James Menzies (1862 – 1945) politician, father of Robert Menzies
James Menzies represented the Electorate of Lowan in the Victorian Parliament from November 1911 to September 1920. He was also trustee and lay preacher at the Jeparit Methodist Church. He was the father of Sir Robert Menzies.
James Menzies supported his family after his father’s death by working as apprentice coach painter, Phoenix Foundry, Ballarat.
He established his own coach painting business and was a storekeeper in Jeparit Victoria from 1893. He was also an agent for H. V. McKay’s harvester firm and Wilson & Bolton, stock and station agents.
He purchased a 640-acre farm near Jeparit, leased it, sold 1912 and moved to Melbourne. He was a statistical officer and tariff reviser BHP 1926-1945.
He was a member Council of Agricultural Education 1917-1945, chairman 1932-1934; member Aust. Industries Protection League 1935-1945; JP; president Menzies Boys Home, Frankston.
He represented the Electorate of Lowan in the Victorian Parliament from
November 1911 to September 1920.
His many activities in the Japarit area included trustee and lay preacher at the Jeparit Methodist Church.
He was the father of Sir Robert Menzies.
Information on H V McKay : https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/hugh-victor-mckay/
The youth and early professional life of Robert Menzies : http://www.science.org.au/fellows/memoirs/menzies.html
Above image : Menzies Memorial Jeparit
The prominent Liberal politician Sir Robert Menzies was born in Jeparit in 1894. His father was a local shopkeeper. Menzies was educated at the local school. His life is commemorated by a particularly uninspiring 18-metre grey steel column with a thistle on the top. It is called the Robert Menzies Spire and stands at the corner of Charles St and Sands Ave at the entrance to Sir Robert Menzies Park. At night it is floodlit. The inscription reads: ‘This spire has been erected by the people of Jeparit and district, to honour Sir Robert Menzies. The spire symbolises the rise to world recognition of a boy who was born in Jeparit and who rose by his own efforts to become Australia’s Prime Minister and a statesman recognised and honoured throughout the world.’
It is worth remembering that, although the town is the birthplace of Sir Robert Menzies, neither his home nor his father’s shop remain. One was burnt down and the other was demolished. Menzies Square is located where the house and store once stood at the corner of Charles and Roy Sts. There is a plaque and a gazebo.
Two other Christian fathers of Australian Prime Ministers :
Clem Hawke https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/clem-hawke/
Harry Whitlam https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/harry-whitlam/
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