Living Former Members Of The House Of Representatives (1949-1972)

The tables on this page show the former members of the House of Representatives 1949-72 who are still living.

There are 28 living former members from this period. They include 12 Liberals, 5 Nationals and 11 Labor members.

Only two forty-niners are still alive, both of them in their late 90s. Only four members from the 1950s are still living. Twenty-five of the 28 former members all served in the 27th parliament from 1969-72.

Nine of the 28 men are in their 90s. Henry Pearce, one of the class of 1949, will turn 100 in 2017. Thirteen are in their 80s and six in their 70s. The oldest (Pearce) is 99, the youngest (Keating) is 73.

The period 1949-72 is known as the Menzies era. Robert Menzies won office in 1949 as the leader of the Liberal Party. He governed in coalition with the Country Party, now known as The Nationals. He subsequently won six more elections (1951, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1961 and 1963) and retired in January 1966 after serving for 16 years as prime minister.

Between 1966 and 1972, the coalition was led by three prime ministers (Harold Holt, John Gorton and William McMahon) with a fourth (John McEwen) holding office for three weeks after Holt disappeared whilst swimming in December 1967.

Following a landslide re-election under Holt in 1966, Gorton suffered a 7% swing in 1969, in the face of a surging ALP led by Gough Whitlam. Gorton was overthrown in 1971 and Whitlam defeated McMahon in 1972.

The data on this page shows that the Menzies era is slowly receding into memory and history. Recollections of the lived experience will linger for some time but the ranks of the participants have thinned markedly.

The 12 Liberals still living are: Grayden, Pearce, Forbes, Hughes, Peacock, Cameron, Lee, Street, Garland, Brown, Solomon and Staley.

The 5 Country Party/Nationals still living are: Anthony, Nixon, Robinson, Sinclair and Lloyd.

The 11 ALP members still living are: Cross, Hayden, Scholes, Everingham, Berinson, Cass, Cohen, Gun, Hurford, Keating and Kennedy.

There are separate tables for the nine parliaments (from the 19th to the 27th) between 1949 and 1972. The data is accurate as of March 20, 2017. The current ages update automatically.

19th Parliament 1949-1951 – Members Still Living
No. Name Party Seat Term Date of Birth Current Age
1.
William Grayden
Liberal
Swan (WA)
1949-1954
05 August 1920
96 years, 7 months & 19 days
Grayden was a “forty-niner”, one of the MPs elected in 1949 when the Menzies government came to office, beginning a period of 23 years of coalition government. Previously a member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly (1947-49), Grayden served two terms until he was defeated at the 1954 election. He again served in the WA Legislative Assembly (1956-93) and was a minister in the Court government (1974-82).
2.
Henry Pearce
Liberal
Capricornia (Qld)
1949-1961
17 September 1917
99 years, 6 months & 7 days
The other living “forty-niner”, Pearce served five terms in the House until he was defeated in the 1961 election. In a predominantly Labor seat, he was the last Liberal to be re-elected in Capricornia until Michelle Landry did so in 2016.

*

20th Parliament 1951-1954 – Members Still Living
No. Name Party Seat Term Date of Birth Current Age
1.
William Grayden
Liberal
Swan (WA)
1949-1954
05 August 1920
96 years, 7 months & 19 days
2.
Henry Pearce
Liberal
Capricornia (Qld)
1949-1961
17 September 1917
99 years, 6 months & 7 days

*

21st Parliament 1954-1955 – Members Still Living
No. Name Party Seat Term Date of Birth Current Age
1.
Henry Pearce
Liberal
Capricornia (Qld)
1949-1961
17 September 1917
99 years, 6 months & 7 days

