Clem Hawke

Clem Hawke (1897 – 1989) South Australian Congregational minister
Clem Hawke was the congregational minister of Bordertown SA, serving in this position from 1928 to 1935. His son Bob was to become prime minister.

Clem Hawke was the congregational minister of Bordertown SA, serving in this position from 1928 to 1935. His wife Ellie Lee, was a school teacher. Both were of Cornish ancestry.

The family moved to Maitland on the Yorke Peninsula, and in 1939 after the death one of their sons – 18 year old Neil Hawke, the family moved to Leederville, Western Australia.

Clem’s brother, Albert (Bert) Hawke, was Labor Premier of Western Australia for six years from 1953 to 1959.

Clem Hawke’s second son Robert James Lee (Bob) was to become prime minister.

Bob Hawke was born on 9 December 1929 at home in Farquhar Street, Bordertown SA. The family lived in the Manse of the Congregational Church.

Sources :

Clem HawkeThe Age 26 December 1989

Clem Hawke – Wikipedia

Bob Hawke talking about his father :
I just loved him and he loved me. He would read to me endlessly of when I can remember I was small and “Read me a story Dad” and he just would go on reading and reading and encourage me to read and when you have a parent that does that the response is obvious and the bond between us was just remarkable. He was a most humble man, the most decent man I’ve ever met in my life and he always looked for the best in people to find positives and he said something to me that always remained with me. He said if you believe in the fatherhood of God you must necessarily believe in the brotherhood of man, it follows necessarily and even though I left the church and was not religious, that truth remained with me.

Complete transcript :

Material on Clem Hawke from the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Library Archival Database :

Information on R.J. (Bob) Hawke’s birth, sourced from Hawke: The Early Years, Chapter 1 : The Early Years, By Blanche d’Alpuget, Published by Angus & Robertson (and the reference to Isaiah Chapter 9 : 6 : “the Government shall be upon his shoulders”)

Clem Hawke with son Bob and wife Ellie

An image – The wedding of Clem and Ellie Hawke

Three images (now no longer online) – Clem and Bob Hawke :

Farewell Bob Hawke, son of the manse

Information on Albert Hawke :

Christian fathers of Australian politicians

Leave a Reply, comments are welcome.

2 thoughts on “Clem Hawke”

  1. Thank you for adding the link through to the biography source for Bob’s parent’s expectation and faith for his exceptional life ( and as it would transpire in ” government ” ). I wonder if there is a little more to the story ? To date Bob has been somewhat reluctant to disclose or talk much on the subject. Blanche D’Alpuget’s biography does not record a ” dream ” but a series of signs and impressions, that not only effected his mother, but also those that saw the young child. It seems they all felt he was ” special “.

  2. Would be nice if you could put some information on this link about the Dream ( or other portent ) the Ellie had about ” the Government will be upon his Shoulders ” before or after their son Bob’s birth. This story is well circulated amongst Christian circle’s but hard to find confirmed in print ( or with reference to a source or witness ). Tku 22.12.15

    Editor: Thank you for this. Refer updated inclusion above.

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