1995), surfer and swimming teacher, was born on 23 May 1899 at Chatswood, Sydney, only child of Scottish-born parents William Letham, builder, and his wife Jane, née Loudan. Isabel was raised in the beachside suburb of Freshwater, and attended Belgrave Grammar School at nearby Manly. Later she boarded at Apsley School for Girls at Stanmore. Her leisure hours were spent at the beach, where she developed a passion for body surfing, then known as surf shooting.
Letham achieved local fame in 1915, when she participated in an early surfboard-riding demonstration with the visiting Hawaiian champion swimmer Duke Kahanamoku. She also attracted attention as one of the few women to participate in the sport of aquaplaning in what were feared to be the shark-infested waters of Sydney Harbour. Emboldened by this local celebrity and attracted by the prospects of an acting career, she set her sights on Hollywood. Leaving school aged fifteen, she found employment as a sports mistress at the elite girls’ school Kambala, Rose Bay, and also worked as a private swimming instructor. By August 1918, the ‘Freshwater mermaid’ (Sunday Times 1918, 13) had saved enough for a trans-Pacific fare, and set sail aboard the Niagara for the United States of America.
While having no luck in Hollywood, Letham nevertheless revelled in the freedom of life abroad. She returned to Sydney in 1921 to nurse her ailing father, but was lured back to California soon after his death in 1923. Settling in San Francisco, she soon became a well-known swimming instructor. At first, she worked at the University of California, Berkeley, where she developed expertise in modern approaches to swimming pedagogy, which stressed the technical mastery of each stroke. Later she taught children at San Francisco’s public baths, and in 1926 was appointed swimming instructor at the luxurious City Women’s Club. Having decided that ‘opportunities in the States were high for women’ (Letham 1980, Section 1929), she adopted United States citizenship in 1925.
In 1929 Letham fell down a manhole and suffered a serious back injury that required months of rehabilitation. Unable to work, she retreated to her family home in Sydney. Soon after, Wall Street crashed and her mother became seriously ill. Faced with financial strain and committed to looking after her mother, she felt she had little choice but to remain in Australia—a twist of fate she would long regret. She had much enjoyed the opportunities that her roles in swimming instruction in the United States had offered, and had drawn deep satisfaction from working with people with disabilities. As she no longer resided in the United States, her American citizenship was revoked in 1944.
Derisive of what she considered primitive swimming education in Sydney, Letham began teaching at pools throughout the northern suburbs. She was an early proponent of synchronised swimming, to which she had been introduced at Berkeley, and in the 1950s organised a ‘water ballet’ at the Freshwater Ladies’ Swimming Club. Later in life, Letham emerged as an enthusiastic champion of female incursion into the masculinist culture of Australian surfing. She proclaimed in 1963: ‘There’s no reason why girls should not be as good on surfboards as the boys. I’m all for them’ (Myatt 1963). She inherited feminist principles from her mother—a campaigner for women’s rights—and was fiercely independent from a young age. In 1978 she became a life member and patron of the Australian Women Board Riders Association, and in 1993 was inducted into the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.
Athletic and tanned, with a vivacious personality and streamlined physique, the dark-haired Letham cut a striking figure. At the peak of her celebrity, she had been hailed as ‘a young Diana of the waves’ (Moriarty 1919). Although romantically linked to several men, she never married. She lived with her mother until the latter died in 1954, and remained at the Freshwater family home. Continuing to surf into her seventies, she died on 11 March 1995 at Rayward Lodge nursing home, Harbord; her ashes were scattered off Manly and Freshwater beaches.
Dee Why Library. Northern Beaches Council, Warringah Local Studies Collection. Isabel Letham Papers; Henningham, Nikki. ‘Letham, Isabel.’ Australian Women’s Register. Last modified 16 September 2013. Accessed 28 September 2017. www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE2231b.htm. Copy held on ADB file; Jarrett, Phil. That Summer at Boomerang. Melbourne: Hardie Grant Books, 2014; Moriarty, Ed. ‘Diana of the Waves: She Gained Fame as Surf Queen in Home of Great Swimmers.’ Los Angeles Record, 14 October 1919; Myatt, Bill. ‘Miss Surfboard Girl of 1915.’ Unpublished typescript, 1963. Isabel Letham Papers. Northern Beaches Council, Warringah Local Studies Collection. Dee Why Library; Sun (Sydney). ‘Scientific Training U. S. Swimmers: Miss Letham Back.’ 23 November 1926, 11; Sunday Times (Sydney). ‘A Sydney Sea-Gull: Athletic Girl Who Rides the Waves at 15 Miles an Hour.’ 18 August 1918, 13, ‘We Have the World’s Best Natural Born Swimmers, Says ’Frisco Expert.’ 23 May 1926, 7; Telegraph (Brisbane). ‘Young America: Playgrounds and Swimming.’ 13 December 1926, 5.
LEWIS, BRIAN BANNATYNE (1906–1991), professor of architecture, was born on 20 September 1906 at Lottah, Tasmania, ninth child and eighth son of James Bannatyne Lewis, civil engineer, and his wife Edith Augusta, née Haynes, both Victorian-born. James was manager at the Anchor tin mine. In 1909 Edith and the children moved to Victoria; James followed after production at the mine declined. The family settled in Kooyong Road, Armadale, in reduced but still comfortable circumstances. Brian attended the local State school and then Wesley College (1916–24) where two of his brothers had been dux. He was an adequate but undistinguished scholar, unimpressed with his alma mater. His early years, and perhaps his entire life, were overshadowed by World War I. Four of his brothers served on the Western Front; three returned.
At seventeen Lewis enrolled in architecture at the University of Melbourne (DipArch, 1928; BArch, 1944). Demonstrating talent in his chosen profession, he financed his studies with a series of scholarships. After working briefly in British Malaya, he travelled to London late in 1928. The design component of his university course had been spent at the Architectural Atelier. Under the direction of Leighton Irwin [q.v.9], the atelier had paid little heed to the new architecture that students were seeing in books, magazines, and newsreels. Lewis, aware of overseas trends and the shortcomings of his training, continued his education at the University of Liverpool. He again excelled, winning a Honan scholarship (1929) that paid for a trip to Scandinavia, and Victory scholarships (1930 and 1931) that enabled him to visit Spain and Germany. Although he did not graduate, he was later awarded a master’s degree in 1944.
On 2 August 1932 at St Oswald’s Church of England, Grasmere, Lewis married Hilary Archer, who had been a fellow architectural student at Liverpool. Moving to London, he gained employment with the Great Western Railway Company (GWRC) and lectured part time at a local polytechnic, while his wife worked in a large commercial office. At home they conducted a ‘moonlight’ practice, handling mainly residential commissions. For GWRC he designed hotels and stations, including Perivale and West Acton underground stations. During those years examples of his superb measured drawings of historic buildings and of their own projects were exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force on 4 July 1940 in London, Lewis was allocated the official number UKX8, a source of pride thereafter, and made acting staff sergeant. From March 1941 he performed administrative and engineering duties in the Middle East. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in February 1942 and posted to the 2/2nd Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers, with which he sailed to Australia, arriving in March. In October he was released to return to Britain as chief architect with GWRC and on 19 January 1943 was transferred to the Reserve of Officers. Later he worked for the British Ministry of War Transport on duties connected with the invasion of Europe.
