Connolly in 1943
|22nd Minister of Defence|
12 December 1957 – 12 December 1960
|Prime Minister||Walter Nash|
|Preceded by||Dean Eyre|
|Succeeded by||Dean Eyre|
|Born||14 November 1899
Dunedin, New Zealand
|Died||13 February 1970
Dunedin, New Zealand
|Spouse(s)||Phyllis Mirfin (1929-1934†)
Molly Noton (1943-1970)
|Allegiance||New Zealand Navy|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Connoly was born in Dunedin on 14 November 1899 to Hugh Babbington Connolly and Evelyn Emily Connolly (née Smith). He was educated at McAndrew Road School and Otago Boys High School until leaving school in 1914 upon the death of his father to work for a living as an apprentice fitter. Connolly first developed an interest in politics upon the formation of the Labour Party in 1916. He also worked in the NZR Hillside Workshops.
During World War II Connolly served in the Royal New Zealand Navy in both the Atlantic and Pacific, commanding the minesweeper ship HMS Deodar and antisubmarine vessel HMNZS Moa. He was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross in 1941 for his service in safeguarding Channel convoys.
|Parliament of New Zealand|
Connolly represented the Dunedin West electorate from 1943 to 1946, and then the Dunedin Central electorate from 1946 to 1963, when he retired. He narrowly missed selection for a cabinet portfolio under Peter Fraser, though in 1947 was elected as the Labour Party's junior Whip, being elevated to the senior Whip in 1951.
He was later appointed a Cabinet Minister by Walter Nash, and was Minister of Defence from 12 December 1957 to 12 December 1960 in the Second Labour Government. He also was the Minister responsible for Police and War Pensions.
Connolly was also deeply involved in local body politics in Dunedin. He first ran for local office in 1933, and was first elected in 1939. He would serve as a councilor later in life too, until his death and also served on the Otago Harbour and Hospital boards. Connolly ran as the Labour candidate for Mayor in 1953, but lost to incumbent Leonard Morton Wright.
In 1970, Connolly was offered a knighthood, though declined. He died suddenly at his Dunedin home on 13 February 1970, aged 70.
- Jamieson, Rosemary (2009), In Command: Minesweeper Captain and Labour Parliamentarian (1st ed.), Wellington, [N.Z.]: Steele Roberts
- Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
|New Zealand Parliament|
|Member of Parliament for Dunedin Central
|Party political offices|
|Senior Whip of the Labour Party
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