*

22nd Parliament 1955-1958 – Members Still Living
No. Name Party Seat Term Date of Birth Current Age
1.
Henry Pearce
Liberal
Capricornia (Qld)
1949-1961
17 September 1917
99 years, 6 months & 7 days
2.
Jim Forbes
Liberal
Barker (SA)
1956-1975
16 December 1923
93 years, 3 months & 8 days
Elected at a by-election in October 1956, succeeding former Country Party leader Archie Cameron. With Anthony and Sinclair, Forbes is one of three surviving ministers from the final Menzies government. Minister for Army 1963-66. Minister for Health 1966-71. Minister for Immigration 1971-72. Retired 1975.
3.
Doug Anthony
Country
Richmond (NSW)
1957-1984
31 December 1929
87 years, 2 months & 21 days
Elected at by-election Sept 1957, succeeding his late father. One of three surviving ministers from the final Menzies government. Minister for the Interior 1964-67. Country Party leader 1971-84. Deputy Prime Minister to John Gorton and William McMahon (1971-72), and Malcolm Fraser (1975-83). Minister for Overseas Trade and National Resources 1975-83. Retired 1984.

*

23rd Parliament 1958-1961 – Members Still Living
No. Name Party Seat Term Date of Birth Current Age
1.
Henry Pearce
Liberal
Capricornia (Qld)
1949-1961
17 September 1917
99 years, 6 months & 7 days
2.
Jim Forbes
Liberal
Barker (SA)
1956-1975
16 December 1923
93 years, 3 months & 8 days
3.
Doug Anthony
Country
Richmond (NSW)
1957-1984
31 December 1929
87 years, 2 months & 21 days

*

24th Parliament 1961-1963 – Members Still Living
No. Name Party Seat Term Date of Birth Current Age
1.
Jim Forbes
Liberal
Barker (SA)
1956-1975
16 December 1923
93 years, 3 months & 8 days
2.
Doug Anthony
Country
Richmond (NSW)
1957-1984
31 December 1929
87 years, 2 months & 21 days
3.
Manfred Cross
ALP
Brisbane (Qld)
1961-1975
1980-1990
12 August 1929
87 years, 7 months & 12 days
A backbencher, Cross was defeated in the anti-Whitlam landslide of 1975, when the ALP was reduced to just one seat in Queensland. He unsuccessfully contested the seat again in 1977 but was re-elected in 1980. Retired 1990.
4.
Bill Hayden
ALP
Oxley (Qld)
1961-1988
23 January 1933
84 years, 2 months & 1 day
Hayden is one of six surviving members of the Whitlam governments and one of only four surviving members of the original full ministry. Minister for Social Security 1972-75. Treasurer 1975. ALP Leader 1977-83. Persuaded to relinquish the leadership to Bob Hawke in February 1983. Foreign Minister in the Hawke government 1983-88. Retired 1988. Governor-General 1989-96.
5.
Peter Nixon
Country
Gippsland (Vic)
1961-1983
22 March 1928
87 years, 2 months & 21 days
A minister in the Holt, McEwen, Gorton, McMahon and Fraser governments. Minister for the Interior 1967-71. Minister for Shipping and Transport 1971-72 & 1975-79. Minister for Primary Industry 1979-83. Retired 1983.