In 1946 the David Syme [q.v.6] Trust endowed the Age chair of architecture at the University of Melbourne. Lewis was appointed to the position and arrived with his family in Victoria early in 1947. By the end of that year he was also consulting architect for the fledgling Australian National University in Canberra. Despite falling out with senior academics over his vision for the campus, he produced an imaginative site plan inspired by Walter Burley Griffin’s [q.v.9] vision for the city (but later discarded for discrete precincts), and designed University House for which he would be awarded (1954) the Sulman [q.v.12] medal. At his own university, in 1948 Lewis arranged for a dozen army huts to be assembled on the south lawn of the campus to form the ‘new’ school of architecture. From this base he established a progressive five-year, full-time degree—one of only three international courses recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Another of his innovations was to recruit leading Modernist practitioners as instructors. These included Roy Grounds [q.v.17], Robin Boyd [q.v.13], Frederick Romberg [q.v.], Fritz Janeba, and Zdenko Strizic. In 1954, while on sabbatical in Britain, Lewis completed a thesis at the University of London (PhD, 1954) on the architectural aspects of railway planning in England.
A solidly built man of medium height, Lewis rarely smiled but regularly delivered—often at inappropriate times—humorous quips and irreverent comments. Over the years his ‘frequent disregard for red tape’ (Lewis 1991, 4) resulted in several confrontations with the university’s management, which he appeared to relish. He drew on his early experience in Malaya to embrace the Colombo Plan, helping to make his school a popular choice for students from South-East Asia. An advocate of planned development, he had introduced degree courses in town and regional planning by the early 1960s. He also established a fund to construct a new multi-storey building to house the school. The project caused friction because of the connections and cooperation he was able to call on in the building industry to augment university funding. Opened in 1968, the building provided teaching spaces with natural light and ventilation, wide corridors, and generous studios.
In his off-campus life Lewis had been president of the influential Town and Country Planning Association (1948–53), the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects (1950–52), and the Victorian chapter of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (1959–61). Although he had a poor opinion of Melbourne’s Victorian architectural heritage, he had been a founding member of the Victorian branch of the National Trust of Australia, serving as its chairman (1958–61) and later president (1962–65). His architectural work encompassed domestic buildings; Her Majesty’s Prison, Risdon; and an office building for Oxford University Press, South Melbourne. After retiring in 1971 he painted watercolours and wrote two well-received memoirs, Sunday at Kooyong Road (1976) and Our War (1980). Survived by his wife, their four sons and a daughter, he died on 23 August 1991 at Parkville and was cremated. A crescent at The Australian National University and the atrium at the University of Melbourne’s school of design were named after him.
Age (Melbourne). ‘“The Age” Chair of Architecture, Brilliant Australian Appointed.’ 3 September 1946, 3; Foster, S. G., and Margaret M. Varghese. The Making of the Australian National University, 1946–1996. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1996; Lewis, Miles. ‘Obituary: Brian Bannatyne Lewis.’ Architect, October 1991, 3–4; Lewis, Miles. Personal communication; National Archives of Australia. B883, UKX8; O’Neill, Hugh. Personal communication; Personal knowledge of ADB subject; State Library of Victoria. MS 9244, Brian Bannatyne Lewis, Papers, 1941–1970.
LINDGREN, HARRY (1912–1992), mathematician, linguist, and public servant, was born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, on 25 June 1912, son of Harry Lindgren, barman, and his wife Ellen, née Hall. His family migrated to Perth in 1923 but Harry junior, who had been awarded a scholarship to attend the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle, remained with his grandparents to complete his education. He was academically talented and after leaving school took up an apprenticeship in electrical engineering drafting. On completing it, however, he was unable to find employment and in 1935 joined his family in Perth. There he enrolled at the University of Western Australia (BSc, 1939; DipEd, 1941), supporting himself by teaching English to immigrants (1939–46). On 30 May 1941 in Perth he married Eve Spokone in a civil ceremony; they had met at university. From 13 April 1942 to 10 December 1943 he served full time in the Citizen Military Forces, employed in Australia mainly as a draftsman in ordnance workshops.
In 1946 Lindgren and his wife moved to Canberra where he became a patent examiner at the Australian Patent Office. He remained in that job until his retirement in 1972. His main contributions to scholarship and public life arose from two passions: mathematics and spelling reform. His first published book, Geometric Dissections (1964), was favourably reviewed, and revised and republished as Recreational Problems in Geometric Dissections and How to Solve Them (New York, 1972). A member of the Australian Society of Authors, he also published many articles in mathematical journals and was a member of the Australian Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association (Britain), the Indian Mathematical Society, and Svenska Matematiksamfundet (Sweden).
Lindgren’s interest in spelling reform flowed from his background in mathematics although he was probably aware, too, of the earlier Simplified Spelling Society, established in Britain in 1908. As he argued in his 1969 book, Spelling Reform: A New Approach, the language of mathematics had improved, thereby helping society to progress, so ‘word-language’ could be similarly enhanced. He thought that rationalised spelling would assist communication between people and make it easier for those with learning difficulties to read and write.
In June 1971 Lindgren launched a newsletter that from its September edition was titled Spelling Action. The same year, he established the Spelling Action Society (SAS) that included physicist Sir Mark Oliphant and Federal Labor politician, Doug Everingham. The SAS advocated implementation of what Lindgren called Spelling Reform Step 1 (SR1). He believed it was best to start with one small modification; when that was achieved, the next reforms (SR2, SR3, and so forth) could be introduced gradually. SR1 consisted of ‘an inconspicuous change: the clear short vowel as in bet to be written e. For example, death becomes deth, friend–frend’ (Lindgren 1993, 23). The fundamental approach was to adopt a system based on phonetics.
Lindgren and the SAS called for the introduction of SR1 by adopting it in print and teaching it in schools. Hence the media and the education system became targets in a campaign that was at its most intense throughout the 1970s. Some interest in the proposal came from teachers and others in the education field, including the Australian Teachers’ Federation. It appealed especially to those in the sector concerned with illiteracy, because it seemed a simple solution to a complex problem. Despite many years of campaigning, however, there was little to show for his attempts to reform spelling. At about the time of his death, the SAS began to wither away.
Tall and slim, Lindgren was thoughtful and unconventional. A humanist with a dry sense of humour, he was a generous benefactor to local, national, and international charities. Having learned to play the violin at university, he became a member of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra during its early years. Survived by his wife, a remedial reading teacher, and daughter, he died on 1 July 1992 in Jindalee Nursing Home, Canberra, and was cremated.
Canberra Times. ‘We Tu ’Betr Spelin.’ 28 August 1969, 3; Lindgren, Harry. ‘The Clerisy.’ Woroni (Canberra), 9 September 1981, 18; Lindgren, Harry. Spelling Reform: A New Approach. Sydney: Alpha Books, 1969; Lindgren, Judy. ‘Meny Years Trying to Reform Spelling.’ Canberra Times, 8 July 1993, 23; Lindgren, Judy. Personal communication.
LINDSAY, MICHAEL FRANCIS (1909–1994), professor of international relations, was born on 24 February 1909 in London, eldest child of Scottish-born Alexander Dunlop (Baron) Lindsay, tutor and later master of Balliol College, Oxford, and his English-born wife Erica Violet, née Storr. His father was a noted scholar and academic innovator, ennobled under Clement (Earl) Attlee’s Labour government. Michael was educated at Gresham’s School, Holt, Norfolk, and at Balliol College (BA, 1931). He studied science and won a Domus scholarship before transferring to philosophy, politics, and economics. After further studies at Trinity College, Cambridge, he was assistant director of the second industrial survey of South Wales (1936–37).
