John McLeay, Sr.
Sir John McLeay
|Member of the Australian Parliament
10 December 1949 – 31 October 1966
|Preceded by||Thomas Sheehy|
|Succeeded by||John McLeay, Jr.|
|13th Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives|
29 August 1956 – 31 October 1966
|Preceded by||Archie Cameron|
|Succeeded by||Sir William Aston|
19 November 1893|
Port Clinton, South Australia
|Died||22 June 1982
Adelaide, South Australia
|Political party||Liberal Party of Australia|
|Relations||John McLeay, Jr. son
George McLeay brother
Sir John "Jack" McLeay, KCMG, MM (19 November 1893 – 22 June 1982) was an Australian politician and the longest-serving Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives.
McLeay was born in Port Clinton, the son of well to do farmers. After initially schooling in Port Clinton, McLeay finished his education in Adelaide, attending Unley High School and Muirden College before commencing work for local businesses.
He enlisted soon after the outbreak of World War I, serving as stretcher-bearer in the Field Ambulance Corps in France and was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery under fire. Returning to Adelaide after the war, McLeay joined his brother George's importing business and involved himself in local issues.
Elected to the Adelaide suburban Unley Council in 1924, McLeay served as Mayor of Unley from 1935 to 1937, resigning to contest the state Electoral district of Unley as an independent. McLeay was one of 15 independents elected to the 39 member South Australian House of Assembly and as such, held the balance of power in parliament. McLeay lost Unley at the 1941 election and later acknowledged that his three years in state parliament was a waste of time as it had become clear to him that he could not accomplish anything as an independent.
McLeay returned to public life when he was elected Lord Mayor of Adelaide in 1946, serving until 1950, during which time he gained Liberal and Country League pre-selection for the safe federal electorate of Boothby and subsequently entered the Australian House of Representatives at the 1949 election.
McLeay was elected Speaker of the House in 1956 and served as Speaker for a record ten and a half years, before his retirement from politics on 31 October 1966. Following his retirement, McLeay served as Chairman of McLeay Brothers Ltd. and director of other companies, as well as member of the Tramways Trust Board, the State Bank of South Australia and the council of the University of Adelaide. He also served as president of the Adelaide Legacy Club, the South Australian Retail Furniture Association, the South Australian Playground Association and the South Australian Tree Planters Association.
Created a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1962 for political and community services, McLeay's brother George and son John jnr, both served in federal parliament, John jnr, inheriting the electorate of Boothby from McLeay.
McLeay died in Adelaide after a short illness, predeceased by his wife, Lady Eileen. A state funeral was held in his honour.
- "Sir John McLeay dies at 88", The Advertiser, 23 June 1982.
|Parliament of Australia|
|Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
1956 – 1966
Sir William Aston
|Member for Boothby
John McLeay, Jr.