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: 14 Liberals, 4 Country Party and 10 Labor.

Only two forty-niners – men returned at the December 1949 election – are still alive. Only four members from the 1950s are still living. Twenty-four of the 28 former members all served in the 27th parliament between 1969 and 1972, although Don Jessop had moved to the Senate.

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

The 1949-72 period 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 first table shows the 28 surviving members of the House from the 1949-1972 period.

House of Representatives 1949-72 – Surviving Members
Liberal Party (14) Country Party (4) A.L.P. (10)
1. William Grayden (1949-1954)
2. Henry Pearce (1949-1961)
3. Dr Jim Forbes (1956-1975)
4. Dr Wylie Gibbs (1963-1969)
5. Tom Hughes (1963-1972)
6. Andrew Peacock (1966-1994)
7. Donald Cameron (1966-1990)
8. Don Jessop (1966-1969)
9. Mervyn Lee (1966-1969)
10. Tony Streeet (1966-1984)
11. Neil Brown (1969-1972, 1975-1983, 1984-1991)
12. Victor Garland (1969-1981)
13. Dr Robert Solomon (1969-1972)
14. Tony Staley (1970-1980)
1. Doug Anthony (1957-1984)
2. Peter Nixon (1961-1983)
3. Ian Sinclair (1963-1998)
4. Bruce Lloyd (1971-1996)
1. Manfred Cross (1961-1975, 1980-1990)
2. Bill Hayden (1961-1988)
3. Gordon Scholes (1967-1993)
4. David Kennedy (1969-1972)
5. Joe Berinson (1969-1975)
6. Moss Cass (1969-1983)
7. Barry Cohen (1969-1990)
8. Richie Gun (1969-1975)
9. Chris Hurford (1969-1987)
10. Paul Keating (1969-1996)

 
RECENT DEATHS:
– August 24, 2017: Doug Everingham, 94, ALP, member for Capricornia, Qld, (1967-75) and (1977-84).
– March 23, 2017: Ian Robinson, 91, Country and National Party, member for Cowper, NSW, (1963-84) and Page, NSW, (1984-90).

The second table orders the members by the numbered parliaments (19th-27th) they served in. The data is accurate as of August 24, 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
97 years, 4 months, 11 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
100 years, 2 months, 29 days
The other living “forty-niner”, Pearce served five terms in the House until he was defeated at the 1961 election. In a predominantly Labor seat, he was the last coalition member 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
97 years, 4 months, 11 days
2.
Henry Pearce
Liberal
Capricornia (Qld)
1949-1961
17 September 1917
100 years, 2 months, 29 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
100 years, 2 months, 29 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
100 years, 2 months, 29 days
2.
Jim Forbes
Liberal
Barker (SA)
1956-1975
16 December 1923
94 years0 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, 11 months, 15 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
100 years, 2 months, 29 days
2.
Jim Forbes
Liberal
Barker (SA)
1956-1975
16 December 1923
94 years0 days
3.
Doug Anthony
Country
Richmond (NSW)
1957-1984
31 December 1929
87 years, 11 months, 15 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
94 years0 days
2.
Doug Anthony
Country
Richmond (NSW)
1957-1984
31 December 1929
87 years, 11 months, 15 days
3.
Manfred Cross
ALP
Brisbane (Qld)
1961-1975
1980-1990
12 August 1929
88 years, 4 months, 4 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, 10 months, 23 days
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, 11 months, 15 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
94 years0 days
2.
Doug Anthony
Country
Richmond (NSW)
1957-1984
31 December 1929
87 years, 11 months, 15 days
3.
Manfred Cross
ALP
Brisbane (Qld)
1961-1975
1980-1990
12 August 1929
88 years, 4 months, 4 days
4.
Bill Hayden
ALP
Oxley (Qld)
1961-1988
23 January 1933
84 years, 10 months, 23 days
5.
Peter Nixon
Country
Gippsland (Vic)
1961-1983
22 March 1928
87 years, 11 months, 15 days
6.
Dr Wylie Gibbs
Liberal
Bowman (Qld)
1963-1969
26 July 1922
95 years, 4 months, 20 days
Gibbs held Bowman for two terms, until he was defeated by the ALP’s Len Keogh in 1969. A doctor and surgeon, he became Executive Director of the Australian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association after he left parliament.
7.
Tom Hughes
Liberal
Parkes (NSW)
Berowra (NSW)
1963-1969
1969-1972
26 November 1923
94 years 20 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.
8.
Ian Sinclair
Country
New England (NSW)
1963-1998
22 March 1928
87 years, 11 months, 15 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, 1975-79. 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, 10 months, 3 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
94 years0 days
2.
Doug Anthony
Country
Richmond (NSW)
1957-1984
31 December 1929
87 years, 11 months, 15 days
3.
Manfred Cross
ALP
Brisbane (Qld)
1961-1975
1980-1990
12 August 1929
88 years, 4 months, 4 days
4.
Bill Hayden
ALP
Oxley (Qld)
1961-1988
23 Janaury 1933
84 years, 10 months, 23 days
5.
Peter Nixon
Country
Gippsland (Vic)
1961-1983
22 March 1928
87 years, 11 months, 15 days
6.
Dr Wylie Gibbs
Liberal
Bowman (Qld)
1963-1969
26 July 1922
95 years, 4 months, 20 days
7.
Tom Hughes
Liberal
Parkes (NSW)
Berowra (NSW)
1963-1969
1969-1972
26 November 1923
94 years 20 days
8.
Ian Sinclair
Country
New England (NSW)
1963-1998
22 March 1928
87 years, 11 months, 15 days
9.
Andrew Peacock
Liberal
Kooyong (Vic)
1966-1994
13 February 1939
78 years, 10 months, 3 days
10.
Donald Cameron
Liberal
Griffith (Qld)
Fadden (Qld)
Moreton (Qld)
1966-1977
1977-1983
1983-1990
06 February 1940
77 years, 10 months, 10 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
97 years, 3 months, 28 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, 10 months, 8 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.
Don Jessop
Liberal
Grey (SA)
Senate (SA)
1966-1969
1971-1987
21 Jun 1927
90 years, 5 months, 25 days
Elected to the House in the Vietnam landslide of 1966. Defeated 1969. Elected to the Senate 1971. Retired 1987.
14.
Gordon Scholes
ALP
Corio (Vic)
1967-1993
07 June 1931
86 years, 6 months, 9 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.
15.
Victor Garland
Liberal
Curtin (WA)
1969-1981
05 May 1934
83 years, 7 months, 11 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.
16.
David Kennedy
ALP
Bendigo (Vic)
1969-1972
20 Mar 1940
77 years, 8 months, 26 days
Elected at by-election 1969. Kennedy was re-elected at the 1969 general election. He was one of four ALP members to lose their seats in 1972, 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.