From 1938 Lindsay taught economics at Yenching (Yanjing) University in Peking (Beijing), where his ‘Notes on Monetary Theory’ (1940) constituted one of the first appearances of Keynesian ideas in China. On 25 June 1941 at the British Consulate, Peking, Lindsay married Li Hsiao Li (Li Xiaoli), his former student. Photographs show him as thin, balding, and bespectacled; she recalled his lovely eyes and elegant nose (Lindsay 2007, 71–72). The couple helped members of the communist-led underground in their resistance to the Japanese occupiers of North China. They smuggled medical supplies, and Michael employed his expertise in radio engineering to assist with the operation and maintenance of equipment. On the day of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and entry into World War II, he and Hsiao Li escaped ahead of the Japanese Kempeitai (military police) who had been sent to arrest them. For over two years they travelled with the communist Eighth Route Army in the mountains of Hopeh (Hebei) and Shansi (Shanxi). In May 1944 they moved to the headquarters of Mao Tse-tung (Mao Zedong) at Yenan (Yan’an). While in North China their elder daughter and son were born.
The Lindsay family left China in November 1945. Chou En-lai (Zhou Enlai) gave them funds for their travel, and Mao hosted a farewell dinner. Informed by their long association with communists, Michael wrote a critique of the bureaucracy and ideological rigidity of the Yenan regime that he distributed to friends prior to his departure. Returning to England, he published newspaper and other articles on the political situation in China. He was a visiting lecturer (1946–47) at Harvard University, United States of America, before being appointed lecturer in economics at University College, Hull, in 1948.
On 23 January 1951 Lindsay accepted a position as senior research fellow in the department of international relations, Research School of Pacific Studies, at The Australian National University (ANU). His candidacy had been strongly supported by Professor (Sir) Walter Crocker, his contemporary at Balliol and the head of the department. In facilitating their arrival, the vice-chancellor, Sir Douglas Copland [q.v.13], sought and received confirmation from immigration authorities that Lindsay’s wife and children would be admitted to Australia despite the White Australia policy. He also felt it necessary to inform them that Lindsay was not a communist. On the death of his father in March 1952, Michael succeeded to the title of Baron Lindsay of Birker, of Low Ground in the County of Cumberland.
Lord Lindsay’s record of publishing, broadcasting, public speaking, and contributing to national debate was exceptionally energetic. He delivered the 1953 George E. Morrison [q.v.10] lecture at the ANU, and the 1955 Roy Milne memorial lecture for the Australian Institute of International Affairs. In 1953 he was appointed to the tenured position of senior fellow. During August the following year the Lindsays were translators for the visit of Clement (Earl) Attlee, the former British prime minister, and his party to China. Lindsay’s major work, China and the Cold War: A Study in International Politics, was published in 1955. In January 1957 he and his wife became Australian citizens.
In his research work, Lindsay was critical of the (then influential) ‘realism’ of E. H. Carr and Hans J. Morgenthau, finding their reliance on a single factor—the struggle for power—as little different from the Marxist insistence upon the ubiquity of class struggle. During the 1950s, as the tussle between the Eastern and Western blocs intensified, he developed the view that policy makers were in thrall to ideological rather than scientific understandings. In the context of the nuclear arms race, the scope for miscalculation was considerable and could prove catastrophic. His work on peaceful coexistence was a plea to improve communication between the blocs, so as to transcend ideological biases. In the case of China, a necessary step was the establishment of formal diplomatic relations with Beijing.
Following Crocker’s departure in 1952, Lindsay was acting head of the department until late 1957. As he did not occupy a senior position, he was excluded from meetings of the Board of Graduate Studies, hindering his ability to defend and develop the department and its work. His argument that international relations needed to build a distinct research program within the school was effectively ignored. In 1955 he unsuccessfully applied for the chair of international relations; the position was offered to Martin Wight, reader at the London School of Economics and Political Science, in late 1956. Encouraged by Sir Keith Hancock [q.v.17], director of the Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS), Lindsay wrote to Wight outlining his view of their discipline and the emphasis he thought best for it in Australia, given the country’s geopolitical circumstances. Though he was held to have ‘scared’ Wight away (Foster and Varghese 1996, 109), their correspondence largely related to methodological issues. In his view of the discipline Wight was more focused on matters of theory; Lindsay, though philosophically sophisticated, favoured applied studies useful for the practice of foreign policy.
While on study leave in Taiwan and the United States in 1958, Lindsay learned the unwelcome news that his department had been moved into the RSSS under the authority of the head of political science. Although promoted to reader in May 1959, he remained frustrated by the lack of local recognition of his administrative effort and academic standing. Soon after, he accepted an appointment as professor of far eastern studies in the School of International Service, American University, Washington, DC. As a parting shot he published articles critical of ANU management, and produced an account of its failures. Although he forwarded this work to the university and sought redress for damage to his reputation, none was forthcoming.
Lindsay’s writing began to focus on the dominance of what he considered irrational Marxist ideology on China’s policies and the consequent difficulties of crafting a productive relationship with the United States. Prevented from entering mainland China until 1973, on that occasion he left a strong critic of the Cultural Revolution. During later visits he developed a more favourable view in response to reforms introduced under Deng Xiaoping. After retiring in 1975 he devoted time to his hobbies of tinkering with radios and cars. Survived by his wife, son, and younger daughter, he died on 13 February 1994 at Chevy Chase, Maryland. Hsiao Li (d. 2010) returned to China. Their son, James, served as Australia’s deputy high commissioner to Pakistan and later Kenya.
Australian National University Archives. ANUA 8, Papers Relating to the Report on Lord Lindsay’s Complaints, ANUA 19–126.96.36.199, Lindsay, Michael; Cotton, James. International Relations in Australia: Michael Lindsay, Martin Wight, and the First Department at the Australian National University. Working Paper 2010/2. Canberra: Department of International Relations, ANU, 2010; Crocker, Walter. Memoirs, 1902–75. Sir Walter Crocker Papers, 1922–2002, MSS 327 C938p, 2.1. Barr Smith Library, University of Adelaide; Foster, S. G., and Margaret M. Varghese. The Making of the Australian National University: 1946–1996. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1996; Lawrence, Susan V. ‘Hsiao Li Lindsay Obituary.’ Guardian (London), 1 June 2010. Accessed 27 September 2018. www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jun/01/hsiao-li-lindsay-obituary. Copy held on ADB file; Lindsay, Hsiao Li. Bold Plum: With the Guerrillas in China’s War against Japan. Morrisville, NC: Lulu Press, 2007; Lindsay, Michael. Is Peaceful Co-existence Possible? East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1960; Lindsay, Michael. The Unknown War: North China 1937–1945. London: Bergstrom and Boyle, 1975; Lindsay Papers. Private collection; National Archives of Australia. A6119, 788.
