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Sir (Bill) William John McKell

Sir (Bill) William John MCKELL (1891 - 1985)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 26/09/1891
Place of Birth: Pambula, New South Wales , Australia
Date of Death: 11/01/1985
Place of Death: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 24 Mar 1917 06 Feb 1947 29 years 10 months 14 days
Member for Redfern 24 Mar 1917 18 Feb 1920 2 years 10 months 26 days
Member for Botany 20 Mar 1920 17 Feb 1922 1 year 10 months 29 days
Member for Botany 25 Mar 1922 18 Apr 1925 3 years 25 days
Member for Botany 30 May 1925 07 Sep 1927 2 years 3 months 9 days
Member for Redfern 08 Oct 1927 18 Sep 1930 2 years 11 months 11 days
Member for Redfern 25 Oct 1930 18 May 1932 1 year 6 months 24 days
Member for Redfern 11 Jun 1932 12 Apr 1935 2 years 10 months 2 days
Member for Redfern 11 May 1935 24 Feb 1938 2 years 9 months 14 days
Member for Redfern 04 Mar 1938 18 Apr 1941 3 years 1 month 15 days
Member for Redfern 10 May 1941 24 Apr 1944 2 years 11 months 15 days
Member for Redfern 27 May 1944 06 Feb 1947 2 years 8 months 11 days
Assistant Minister of Justice 13 Apr 1920 21 Dec 1920 8 months 9 days
Minister of Justice 22 Dec 1920 10 Oct 1921 9 months 19 days
Minister of Justice 10 Oct 1921 20 Dec 1921 2 months 11 days
Minister of Justice 20 Dec 1921 13 Apr 1922 3 months 25 days
Minister of Justice and Assistant Colonial Treasurer 17 Jun 1925 07 Jun 1927 1 year 11 months 22 days
Minister for Local Government 04 Nov 1930 17 Jun 1931 7 months 14 days
Minister of Justice 17 Jun 1931 13 May 1932 10 months 27 days
Premier 16 May 1941 06 Feb 1947 5 years 8 months 22 days
Colonial Treasurer 16 May 1941 06 Feb 1947 5 years 8 months 22 days
Political Party Activity
Australian Labor Party (ALP). Member of central executive from 1916 until 1917; leader from 1939 until 1947, voted for R.J Heffron as successor.
Community Activity
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Boilermaker. Moved with parents to Sydney in 1897. Educated at Bourke Street public school; father died when aged ten; worked in city chemist shop; served an apprenticeship at Mort's Dock, later named Poole and Steele, boilermaker of Railways Department from 1913 until 1914; Hoskins Iron Works and Australian Gas Light Company; formed apprentice's union representing it at the state arbitration court ; assistant secretary of Boilermakers' Union from 1915 until 1917; called to Bar in 1925; member of Malayan Constitutional Commission in 1956; purchased a grazing property near Goulburn in 1930's; keen sportsman, continued with amateur boxing championships from 1908 until 1909, played grade football for Balmain; trustee of Sydney Cricket Ground, chairman in 1938; author in 1945.
Military Service
Honours Received
Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) 1951. Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) University of Sydney 1952. King's Counsel (KC) in 1946, Privy Councillor in 1948
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Governor-General of Australia 1947 - 1953.
Local Government Activity
Personal
Son of Robert Pollock McKell, butcher, and his wife Martha Shepherd. Married 7 January 1920 to Mary Pye, daughter of James Pye, and had issue, 1 son and 2 daughters. Church of England.
Additional Information
Christopher Cunneen, William John McKell, Boilermaker, Premier, Governor-General, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2000. Personal papers in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales: 1. William McKell - papers, 1920 - 1974 (MLMSS 2027); photographs in the PICMAN Database. 2. Sir William McKell - further papers, ca/1925 - 1974 (MLMSS 2027 ADD-ON 686 [K 21948-K 21950] 3. Sir William McKell, further papers (MLMSS 2027, ADD-ON 1130), 4. Sir William McKell, papers, 1917 - 1985, (MLMSS 4603) [MLK 03886-MLK 03900] 5. Sir William McKell, transcript of interview conducted by the National Library of Australia, 29 April 1971 (MLDOC 3252) 6. McKell Family - Papers of Sir William McKell, Lady McKell and Betty McKell, 1943 - 1995. (MLMSS 7347); photographs in the PICMAN Database. Personal and Related Papers in the New South Wales Parliamentary Archives: PRS 486.LA/P: McKell Collection, 1939 - 1946. PRS 256.L, Parliamentary Library, Oral History Tapes: PA Tapes A9 - A12 (Sir William McKell in conversation with Ken Turner, Department of Government, Sydney University; Heather Radi, Department of History, Sydney University; and David Clune, NSW Parliamentary Library. Recorded 1977).