George Mackay (Australian politician)

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The Hon
George Mackay
George Mackay.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Lilley
In office
5 May 1917 – 7 August 1934
Preceded by Jacob Stumm
Succeeded by Donald Cameron
8th Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
In office
17 February 1932 – 7 August 1934
Preceded by Norman Makin
Succeeded by George Bell
Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly
for Gympie
In office
27 April 1912 – 22 May 1915
Preceded by New seat
Succeeded by Thomas Dunstan
Personal details
Born George Hugh Alexander Mackay
(1872-03-20)20 March 1872
Clermont, Queensland
Died 5 November 1961(1961-11-05) (aged 89)
Gympie, Queensland
Resting place Gympie Cemetery
Nationality Australian
Political party Nationalist (1917–31)
UAP (1931–34)
Spouse(s) Edith Ann Heard (m.1896 d.1958)
Occupation Real estate agent
Religion Presbyterian

George Hugh Alexander Mackay (20 March 1872 – 5 November 1961) was an Australian politician and Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives.

Early life[edit]

Mackay was born at Copperfield, near Clermont in Queensland, to Scottish-born carpenter Hugh Mackay and Jane, née Baird. He attended the state schools at Clermont and Bundaberg before becoming an apprentice printer at the Peak Downs Telegram in 1887. In 1894 he was promoted to foreman printer, and finally became managing editor. He married Edith Ann Heard on 23 September 1896 at the Wesleyan Church in Clermont, after which he joined his sister Barbara in the local bookshop and newsagency. He was elected to Clermont Toun Council in 1882 and served as mayor 1900-02.

Mackay moved to Lismore in New South Wales in 1902 before leasing a dairy farm at McLean's Ridge. Shortly afterwards, in 1905, the family moved back to Queensland, settling at Gympie, where Mackay opened an auctioneering and real estate business in partnership with Ray King. In 1911 he was elected to Gympie City Council; he was mayor in 1917.

Politics[edit]

Mackay was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Queensland in 1912 as a Liberal member, representing the seat of Gympie. He was defeated in 1915,[1] but in 1917 won the federal seat of Lilley as a Nationalist. In the House of Representatives he was known as a competent public speaker with a penchant for quoting figures; serving on the Joint Committee on Public Works (1920–28, chairman 1926-28), he was involved in the development of Canberra and the building of the Australian War Memorial. He stated that he had "no time for extremists or muddlers", and was known to dislike the Country Party.

In 1931, the Nationalist Party became the United Australia Party, and on 11 February 1932 Mackay was elected Speaker. In March 1934 he announced his retirement, stating that "one may remain in parliament too long".

Later life[edit]

After his retirement, Mackay was interested in bowls, and he was president of the Gympie Bowling Club 1936-39. He was a devout Presbyterian and Freemason, and in 1952 wrote A summary of the history of the Gympie Presbyterian Church. He died on 5 November 1961 at Gympie and received a state funeral; he was buried at Gympie Cemetery.[2] He was survived by a son.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Former Members". Parliament of Queensland. 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Welcome to the Gympie Cemetery Mapping Portal — Gympie Cemetery Trust. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Norman Makin
Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
1932–1934
Succeeded by
George Bell
Preceded by
Jacob Stumm
Member for Lilley
1917–1934
Succeeded by
Donald Charles Cameron
Parliament of Queensland
New seat Member for Gympie
1912–1915
Succeeded by
Thomas Dunstan