LIONS, AGNES MARY (MOLLY) (1908–1992), industrial nurse and union official, was born on 22 April 1908 at Subiaco, Perth, youngest of three children of Swedish-born John Maximilian Lions, engineer, and his Scottish-born wife Mary, née McDonald, whom he had met on the Western Australian goldfields. Molly’s brother Frank [q.v.15] later became an organic chemist at the University of Sydney. In about 1910 the family moved to Sydney, where Molly attended school in Balmain and at Petersham Girls’ Intermediate High School. She later trained as a nurse at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, graduating with a general nursing certificate in 1931.
During the 1930s Lions was employed at the St Lawrence Private Hospital, Summer Hill, and by a physician at Western Suburbs Hospital, Dr Colin Lawson, who praised her ‘devotion to the interests of the patients … her keenness and tact … capacity for hard work, sound common sense and … thorough knowledge of nursing’ (1941). These qualities stood her in good stead for a nursing career in industry, which she commenced in February 1942 at Vicars Woollen Mills, Marrickville. From March 1943 to May 1946 she was sister-in-charge of the medical aid post of the Captain Cook [q.v.1] Graving Dock, where the resident engineer acknowledged her ‘diligence and commendable ability’ (Muir 1946). Following World War II she worked briefly for Qantas Empire Airways Ltd at Mascot, before joining the New South Wales Department of Railways in 1947. She was a senior industrial nursing sister at the Eveleigh railway workshops until her retirement in 1968.
Lions was active in the New South Wales Nurses’ Association, serving as a member of its council (1947–51), and as a founding member (1946–51) and president (1948–51) of the industrial nurses’ branch. She collected data on the employment of nurses in factories for a log of claims to the New South Wales Industrial Commission, which in 1948 inaugurated the first award for nurses employed in commercial and industrial enterprises.
Becoming increasingly aware of the need for post-graduate nursing studies, Lions helped to establish the New South Wales College of Nursing in January 1949, and was one of its foundation fellows. She served two terms as president between 1950 and 1954 and later chaired the education committee. She was elected honorary president of the New South Wales Nurses’ Memorial Fund in 1952. In 1954 she was appointed a member of the advisory committee on nursing attached to the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Throughout her long career, Lions made a major contribution to improving the working conditions, education, and professional standing of industrial nurses. In 1948 she told an interviewer that the characteristic most essential for working in the field was an interest in humanity, an attribute she consistently demonstrated in her many articles on workers’ health and well-being, and her work with the railways. She was appointed MBE in 1960. Unmarried, she moved in 1979 with her brother Jack to Alice Springs, Northern Territory, where for many years she worked with Aboriginal women and children. Suffering from Alzheimer’s disease late in life, she died on 22 December 1992 at Normanhurst, Sydney, and was cremated.
Australian Hospital (Sydney). ‘The Doctor and Nurse in Industry.’ December 1948, 7–8, 12; Australian Women’s Weekly. ‘Nursing Sisters in Industry.’ 21 May 1949, 24; Hawkins, Jenny. Personal communication; Lawson, Colin. Reference for Miss M. Lions, 6 December 1941. Lions Papers. Private collection; Muir, James. Reference for Miss M. Lions, 28 March 1946. Lions Papers. Private collection; New South Wales College of Nursing Archives. Series 75, Agnes Mary Lions, Personal Records.
LIPPMANN, WALTER MAX (1919–1993), Jewish and ethnic community leader, and LIPPMANN, LORNA SYLVIA (1921–2004), Aboriginal and community rights worker, were husband and wife. Walter was born on 19 September 1919 in Hamburg, Germany, elder son of Franz Berthold Lippmann, businessman, and his wife Olga Charlotte, née Hahlo. Born into a prosperous and distinguished Jewish family, he was educated at Bertram-Schule and Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums, before starting a commercial apprenticeship in 1936. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather had been leaders in the Jewish community, and his uncle Leo Lippmann, a lawyer, was State councillor overseeing the city’s finances prior to the advent of the Nazi regime. Not seeing any future in Germany, Walter’s father secured entry permits for Australia through a business contact, W. E. McPherson [q.v.15]. Walter left for Melbourne in September 1938, followed by his parents, brother, sister, and grandmother in December. He began work as an engineering clerk at McPherson’s Pty Ltd.
Lippmann soon became active in Jewish affairs in his newly adopted country. In 1942 he was a signatory to a statement calling for democratisation of community organisations. The next year, as president of the Melbourne Jewish Youth Council, he was a delegate to the Victorian Jewish Advisory Board. On 15 February 1945 he married Lorna Matenson at Temple Beth Israel, St Kilda. Lorna had been born in Melbourne on 21 December 1921, second of three daughters of Russian-born Philip Matenson, medical practitioner, and his locally born wife Pauline Mathilda, née Aarons. A recent graduate of the University of Melbourne (BA, 1943), she was working as a clerk and had been previously educated at Vaucluse convent, Richmond.
After World War II, Walter established with his father the electrical fittings businesses Meteor Lighting Pty Ltd and F. B. Lippmann and Son Pty Ltd. He served as managing director, juggling his business responsibilities with community work. On a visit to Germany in 1947 he witnessed the devastation of the war and heard the ‘unbelievable’ testimony of Holocaust survivors (Lippmann Papers). In 1948 he was appointed honorary secretary of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, a position he would hold almost continuously until 1960. He also took on various roles in the Victorian Jewish Board of Deputies, including president (1969–72). In 1957 he joined the executive of the Australian Jewish Welfare and Relief Society (president 1960–77), the only member not of Polish background. Under his leadership, the organisation shifted its primary focus from immigrant resettlement to welfare, and made the transition from a reliance on volunteers to hired staff and professionally trained social workers.
In keeping with his belief in an inclusive, coordinated approach, Lippmann worked to bring disparate Jewish organisations under one banner, although not always with success and he was often at loggerheads with factional and conservative leaders. In 1959 he organised the first Jewish Social Services Convention and was inaugural chairman of the Victorian Jewish Social Service Council. As executive vice-president (1966–91) of the Federation of Australian Jewish Welfare Societies, he negotiated migration matters with successive immigration ministers and senior government officials, and he secured tax exemption for restitution payments from the German government to Holocaust survivors.
Lippmann was concerned to ensure that Jewish values and ways of life were transmitted to succeeding generations. He continued to press for democratic organisational structures, which he saw as essential for securing broad community involvement, and planning based on studies of Australian Jewry. To this end he undertook pioneering demographic research and corresponded with leading scholars, including Charles Price and George Zubrzycki of The Australian National University. His work was published in the Jewish Journal of Sociology and he wrote the entry on ‘Australia: Contemporary Jewry’ for the Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971).
Described as a ‘huge intellect cloaked in elegance and charm’ (Bullen 2004, 137), Lorna matched her husband’s commitment to community causes with a focus on Indigenous issues. In 1957 she had been shocked by (Sir) Douglas Nicholls [q.v.18] and William Grayden’s film revealing the appalling living conditions of Aboriginal people in Western Australia’s Warburton Ranges. She joined the Victorian Aboriginal Advancement League (vice-president 1959–68) and in 1964 became the convenor of the legislative reform committee of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. In these roles she campaigned for the removal of discriminatory clauses in State and Federal laws. Her knowledge of Indigenous matters led to her employment as a research fellow (1964–75) at Monash University’s centre for research into Aboriginal affairs, and adviser (1973–74) to the Federal minister for Aboriginal affairs, Gordon Bryant [q.v.]. A renowned educator and author of books on Aboriginal topics, she wrote to inform a general readership of the impact of British settlement and to combat racial prejudice and bigotry. Her most significant publications were Words or Blows: Racial Attitudes in Australia (1973) and Generations of Resistance: The Aboriginal Struggle for Justice (1981).