*

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
94 years0 days
2.
Doug Anthony
Country
Richmond (NSW)
1957-1984
31 December 1929
87 years, 11 months, 15 days
3.
Manfred Cross
ALP
Brisbane (Qld)
1961-1975
1980-1990
12 August 1929
88 years, 4 months, 4 days
4.
Bill Hayden
ALP
Oxley (Qld)
1961-1988
23 Janaury 1933
84 years, 10 months, 23 days
5.
Peter Nixon
Country
Gippsland (Vic)
1961-1983
22 March 1928
87 years, 11 months, 15 days
6.
Tom Hughes
Liberal
Parkes (NSW)
Berowra (NSW)
1963-1969
1969-1972
26 November 1923
94 years 20 days
7.
Ian Sinclair
Country
New England (NSW)
1963-1998
22 March 1928
87 years, 11 months, 15 days
8.
Andrew Peacock
Liberal
Kooyong (Vic)
1966-1994
13 February 1939
78 years, 10 months, 3 days
9.
Donald Cameron
Liberal
Griffith (Qld)
Fadden (Qld)
Moreton (Qld)
1966-1977
1977-1983
1983-1990
06 February 1940
77 years, 10 months, 10 days
10.
Tony Street
Liberal
Corangamite (Vic)
1966-1984
08 February 1926
91 years, 10 months, 8 days
11.
Gordon Scholes
ALP
Corio (Vic)
1967-1993
07 June 1931
86 years, 6 months, 9 days
12.
Victor Garland
Liberal
Curtin (WA)
1969-1981
05 May 1934
83 years, 7 months, 11 days
13.
David Kennedy
ALP
Bendigo (Vic)
1969-1972
20 Mar 1940
77 years, 8 months, 26 days
14.
Joe Berinson
ALP
Perth (WA)
1969-1975
07 Jan 1932
85 years, 11 months, 9 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.
15.
Neil Brown
Liberal
Diamond Valley (Vic)
Diamond Valley (Vic)
Menzies (Vic)
1969-1972
1975-1983
1984-1991
22 February 1940
77 years, 9 months, 24 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 to John Howard 1985-87. Retired 1991.
16.
Moss Cass
ALP
Maribyrnong (Vic)
1969-1983
18 February 1927
90 years, 9 months, 28 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.
17.
Barry Cohen
ALP
Robertson (NSW)
1969-1990
03 April 1935
82 years, 8 months, 13 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.
18.
Richie Gun
ALP
Kingston (SA)
1969-1975
27 May 1936
81 years, 6 months, 19 days
A former doctor and backbencher in the Whitlam government, Gun lost his seat in 1975, unsuccessfully contesting it again in 1977 and 1980.
19.
Chris Hurford
ALP
Adelaide (SA)
1969-1987
30 July 1931
86 years, 4 months, 16 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.
20.
Paul Keating
ALP
Blaxland (NSW)
1969-1996
18 January 1944
73 years, 10 months, 28 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.
21.
Dr. Robert Solomon
Liberal
Denison (Tas)
1969-1972
02 November 1931
86 years, 1 month, 14 days
A university lecturer in Geography, Solomon held Denison for one term until he was defeated in 1972.
22.
Tony Staley
Liberal
Chisholm (Vic)
1970-1980
15 May 1939
78 years, 7 months, 1 day
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.
23.
Bruce Lloyd
Country
Murray (Vic)
1971-1996
24 February 1937
80 years, 9 months, 22 days
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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