*

25th Parliament 1963-1966 – Members Still Living
No. Name Party Seat Term Date of Birth Current Age
1.
Jim Forbes
Liberal
Barker (SA)
1956-1975
16 December 1923
93 years, 3 months & 8 days
2.
Doug Anthony
Country
Richmond (NSW)
1957-1984
31 December 1929
87 years, 2 months & 21 days
3.
Manfred Cross
ALP
Brisbane (Qld)
1961-1975
1980-1990
12 August 1929
87 years, 7 months & 12 days
4.
Bill Hayden
ALP
Oxley (Qld)
1961-1988
23 January 1933
84 years, 2 months & 1 day
5.
Peter Nixon
Country
Gippsland (Vic)
1961-1983
22 March 1928
87 years, 2 months & 21 days
6.
Tom Hughes
Liberal
Parkes (NSW)
Berowra (NSW)
1963-1969
1969-1972
26 November 1923
93 years, 3 months & 26 days
Attorney-General in the Gorton government 1969-71. At Gorton’s funeral in 2002, Hughes excoriated Malcolm Fraser for his role in the 1971 downfall of Gorton. Retired 1972. Hughes has been a prominent barrister over many decades and is Malcolm Turnbull’s father-in-law.
7.
Ian Robinson
Country
Cowper (NSW)
Page (NSW)
1963-1984
1984-1990
27 March 1925
91 years, 11 months & 25 days
A former state member of parliament. NSW MLA Casino 1953-63. MHR Cowper 1963-84, MHR Page 1984-90. Briefly an assistant minister in the McMahon government 1971-72. Defeated 1990.
8.
Ian Sinclair
Country
New England (NSW)
1963-1998
22 March 1928
87 years, 2 months & 21 days
With Forbes and Anthony, Sinclair is one of three surviving ministers from the final Menzies government. Minister for Social Services 1965-68. Minister for Primary Industry 1971-72, 1974-79. Minister for Communications 1980-82. Minister for Defence 1982-83. National Party Leader from 1984, Sinclair was overthrown in 1989 at the same time as the Liberal Party replaced John Howard with Andrew Peacock. Speaker 1998. Retired 1998.
9.
Andrew Peacock
Liberal
Kooyong (Vic)
1966-1994
13 February 1939
78 years, 1 month & 11 days
Elected at by-election in April 1966, replacing Sir Robert Menzies. Minister for the Army 1969-71. Minister for External Territories 1972. Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Fraser government 1975-80. Minister for Industrial Relations 1980-81. Minister for Industry and Commerce 1982-83. Leader of Liberal Party 1983-85, 1989-90. Peacock unsuccessfully contested the 1984 and 1990 federal elections as leader of the party. His long-running rivalry with John Howard was a feature of the 1980s. Retired 1994. Ambassador to USA 1997-99.

*

26th Parliament 1966-1969 – Members Still Living
No. Name Party Seat Term Date of Birth Current Age
1.
Jim Forbes
Liberal
Barker (SA)
1956-1975
16 December 1923
93 years, 3 months & 8 days
2.
Doug Anthony
Country
Richmond (NSW)
1957-1984
31 December 1929
87 years, 2 months & 21 days
3.
Manfred Cross
ALP
Brisbane (Qld)
1961-1975
1980-1990
12 August 1929
87 years, 7 months & 12 days
4.
Bill Hayden
ALP
Oxley (Qld)
1961-1988