From the 1960s, the Lippmanns broadened their interests to include the place of ethnic minorities in Australian society. Walter became an influential critic of assimilation policy and a proponent of multiculturalism. His left-of-centre politics and Australian Labor Party membership saw his influence at its greatest during periods of Labor administration, when he could draw on personal friendships, including with Bob Hawke. He was a member of the Commonwealth Immigration Advisory Council (1967–74), chairing its committee on community relations (1973–75), and was a member of the committee to review the Special Broadcasting Service (1983–84). He helped to establish and became chairman (1974–83) of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV), and held senior positions in the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils. He was appointed MBE (1971) and AM (1987). From 1975 Lorna had begun working as project officer and Victorian director for the Office of the Commissioner for Community Relations. One of her main roles was to investigate complaints of racial discrimination. In the 1980s she became community education officer attached to the Human Rights Commission. She also served as the chairperson (1987) of the Ecumenical Migration Centre and as a member of Victoria’s Immigration Review Panel.
Unlike many of his contemporaries, Walter had experienced first-hand the disintegration of civil society; he never forgot that he been given a second chance and endeavoured to enhance conditions in the country that had provided him with shelter and the opportunity to prosper. He recognised the vital role ethnic organisations played in supporting the integration of recent immigrants. He believed that without constructive engagement with the ‘ethnic dimension’ Australia would find itself ‘polarized into a collection of antagonistic, separate subcultural groups’ (, 3). Following a two-year battle with cancer, he died on 27 July 1993 at Caulfield South and was cremated. An effective lobbyist and networker, he was remembered for the logic and clarity of his arguments, for his energy, compassion, and generous humanity, and for his commitment to general, not sectional, interests. Ron Taft, a long-time friend, spoke of his ‘rare combination of high intelligence, wide-reading, vision, and practicality. He was a man of both conviction and action’ (1993). In 2011 the ECCV launched an annual Walter Lippmann memorial lecture in his honour.
Lorna continued to write and during the 1990s her Discussion Notes on Indigenous biographies were published by the Council of Adult Education. Survived by her two daughters, she died on 16 June 2004 at Canterbury. In the following year the Lorna Lippmann memorial scholarship was established for Indigenous students at Monash University.
Benjamin, Rodney. ‘A Serious Influx of Jews’: A History of Jewish Welfare in Victoria. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998; Bullen, Margaret. ‘Lorna Lippmann: 21 December 1921–16 June 2004.’ Australian Aboriginal Studies, no. 2 (2004): 137–38; Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums, Hamburg. Personal communication; Lippmann, Kurt. Our Lippmann Family: A Chronicle Spanning Three Centuries and Three Continents. Caulfield, Vic.: Kurt Lippmann, ; Lippmann, Lorna. Interview by Helen Belle Curzon-Siggers, 25 August 1999. Bringing them Home Oral History Project. National Library of Australia; Lippmann Papers. Private collection; Lippmann, Walter M. ‘The Importance of Ethnically-Based Agencies to Immigrant Families.’ Multicultural Australia Papers, no. 1 : 1–14; Lopez, Mark. The Origins of Multiculturalism in Australian Politics 1945–1975. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 2000; Markus, Andrew, and Margaret Taft. ‘Walter Lippmann, Transformative Leader.’ Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal 23, part 1 (2016): 93–110; Markus, Andrew, and Margaret Taft, eds. Walter Lippmann, Ethnic Communities Leader: ‘Creative Thinker, Dogged Worker, the Kindest of Men.’ Caulfield, Vic.: Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, Monash University, 2016; National Archives of Australia. A12508, 21/2597, A435, 1944/4/558; Rubinstein, Hilary L. The Jews in Australia: A Thematic History. Vol. 1, 1788–1945. Port Melbourne, Vic.: William Heinemann Australia, 1991; Taft, Ronald. Speech given at Walter Lippmann Memorial Evening, 6 September 1993. Copy held by author.
LOBB, HAROLD FRANCIS (1913–1992), musician and educator, was born on 15 December 1913 at Ipswich, Queensland, second son of English-born John Francis Lobb, tea merchant, and his Queensland-born wife Catherine, née Springall. In 1921 the family moved to Sydney. Harold attended Croydon Public School, Newington College, Strathfield Grammar School, and Sydney Boys’ High School where he rowed in the school VIII.
Instructed in music by his mother and a local teacher, Muriel Pettinger, Lobb passed an examination equivalent to the Associate in Music, Australia at the age of fifteen. His father, however, did not believe that music was a serious profession. Upon leaving school, Lobb spent two years studying law before convincing his father that it was not the career for him. He enrolled at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, studying piano with Frank Hutchens [q.v.9] and organ with George Faunce Allman [q.v.13]. Four years at the Royal College of Music in London followed. There his teachers included Aubyn Raymar, George Thalben-Ball, and C. H. Kitson. Lobb also gave piano and organ recitals for the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Overseas Service. On 16 March 1937 at the general register office, Romford, Essex, he married Rose Amy Goodchild.
Upon returning to Australia in 1939, Lobb was appointed organist at Holy Trinity Church of England, Orange, New South Wales, where he stayed for two years before becoming music master at Trinity Grammar School, Sydney. At the end of World War II he joined the staff of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music teaching harmony and piano. In 1951, while furthering his studies in London, he successfully applied for the position of principal of the newly established Newcastle branch of the conservatorium. He began appointing staff and supervising the acquisition of equipment in January the following year. Carmel Lutton later observed that Lobb’s energy resulted in more than 160 students enrolling by the end of the conservatorium’s first week, rising to 608 by 1954 (University of Newcastle 2007). With the conservatorium housed in temporary premises, much of his time was spent seeking financial support from local industry and business, and taking music to the community through educational programs. The new conservatorium building was opened on 26 October 1957.
Lobb was an inspirational figure whose talent and musicianship encouraged others to achieve more highly. He was also a man of integrity and the catalyst for innovation and change. Under his leadership, the University of Newcastle conservatorium expanded its range of activities to include school-aged children in the broader instrumental program. He instituted a scholarship scheme and a fund to help students in financial trouble. Other contributions to music education included producing the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s successful radio series Adventures in Music, a training scheme for high school music teachers, group tuition for junior instrumentalists, and lectures and demonstrations on important musical works. At the end of 1967 Lobb suffered a stroke and was unable to return to work; nevertheless he continued to develop the character and musical attributes of young people, and at the age of seventy-six he was still teaching piano.
Divorced from his first wife, Lobb had married Pauline Margaret Spencer, a secretary, on 18 July 1955 at the registrar general’s office, Sydney. He was appointed MBE in 1970. He died of cerebral thrombosis on 1 December 1992 in Hunter Valley Private Hospital, Shortland. His wife and their daughter and son, and his two children from his first marriage, survived him. Following a service at Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle, he was cremated. The concert hall at the University of Newcastle conservatorium is named after him in recognition of his vision and commitment to classical music in Newcastle.
