Mr Ray Septimus MAHER (1911 - 1966)**

  • Date of Birth: 01/04/1911
  • Place of Birth: Grenfell, New South Wales, Australia
  • Date of Death: 22/09/1966
  • Place of Death: Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia

Parliamentary Service

Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly14 Feb 195331 Mar 196512yr(s) 1mth(s) 18day(s)
Member for North Sydney14 Feb 19536 Feb 19562yr(s) 11mth(s) 24day(s)
37th (1953 - 1956)
Member for North Sydney3 Mar 195616 Feb 19592yr(s) 11mth(s) 14day(s)
38th (1956 - 1959)
Member for North Sydney21 Mar 19595 Feb 19622yr(s) 10mth(s) 16day(s)
39th (1950 - 1953)
Member for Wyong3 Mar 196231 Mar 19653yr(s) 29day(s)
40th (1962 - 1965)
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly21 Apr 195929 Jan 19655yr(s) 9mth(s) 9day(s)

Political Party Activity

Australian Labor Party (ALP). Joined in 1927. President of Willoughby branch, offices in state electorate councils.

Qualifications, occupations and interests

Cement contractor. Educated at De La Salle College, Ashfield and University of Sydney., BA in 1944; gave up plans for studying law and became a successful cement contractor; member of Australian Workers' Union; after resignation from Parliament following allegations against him of which he was subsequently cleared. Employed as a managing clerk in a legal firm at Parramatta. director of Benevolent Society of New South Wales from 1958 until 1963; president of New South Wales branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association; adjudicator in public speaking at City of Sydney Eisteddfod. Member of several sporting organisations.


Son of Lawrence Thomas Maher, organiser for Australian Workers' Union, and Ann Maria McKeon. Married Irene Kedgley on 22 October 1938. Roman Catholic. Funeral at Northern Suburbs Lawn Cemetery from St Francis Xavier's Roman Catholic Church in North Sydney.

Additional Information

Text from the book: 'The Presiding Officers of the Parliament of New South Wales', Sydney, 1995
Ray Maher was born on 1 April 1911 at Grenfell in New South Wales. He married Irene Kedgley in October 1938. They had no children. Although he was a talented student the Depression forced Maher to abandon his aspirations of becoming a lawyer. Instead he established a successful cement contracting business and became involved in trade union activities and the Labor Party. Despite unsuccessfully contesting the seats of Wagga Wagga in 1935, Drummoyne in 1938 and North Sydney in 1950, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly for North Sydney from 1953 to 1962, and for Wyong from 1962 until his resignation in 1965. With a reputation for being a strong debater, it was considered that Maher would be an efficient and forceful Speaker. He was elected Speaker in 1959 and managed to maintain the independence of the office. As Speaker, Maher developed a reputation for consistent rulings and for actively protecting and improving the rights and privileges of the Members of Parliament. Although he was Speaker for half his Parliamentary term, his career came to an abrupt end in 1965 when he was accused of an impropriety towards a staff member. Although acquitted, his reputation was destroyed and he died eighteen months later in September 1966 at Crows Nest in Sydney.