23 Janaury 1933
84 years, 2 months & 1 day
5.
Peter Nixon
Country
Gippsland (Vic)
1961-1983
22 March 1928
87 years, 2 months & 21 days
6.
Tom Hughes
Liberal
Parkes (NSW)
Berowra (NSW)
1963-1969
1969-1972
26 November 1923
93 years, 3 months & 26 days
7.
Ian Robinson
Country
Cowper (NSW)
Page (NSW)
1963-1984
1984-1990
27 March 1925
91 years, 11 months & 25 days
8.
Ian Sinclair
Country
New England (NSW)
1963-1998
22 March 1928
87 years, 2 months & 21 days
9.
Andrew Peacock
Liberal
Kooyong (Vic)
1966-1994
13 February 1939
78 years, 1 month & 11 days
10.
Donald Cameron
Liberal
Griffith (Qld)
Fadden (Qld)
Moreton (Qld)
1966-1977
1977-1983
1983-1990
06 February 1940
77 years, 1 month & 18 days
Cameron is one of a small number of members to represent more than two electorates. MHR Griffith 1966-77. MHR Fadden (Qld) 1977-83. MHR Moreton (Qld) 1983-1990. He never held ministerial office. Retired 1990.
11.
Mervyn Lee
Liberal
Lalor (Vic)
1966-1969
18 August 1920
96 years, 7 months & 6 days
Lee is the only non-Labor member to have represented Lalor, winning the seat in the coalition landslide in 1966 at the height of the Vietnam war. Following a redistribution, Lee chose to contest Bendigo in 1969 and was defeated by the ALP’s David Kennedy.
12.
Tony Street
Liberal
Corangamite (Vic)
1966-1984
08 February 1926
91 years, 1 month & 16 days
A minister in the McMahon and Fraser governments. Assistant Minister for Labour and National Service 1971-72. Minister for Labour and Immigration 1975. Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations 1975-80. Minister for Industrial Relations 1977-80. Minister for Foreign Affairs 1980-83. Retired 1984.
13.
Gordon Scholes
ALP
Corio (Vic)
1967-1993
07 June 1931
85 years, 9 months & 17 days
Elected at by-election July 1967, succeeding Hubert Opperman. He became Speaker in contentious circumstances in 1975 and played a role in the events of November 11, 1975 when the Whitlam government was dismissed. Minister for Defence in the Hawke government 1983-84. Retired 1993.
14.
Doug Everingham
ALP
Capricornia (Qld)
1967-1975
1977-1984
25 June 1923
93 years, 8 months & 27 days
Elected at a by-election September 1967, following the death of the sitting Labor member, George Gray. He is one of six surviving ministers from the Whitlam governments and one of four survivors of the original full ministry. Minister for Health 1972-75. Defeated 1975. Re-elected 1977. Retired 1984.
15.
Victor Garland
Liberal
Curtin (WA)
1969-1981
05 May 1934
82 years, 10 months & 19 days
Elected at by-election Apr 1969. Minister for Supply 1971-72. Minister for Post and Telecommunications 1975-76. Minister for Veterans’ Affairs 1977-78. Minister for Special Trade Representations 1978-79. Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs 1979-80. Retired 1981. High Commissioner to UK 1981-83.