Barnes, Gwyneth. ‘Harold Lobb—Musician and Educator.’ History (Royal Australian Historical Society), December 1994, 9–11; Lobb, Harold Francis. Interview by Gwyneth Barnes, 8 August 1990. Transcript held by author; Newcastle Herald. ‘Inspired Musician.’ 7 December 1992, 4; Personal knowledge of ADB subject; University of Newcastle. ‘University Honours Music Pioneer.’ 20 March 2007.
LOVEGROVE, TROY VINCENT (1985–1993), HIV/AIDS child activist, was born on 25 June 1985 at Paddington, Sydney, only child of Western Australian–born Vincent James Lovegrove, company director, musician, and rock band manager, and American-born Susan Marie Papaleo, actress, dancer, and choreographer, formerly known as Suzi Sidewinder. His parents married later that year, and soon after Suzi and Troy both tested positive to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Suzi’s struggle with HIV/AIDS was portrayed in the 1987 television documentary Suzi’s Story; it won Australian Human Rights and Logie awards, and was nominated for an Emmy award. As a result of the documentary, Suzi Lovegrove was one of the first heterosexual women in Australia to be so publicly identified with HIV/AIDS. Troy contracted HIV in the womb before his mother was aware that she was living with the disease, and his survival as an infant was incorporated into Suzi’s Story. This publicity made his childhood a prominent one in Australia, and highlighted the issue of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS at a time when there was little public awareness that this was possible.
Following Suzi’s death in 1987, Troy was the subject of his own documentary, A Kid Called Troy (1993), which followed his experiences in 1992 and 1993. His father, who had previously managed well-known Australian bands such as the Divinyls, wrote a book with the same title to accompany the program. The film did much to raise the profile of HIV/AIDS amongst the broader Australian community and, in particular, the position of children who were living with the condition. It was shown at international events such as the Columbus International Film & Video Festival (1994) and the Golden Gate Awards of the San Francisco Film Society (1994). Troy did not live to see it air on Australian television.
In the documentary Troy was shown requiring extensive medical assistance and undergoing experimental medical procedures. He was also seen attending Coogee Public School and participating in everyday activities such as gym classes. His experiences of a supportive community were in sharp contrast to those of Eve van Grafhorst [q.v.], an HIV-positive child who had faced such a level of discrimination and prejudice in Kincumber, New South Wales, that her parents moved with her to New Zealand in 1986.
A Kid Called Troy presented the humanity of people living with HIV/AIDS and the difficulties experienced by their families at a time when prejudice against AIDS was widespread. It also promoted the fact that HIV/AIDS could not be transmitted through casual non-sexual contact. During his short life, Troy used media attention to continue to challenge prejudices about HIV/AIDS. In 1990 he and his father helped launch the AIDS Trust of Australia’s paediatric fundraising project ‘Kids With AIDS’. After Troy’s death, Vince would continue to agitate for HIV/AIDS education.
Brave and mature beyond his years, Troy ‘amazed doctors with his will to live and to bounce back’ from illness (Leedham 1993, 32). He died at the age of seven on 3 June 1993 at home in Randwick, survived by his father and his older half-sister, Holly, from his father’s previous marriage; he was cremated. Four hundred mourners attended his memorial service at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church in Randwick, Sydney. The rock musician Jimmy Barnes, Vince’s friend and professional colleague, performed ‘A Little Bit of Love’, a song he had written about Troy.
Leedham, Nicole. ‘A Brave Little Boy Who Was Born with HIV.’ Canberra Times, 6 September 1993, 32; Lovegrove, Vincent. A Kid Called Troy: The Moving Journal of a Little Boy’s Battle for Life. Sydney: ABC Books, 1993; Lupton, Deborah. Moral Threats and Dangerous Desires: AIDS in the News Media. London: Taylor & Francis, 1994; Suzi’s Story. Film. Directed by Terry Carlyon and Iain Gillespie. Sydney: Carlyon-Gillespie Productions, 1987; A Kid Called Troy. Film. Directed by Terry Carlyon. Sydney: Carlyon and Rivette Pictures, 1993.
LOW, MING POON (DICK) (1931–1995), restaurateur and Chinese community leader, was born on 6 September 1931 in the Taishan region of Canton (Guangdong) Province, Republic of China, one of six children and the only son of a doctor who practised both Chinese and Western medicine. During the Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), his father ‘treated the injured and aided his countrymen to escape’ (Herald Sun 1995, 76), until he was killed by the Japanese in 1942. Late in life, Low would fund a new classroom for a school in Taishan in his father’s memory. Unhappy with the new political ideology in China after the civil war, his family escaped to British Hong Kong, where Low completed his secondary schooling.
Migrating to Australia in 1953, Low was granted an entry permit as an approved employee of the Hoon Hing Trading Co., Albert Park, Melbourne, a dim sim and chicken roll manufacturing business. In 1955 he acquired a one-third share in the Lingnan Café, Little Bourke Street, using a loan from a fellow investor. He was frequently found by immigration inspectors to be ‘helping out’ at the café, thus breaching the terms of his admission to Australia. Nevertheless, he continued to work there, gaining valuable restaurant experience in front of house and from 1957 in a managerial role. That year the Department of Immigration offered him liberal attitude status, a type of residency permit for those deemed refugees from communist China. This allowed him to work more freely and eventually entitled him to citizenship.
In 1958 Low left the Lingnan Café and with two uncles acquired the nearby Kun Ming Café. In 1971 he married Marion Lau, a Malaysian-born, British-trained nurse, who had migrated to Australia in 1969. His uncles retired in the early 1970s and Low became sole proprietor. He developed a home-style menu that was popular with students, who were served inexpensive meals of generous portions. In 1982 a reviewer remarked that ‘Dick Low runs an efficient, no-fuss, easy budget, quick meal service, without sacrificing quality’ (Age 1982, Weekender 10).
Andrew Wong first dined at the Kun Ming in 1979 when he was student at the University of Melbourne. He later recalled that regular customers, mainly from Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore, would call Low ‘Ming suk’ (Uncle Ming) and that he always greeted them as they entered and later asked, ‘did you have enough to eat?’ (Wong, pers. comm.). Wong estimated that at lunch times 40 per cent of diners would be non-Chinese. One such customer, Israel Rosenfield, who studied at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, recalled that Low was ‘a thorough gentleman’ and that the Kun Ming Café ‘was like a second home’ (Rosenfield 2004).
Despite his heavy workload as a restaurateur, Low was prominent in Melbourne’s Chinese community. Committed to the Chinese Nationalist cause, he was an adviser to Taiwan’s Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission and an executive member of the Victorian branch of the Kuomintang Society. He was involved in various community and cultural organisations, including the Australian Lung Kong Association, the Chinese Community Society of Victoria, the Ning Yang Association, the Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne, and the See Yup Society. For decades he played a prominent role in Melbourne’s Chinese New Year parade. He also acted as an interpreter when Chinese people needed help with appointments or completing official documents.
Survived by his wife and their daughter, Low died of liver cancer on 17 November 1995 at Malvern and was cremated. More than 400 people attended his funeral and tributes from both Chinese and non-Chinese communities appeared in the press. His wife reflected that Low ‘followed the traditional Chinese protocol of respecting his elders and those in a senior position in society. He was also a very considerate man, very private in his own way and never bothered anyone with his own problems’ (Herald Sun 1995, 76).
