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Fast facts: Robert Menzies

Personal profile

Robert Gordon MENZIES

Born:

20 December 1894, Jeparit, Victoria

Education:

University of Melbourne (1918)

Employment:

barrister

Memberships:

Savage Club, Melbourne; West Brighton Club; Freemasons

Marriage:

27 September 1920, Kew, Melbourne

Children:

Kenneth (1922); Ian (1923); Heather (1928)

Died:

15 May 1978, Melbourne

Buried:

cremated (June 1996 ashes buried in Prime Ministers Memorial Garden, Melbourne General Cemetery)

Honours:

Kings Counsel (1929); Privy Councillor (1937); US League of Merit (1950); Companion of Honour (1951); Order of the Thistle (1963); Warden of the Cinque Ports (1965); Order of the Rising Sun, First Class (1973); Knight of the Order of Australia (1976)

Pattie Maie MENZIES (née LECKIE)

Born:

2 March 1899, Alexandria, Victoria

Died:

30 August 1995 (cremated; June 1996 ashes buried in Prime Ministers Memorial Garden, Melbourne General Cemetery)

Honours:

GBE (1954)

Political profile

Terms as PM:

26 April 1939 – 29 August 1941; 19 December 1949 – 26 January 1966

Terms as MP:

Victorian Legislative Council: 1928–29 (East Yarra)
Victorian Legislative Assembly: 1929–34 (Nunawading)
House of Representatives: 23 October 1934 – 26 January 1966 (Kooyong); Leader of the Opposition: September 1943 – December 1949

Portfolios:

Attorney General: 12 October 1934 – 20 March 1939
Industry: 12 October 1934 – 20 March 1939
Treasurer: 26 April 1939 – 14 March 1940
Defence Co-ordination: 13 November 1939 – 7 October 1941
Trade and Customs: 23 February – 14 March1940
Information: 28 October – 13 December 1940
External Affairs: 4 February 1960 – 22 December 1961
CSIRO: 22 December 1961 – 16 February 1962

Political memberships:

Nationalist Party; United Australia Party (leader 1939–41; 1943–44); Liberal Party of Australia (1944–78, leader 1944–66)

Quiz facts

  • Australia’s longest serving prime minister – his two periods in office totalled 18 years 5 months and 10 days
  • won all 12 federal elections in his parliamentary term (1934–63)
  • completed plan of Canberra, with the construction of Lake Burley Griffin
  • nicknamed ‘Pig-iron Bob’ in 1939 after he resisted the waterside workers’ ban on exporting scrap-iron to Japan
  • in 1941 became the first Australian Prime Minister to fly overseas, when he left Australia for England in a QANTAS Empire flying boat
  • started the ‘Prime Minister’s 11’ cricket matches
  • one of three former Prime Ministers awarded Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun, First Class (the others were Edmund Barton and John McEwen)
  • the only Australian appointed to the Order of the Thistle, an honour in the gift of the reigning monarch
  • Pattie Menzies was one of only three Australians to be awarded the Dame Grand Cross of the British Empire (the first was Florence Reid in 1917, the second was Mary Hughes in 1922)

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