*

27th Parliament 1969-1972 – Members Still Living
No. Name Party Seat Term Date of Birth Current Age
1.
Jim Forbes
Liberal
Barker (SA)
1956-1975
16 December 1923
93 years, 3 months & 8 days
2.
Doug Anthony
Country
Richmond (NSW)
1957-1984
31 December 1929
87 years, 2 months & 21 days
3.
Manfred Cross
ALP
Brisbane (Qld)
1961-1975
1980-1990
12 August 1929
87 years, 7 months & 12 days
4.
Bill Hayden
ALP
Oxley (Qld)
1961-1988
23 Janaury 1933
84 years, 2 months & 1 day
5.
Peter Nixon
Country
Gippsland (Vic)
1961-1983
22 March 1928
87 years, 2 months & 21 days
6.
Tom Hughes
Liberal
Parkes (NSW)
Berowra (NSW)
1963-1969
1969-1972
26 November 1923
93 years, 3 months & 26 days
7.
Ian Robinson
Country
Cowper (NSW)
Page (NSW)
1963-1984
1984-1990
27 March 1925
91 years, 11 months & 25 days
8.
Ian Sinclair
Country
New England (NSW)
1963-1998
22 March 1928
87 years, 2 months & 21 days
9.
Andrew Peacock
Liberal
Kooyong (Vic)
1966-1994
13 February 1939
78 years, 1 month & 11 days
10.
Donald Cameron
Liberal
Griffith (Qld)
Fadden (Qld)
Moreton (Qld)
1966-1977
1977-1983
1983-1990
06 February 1940
77 years, 1 month & 18 days
11.
Tony Street
Liberal
Corangamite (Vic)
1966-1984
08 February 1926
91 years, 1 month & 16 days
12.
Gordon Scholes
ALP
Corio (Vic)
1967-1993
07 June 1931
85 years, 9 months & 17 days
13.
Doug Everingham
ALP
Capricornia (Qld)
1967-1975
1977-1984
25 June 1923
93 years, 8 months & 27 days
14.
Victor Garland
Liberal
Curtin (WA)
1969-1981
05 May 1934
82 years, 10 months & 19 days
15.
Joe Berinson
ALP
Perth (WA)
1969-1975
07 Jan 1932
85 years, 2 months & 17 days
Berinson served as Minister for the Environment in the finals months of the Whitlam government in 1975. He is one of six surviving ministers from that period. Defeated in 1975, Berinson was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Council in 1980. He served as Attorney-General 1983-93 and retired in 1993.
16.
Neil Brown
Liberal
Diamond Valley (Vic)
Diamond Valley (Vic)
Menzies
1969-1972
1975-1983
1984-1991
22 February 1940
77 years, 1 month & 2 days
Brown served in the Fraser government as Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs 1981-82, Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs 1982 and Minister for Communications 1982-83. He was Deputy Leader of John Howard 1985-87. Retired 1991.
17.
Moss Cass
ALP
Maribyrnong (Vic)
1969-1983
18 February 1927
90 years, 1 month & 6 days
Minister for the Environment in the Whitlam governments 1972-75, Cass is one of six surviving ministers from that period and one of only four surviving members of the first full Whitlam ministry. Retired 1983.
18.
Barry Cohen
ALP
Robertson (NSW)
1969-1990
03 April 1935
81 years, 11 months & 21 days
Minister for Home Affairs and the Environment in the Hawke government 1983-84 and Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Environment 1984-87. Raconteur and author of books of Whitlam anecdotes. One of four former MPs who lost a case in the High Court in 2016 over reductions in the retirement allowances for MPs.
19.
Richie Gun
ALP
Kingston (SA)
1969-1975
27 May 1936
80 years, 9 months & 25 days
A former doctor and backbencher in the Whitlam government, Gun lost his seat in 1975, unsuccessfully contesting it again in 1977 and 1980.
20.
Chris Hurford
ALP
Adelaide (SA)
1969-1987
30 July 1931
85 years, 7 months & 22 days
Minister for Housing and Construction in the Hawke government 1983-84, Minister for Immigration and ethnic Affairs 1984-87. Hurford regained Adelaide from Andrew Jones, one of the youngest MPs ever elected. He retired in 1987 and the seat was again lost to the Liberal Party. Consul-General in New York 1988-91.
21.
Paul Keating
ALP
Blaxland (NSW)
1969-1996
18 January 1944
73 years, 2 months & 6 days
Keating was 25 when he was elected to Blaxland. Served as Minister for Northern Australia in the final three weeks of the Whitlam government in 1975, one of just six surviving ministers from that period. Treasurer in the Hawke government 1983-91. Overthrew Prime Minister Bob Hawke in December 1991 and served as prime minister for four years 1991-1996, winning the 1993 election but losing to John Howard in 1996. Retired 1996.
22.
David Kennedy
ALP
Bendigo (Vic)
1969-1972
20 March 1940
77 years & 4 days
A former teacher, Kennedy was the only Labor member to lose his seat in the 1972 election, attributable in part to an anti-abortion campaign against him. He subsequently served in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, representing Bendigo and Bendigo West 1982-92.
23.
Dr. Robert Solomon
Liberal
Denison (Tas)
1969-1972
02 November 1931
85 years, 4 months & 22 days
A university lecturer in Geography, Solomon held Denison for one term until he was defeated in 1972.
24.
Tony Staley
Liberal
Chisholm (Vic)
1970-1980
15 May 1939
77 years, 10 months & 9 days
Elected at a by-election in September 1970, following the death of long-serving member Wilfred Kent Hughes. Minister for the Capital Territory 1976-77 and Minister for Post and Telecommunications 1977-80. Active in the campaign to replace Billy Snedden as Liberal leader with Malcolm Fraser in 1974-75. President of the Liberal Party in the 1990s. Seriously injured in a road accident in 1990.
25.
Bruce Lloyd
National
Murray (Vic)
1971-1996
24 February 1937
80 years & 1 month
Elected at a by-election in March 1971 to replace the retiring leader of the Country Party, John McEwen. Deputy Leader of the National Party 1987-93. Retired 1996.

 

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