Age (Melbourne). ‘I Like Chinese.’ 7 May 1982, Weekender 10; Herald Sun (Melbourne). ‘Dick Low Ming Poon: A Stalwart of Chinatown.’ 23 November 1995, 76; Lau, Marion. Interview by the author, transcript, 24 February 2004; National Archives of Australia. B44, V1972/605119; Nichol, Barbara. ‘The Breath of the Wok: Melbourne’s Early Chinese Restaurants, Community, Culture and Entrepreneurialism in the City, Late Nineteenth Century to 1950s.’ PhD thesis, University of Melbourne, 2012; Rosenfield, Israel. Interview by the author, transcript, 8 May 2004; Wong, Andrew. Personal communication.
LUDBROOK, NELLY HOOPER (NELL) (1907–1995), geologist and palaeontologist, was born on 14 June 1907 at Yorketown, South Australia, eldest of three children of Walter Edgar Woods, storekeeper’s assistant, and his wife Ethel Maud Mary, née Hooper, both South Australian born. Ethel had been a teacher trainee at the University Training College (1900–01) and Nell read her ‘meticulously written’ (Ludbrook 1973) lecture notes when a child. After the family moved to the Adelaide Hills, Nell was schooled at Mount Torrens and then attended Mount Barker High School. In 1926 she proceeded to the University of Adelaide (BA, 1928; MA, 1930) to qualify as a teacher under an Education Department scholarship. Interested in science, she included geology and mathematics in her studies. In 1927 she was awarded, jointly, the James Gartrell prize for elementary comparative philology.
In 1929 Woods attended classes at the Adelaide Teachers’ College. At the same time, Cecil Madigan [q.v.10] was intent on encouraging her interest in the earth sciences. He suggested that she work on a collection of fossil molluscs that Sir Joseph Verco [q.v.12] had found in debris from a bore at the metropolitan abattoir. Embarking on this task, she visited Verco at his house to discuss the collection. She had already become acquainted with his great-nephew, Wallis Verco Ludbrook, a distinguished fellow student. She and Wallis would maintain contact after he began working for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Sydney and later in Canberra.
Woods continued to study and research, while teaching (1930–34) at Mount Barker High School. Her fascination with late Tertiary Mollusca in the St Vincent Basin expanded to encompass the entire Cainozoic (Cenozoic) era. In 1930 she won the university’s Tate [q.v.6] medal for her paper on molluscs from the abattoir bore. Relocating to Canberra, she married Wallis on 25 July 1935 at the Methodist parsonage, Kingston; they would have no children. She maintained her interest in Cainozoic molluscs by examining material sent to her by South Australia’s Department of Mines and by becoming acquainted with the Commonwealth palaeontologist Irene Crespin [q.v.13]. From 1942 to 1949 she was an assistant geologist in the Commonwealth Mineral Resources Survey (later Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics). As part of the national effort in World War II, she indexed and compiled statistics on strategic minerals.
With her husband due to commence research leave, Ludbrook determined to go to London to compare South Australian fossil molluscs with material held at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London (PhD and DIC, 1952). Soon after her arrival in February 1950 she was invited by Leslie Cox, a leading specialist in fossil molluscs, to locate herself at his workplace in the British Museum (Natural History). On 18 August 1951 Wallis, then acting officer-in-charge of the plant pathology section in Canberra, committed suicide by taking poison at work. At the behest of some of her husband’s relatives in England, she stayed on to complete her doctorate.
As Ludbrook prepared to return to Australia she met (Sir) Ben Dickinson, South Australia’s director of mines, who was visiting a professor at the university. He offered her the position of technical information officer in the department and the opportunity to develop a palaeontology section. Commencing in June 1952, she provided advice to the public on geology and mining, and later focused on palaeontological work in the Geological Survey of South Australia. In this latter role she recalled that she first ‘had to prove … that micropalaeontology was of economic use’ (O’Neil 1995, 163).
Ludbrook secured the cooperation of the department’s drilling branch and some senior staff in extending the system of collecting cuttings from water bores at regular intervals so that samples underwent micropalaeontological analysis. After studying the foraminifera, she used her understanding of the subsurface stratigraphy of sedimentary basins to better inform and direct the department’s searches for oil, gas, and groundwater resources. Maintaining that she ‘didn’t work on anything in the laboratory’ that she ‘hadn’t seen in the field’ (O’Neil 1995, 164), she also made regular field trips to the Great Artesian, Murray, and Eucla basins. She was appointed palaeontologist in 1957 and senior palaeontologist in 1964.
Although Ludbrook retired in June 1967, the department retained her services as a consultant. Even after she stepped down in the early 1990s, she continued to be active in the department and the profession. While not considering herself a trailblazer, she persistently promoted the role of women in the workplace. In 1944 she had been active in the formation of the Canberra Association of Women Graduates. An inaugural member (1952, honorary member from 1976) of the Geological Society of Australia, she was the founding secretary of the South Australian division (1953–56), served as Federal secretary (1956–59), and was the society’s first female president (1968). She had been an early member of its stratigraphic nomenclature committee and ‘was a driving force in the preservation of key geological sites and in the promotion of geological monuments’ (Alley 1996, 77). In 1961 she became the first female president of the Royal Society of South Australia and was the recipient of its Sir Joseph Verco medal in 1963.
An eminent scientist with an interest in comparative studies, Ludbrook’s status gave her a prominent profile both nationally and internationally. She had a profound influence in developing the knowledge of Australian palaeontology and stratigraphy both directly and through her mentoring of others in the scientific community. The Australian correspondent for the journal Micropaleontology from 1962 to 1966, her own publications included more than seventy scientific papers and monographs. She edited the series of handbooks on the flora and fauna of South Australia published by the State government from 1967 to 1980, and wrote A Guide to the Geology and Mineral Resources of South Australia (1980) and Quaternary Molluscs of South Australia (1984). Appointed MBE in 1981, she was also a fellow (1950) of the Geological Society of London, and an honorary associate (1971) of the South Australian Museum. On 9 May 1995 she died in Adelaide and was cremated. At least eighteen taxa, a zone in the Eromanga and Surat basins, and a fossil collection were named after her.
Alley, Neville F. ‘Obituary: Nelly Hooper Ludbrook, MBE, MA, PhD, DIC, FGS.’ Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 120, no. 2 (1996): 74–77; Cooper, B. J., and D. F. Branagan, eds. Rock Me Hard … Rock Me Soft …: A History of the Geological Society of Australia. Sydney: Geological Society of Australia, 1994; Johns, R. K., and B. J. Cooper. ‘Obituary: Nelly Hooper Ludbrook (1907–1995).’ Australian Geologist 95 (30 June 1995): 48–49; Johns, R. K. ‘Preface to …’ In Stratigraphy, Palaeontology, Malacology: Papers in Honour of Dr Nell Ludbrook, edited by J. Murray Lindsay, v. Special publication no. 5. Adelaide: South Australian Department of Mines and Energy, 1985; Ludbrook, N. H. Interview by Bernard O’Neil, 7 December 1989. Transcript. Department of Mines and Energy oral history program, J. D. Somerville oral history collection. State Library of South Australia; Ludbrook, N. H. Radio interview by Mary Rose Goggs, broadcast 2 December 1973. Transcript. J. D. Somerville oral history collection. State Library of South Australia; O’Neil, Bernard. Above and Below: The South Australian Department of Mines and Energy, 1944 to 1994. Special publication no. 10. Adelaide: South Australian Department of Mines and Energy, 1995.
