Willoughby Electorate History

About this Item
SubjectsMembers of Parliament; Electorates: Willoughby
SpeakersBerejiklian Ms Gladys; McLeay Mr Paul
BusinessPrivate Members Statements

Page: 22794

    Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN (Willoughby) [5.27 p.m.]: In less than two weeks this Parliament will celebrate its sesquicentenary, or its 150th anniversary, of responsible government in New South Wales. This unique historical milestone is a good opportunity for me to inform the House of the history of the Willoughby electorate and of the people who have served as members for Willoughby. According to the electoral maps issued in 1893, the electorate of Willoughby stretched from Sydney Harbour to the Hawkesbury. It covered a huge area. The first member for Willoughby was Mr Joseph Francis Cullen. He was born in Mount Johnstone near Jambaroo in New South Wales. He became member for Willoughby in 1894. He was a member of the House prior to that, but assumed the new seat in 1894. He resigned shortly afterwards to become a journalist, becoming the proprietor of the North Sydney newspaper.

    He was succeeded by Mr Edward Mann Clark, who was elected in 1894 and who was born in Hobart, Tasmania. He was a former timber merchant, an alderman and mayor of St Leonards and North Sydney, and assisted in establishing Taronga Park Zoo. The next member was Mr George Howarth, who was born in Kent, England. He became the member for Willoughby in 1895. He arrived in Sydney in 1883. He was a former master mariner, surveyor and butcher. He was an alderman in Willoughby from 1892 until 1895, and then periodically until 1901. He was succeeded by Sir Charles Gregory Wade, who was elected member for Willoughby in 1903. Sir Charles was born in Singleton, New South Wales. He was a Kings Counsel. Following his career as member for Willoughby he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

    Next was Mr Edward Rennix Larkin, who was elected member for Willoughby in December 1913. I have made mention of Mr Larkin in the Chamber before. He was one of only two members of Parliament who died at Gallipoli. His name is on a plaque behind me in the Chamber. Interestingly, before he served in Gallipoli Mr Larkin was the first full-time rugby league official in New South Wales. He was killed in Gallipoli in May 1915. Mr Larkin was succeeded by Mr John Haynes, who was elected member for Willoughby in 1915. Mr Haynes, who was born in Singleton, seems to have been an interesting character. He was largely instrumental in forcing a royal commission on lands administration. He was then succeeded by Mr Reginald Walter Darcy Weaver, who was elected member for Willoughby in 1917. Mr Weaver, who was born on the Liverpool Plains, was a former stock and real estate agent and was in local government at Condobolin and Narrandera prior to becoming a member of Parliament.

    Mr Edward Lloyd Sanders was elected member for Willoughby in 1927. He was born in Burwood and prior to entering Parliament was a customs agent and a farmer. He was succeeded by Mr George Brain, who was elected member for Willoughby in 1943 and, to date, remains the longest serving member for Willoughby, having served in the Parliament for 25 years. Mr Brain was born in Picton in New South Wales. He was a councillor on Willoughby council prior to his election and a keen sportsperson. I believe he was president of the parliamentary bowling club for a number of years. I met with Mr Brain's grandson only last year to go through some historical records, which will take pride of place in Willoughby City Library. Mr Brain was succeeded by Mr Laurence McGinty, who was elected member for Willoughby in 1968. Mr McGinty was originally from Orange and was an interesting and colourful character in local politics. He served for 10 years in this House.

    Mr Eddie Britt was elected member for Willoughby in 1978 and served for a term. Eddie was a councillor on Willoughby council prior to becoming a local member and following his term, and is still very involved in community activities. My predecessor, Peter Collins, was elected in 1981. He is the second-longest serving member for Willoughby, having served for 22 years with distinction in this place. Peter was born in Lismore. Apart from his local contributions, he was a very distinguished Minister of the Crown and Leader of the Liberal Party. On the occasion of the sesquicentenary of this Parliament, I place on record the historical significance that members of the Willoughby electorate have made to this place and I ask all members of the House to take note of their significant contributions.

    Mr PAUL McLEAY (Heathcote—Parliamentary Secretary) [5.32 p.m.]: The honourable member for Willoughby has provided a fascinating dissertation of the history of members who have represented her electorate. It is entirely appropriate on the occasion of the celebration of 150 years of responsible government in New South Wales that members take the opportunity to research and discover the unique history of their electorates and local members. They may face the challenge thrown down by former members, such as Mr Brain who served as a member for Willoughby for 25 years. That is a task for the current member, and I wish her all the best in achieving that goal. I encourage other members to take this opportunity to look at the history of their electorates. As has been famously said, for those who do not study history it is bound to repeat itself.