LUND, IVAN BERNHARD (1929–1992), fencer, was born on 13 May 1929 in Melbourne, only child of Kai Bernhard Svane Lund, dealer, and his wife Eileen Lillian, née Kelly. Ivan’s father was born in Denmark and migrated to Australia in 1922; his mother was born in Tasmania. He attended St John’s (Marist Brothers’) School, Hawthorn, before obtaining a position with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in 1945. At an early age he was inspired by the swordsmanship of film stars such as Errol Flynn [q.v.8]. He took up fencing and was to dominate the sport in Australia until his mid-thirties, winning six national championships with the épée (1950, 1953, 1958, 1960–61 and 1964) and five with the foil (1951 and 1953–56), and securing many State titles. Six feet two inches (188 cm) tall and weighing a light 12 stone 4 pounds (78 kg), he had a reach of 65 inches (165 cm) with the épée.
Lund excelled in four successive British Empire (and Commonwealth) Games. In Auckland in 1950 he was placed third in the individual épée and was a member of the Australian team that won this event; in Vancouver in 1954 he won the individual épée, and gained second place in one team event and third place in two more; in Cardiff in 1958 he came second in the individual épée, and was a member of teams that secured two second places and one third place; and in Perth in 1962 he won the individual épée, and came second in two team events. His total of thirteen medals—three gold, six silver, and four bronze—was an Australian record in the games, not equalled until 1974 and not surpassed until 1990. He carried the Australian flag at the opening ceremony in 1958 and took the athletes’ oath in 1962. Although he participated in four Olympic Games (1952, 1956, 1960 and 1964), he did not win a medal; he was Australian flag-bearer at the opening of the Tokyo games in 1964.
Dedicated to the advancement of Australian fencing, Lund served as an administrator, publicist, and coach. Having been secretary-treasurer (1955, 1959–64) of the New South Wales Amateur Fencing Association, he presided over the Tasmanian Amateur Fencing Association (1965–66). He was a national selector, manager of the Australian fencing team at the 1966 Empire and Commonwealth Games, and an administration officer at the next two games. In 1986 he was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
Employment in the bank had taken Lund to Sydney in 1950, Hobart in 1964, and Victoria (relieving staff) in 1967. A keen and reliable officer, he gained steady promotion. His final posting, in 1969, was to Brisbane, where, from 1972, he managed the international division. On 10 July 1976 at St Thomas’s Church of England, Toowong, he married Phillipa Mary Hart, a medical records librarian; a Catholic priest also officiated, reflecting Lund’s religion. Modest and personable, he was a gentleman athlete who respected his opponents and his sport. He also rowed and played squash. His other interests included photography and classical music, and he enjoyed weekends in his campervan with his family. He retired from the bank in 1988. Survived by his wife and by their son and two daughters, he died of pancreatic cancer on 9 April 1992 at Auchenflower and was cremated with Anglican rites.
Emmerick, Richard. Personal communication; ‘Ivan Bernard Lund: Career Path with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.’ Unpublished manuscript, n.d. Documentation and Archives Centre, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Sydney. Copy held on ADB file; Lund, Phillipa. Personal communication; Point in Line (Sydney). ‘LUND, Ivan.’ March 1958, 4. Australian Fencing Federation. Papers. National Library of Australia; Studham, David. Personal communication.
R. I. Cashman
LUPTON, JOAN MARY (1904–1995), medical social worker, was born on 11 September 1904 at Mainpuri, India, elder daughter of English-born Walter James Edwin Lupton, an under-secretary in the Indian Civil Service (ICS), and his wife Sybil Beatrice Fendall, née Currie, who had also been born in India. By 1911 Joan was living in England. She was educated at Headington School, Oxford, and then at the Sorbonne in Paris for a year. In 1924 she joined the Society of Oxford Home-Students and completed a degree in French at the university (BA, 1927).
Although Joan’s father wanted her to take up medicine, as he had done after retiring from the ICS, she undertook studies in social work. She completed a certificate of social science at the London School of Economics and Political Science (1930), and trained with the Institute of Hospital Almoners. In 1930 she joined and soon headed the almoner’s department at the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, Moorfields. Her department saw all patients. While she acknowledged the almoner’s role in follow-up and preventive medicine, she lamented that, with the nation’s problems of high unemployment and poor housing, much of the work was palliative.
During 1936 Lupton visited a former school friend in Adelaide. She stayed on after being invited to head the new social service department in the Adelaide Children’s Hospital. Aware of her pioneering role in the profession, she confided to her father that, unlike England where the ground had been ‘cleared’, she would ‘plunge into virgin scrub’ (Lupton n.d., 135). In the first year and a half, she reported, 950 patients were referred to the almoner, including victims of the infantile paralysis epidemic. She established the Fighting Forces Comforts Fund Family Welfare Bureau during a three-month secondment from the hospital in late 1940; she then became a member of its executive and case committee (until 1944).
An ‘arresting personality’ (News 1936, 15), with extensive professional knowledge and a passion for her work, Lupton soon took on leadership roles. She was appointed inaugural president of the State branch of the Australian Association of Hospital Almoners (1941), and of the South Australian Social Workers’ Association (1942). She also became heavily involved in local welfare activities. This was often in association with Amy Wheaton [q.v.18] who directed South Australia’s first social work training course from 1936. Lupton served on the board governing the course and continued in this role when it moved to the University of Adelaide in 1942. In her 1943 hospital report she acknowledged the view that almoners patched up individual problems when what was needed was social reform. She saw an opportunity for trained social workers to collect data to improve social planning.
In 1944 the board of social studies at the University of Sydney appointed Lupton as practical work supervisor of students at local agencies, including the Family Welfare Bureau and the Australian Red Cross. Early in 1947 she visited the United Kingdom, but returned in March 1948 to establish a modern almoner department at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. Within a decade, the department became the major employer of medical social workers in the country. Also active in the New South Wales Institute of Hospital Almoners, she served on the executive council and training subcommittee, presenting lectures and tutorials in its medical social work course until 1956. She resigned as social worker in charge at RPAH in about 1962.
For many years in the 1960s and 1970s Lupton shared houses at Darling Point and Bungan Beach with her closest friend and social work colleague Kate Ogilvie [q.v.18]. She also enjoyed the witty company of Professor Dick Spann [q.v.18], a specialist in public administration at the University of Sydney and her long-standing opera companion. Outliving them both by more than a decade, she spent a rather lonely old age without family support in her adopted country. She died on 31 July 1995 in Durham Lodge Nursing Home, Bondi, having donated her body to the University of Sydney.
Adelaide Children’s Hospital Incorporated. Almoner’s Report. Adelaide: The Hospital, 1938–43; Almoners’ Department, Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital. Annual Report. London: The Hospital, 1931–32; Lawrence, John. ‘In Memoriam: Joan Lupton, A British/Australian Pioneer in Medical Social Work.’ Australian Social Work 48, no. 4 (December 1995): 57–58; Lupton, Joan. Letters of Joan Lupton, 1936–1943. Adelaide: The Author, n.d.; Martin, Elaine M. W. ‘Social Work as a Profession: The South Australian Perspective.’ Australian Social Work 40, no. 2 (June 1987): 11–18; News (Adelaide). ‘Looking After a Hospital “Family”.’ 16 July 1936, 15; Personal knowledge of ADB subject.