John Kirwan (politician)

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Sir John Kirwan

John Kirwan.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Kalgoorlie
In office
29 March 1901 16 December 1903
Preceded byNew seat
Succeeded by Charles Frazer
Personal details
Born(1869-12-02)2 December 1869
Liverpool, England
Died9 September 1949(1949-09-09) (aged 79)
Subiaco, Western Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Free Trade Party
Spouse(s)Teresa Gertrude
OccupationNewspaper editor

Sir John Waters Kirwan, KCMG (2 December 1869 – 9 September 1949) was the President of the Western Australian Legislative Council and first Federal member for Kalgoorlie in the Australian House of Representatives.

Order of St Michael and St George series of appointments of an order of chivalry of the United Kingdom

The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, King George III.

Western Australian Legislative Council upper house of the Legislature of the state of Western Australia

The Western Australian Legislative Council is the upper house of the Parliament of Western Australia, a state of Australia. It is regarded as a house of review for legislation passed by the Legislative Assembly, the lower house. The two Houses of Parliament sit in Parliament House in the state capital, Perth.

Division of Kalgoorlie abolished Australian federal electoral division

The Division of Kalgoorlie was an Australian Electoral Division in the state of Western Australia, named after the city of Kalgoorlie. The Division was proclaimed in 1900 as one of the original 75 divisions to be contested at the first Federal election. In its final form, it covered most of the land area of Western Australia, with a size of 2,295,354 square kilometres (886,241 sq mi)—over 90 percent of the state's landmass. It included the Goldfields-Esperance, Gascoyne, Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia, in addition to the eastern and far northern parts of the Mid West region, and the town of Merredin. It was the largest single-member electorate by area in the world—almost a third of the continent.



Early life

He was born in Liverpool, England, of Irish parents.

Liverpool City and Metropolitan borough in England

Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in North West England, with an estimated population of 491,500. Its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the UK, with a population of 2.24 million in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district in the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest in the Liverpool City Region.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.


He did literary work in London and Dublin before coming to Australia in 1889. [1] At first, he continued writing in Brisbane, Melbourne and South Australian newspapers but moved to Kalgoorlie in 1895, attracted by the great gold discoveries.

Brisbane capital city of Queensland, Australia

Brisbane is the capital of and the most populated city in the Australian state of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of approximately 2.5 million, and the South East Queensland metropolitan region, centred on Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3.6 million. The Brisbane central business district stands on the historic European settlement and is situated inside a peninsula of the Brisbane River, about 15 kilometres from its mouth at Moreton Bay. The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River Valley between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range, sprawling across several of Australia's most populous local government areas (LGAs)—most centrally the City of Brisbane, which is by far the most populous LGA in the nation. The demonym of Brisbane is "Brisbanite" or "Brisbanian".

Melbourne City in Victoria, Australia

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 5 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".

South Australia State of Australia

South Australia is a state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of 983,482 square kilometres (379,725 sq mi), it is the fourth-largest of Australia's states and territories by area, and fifth largest by population. It has a total of 1.7 million people, and its population is the second most highly centralised in Australia, after Western Australia, with more than 77 percent of South Australians living in the capital, Adelaide, or its environs. Other population centres in the state are relatively small; Mount Gambier, the second largest centre, has a population of 28,684.

In Kalgoorlie, he edited both the Western Argus and Kalgoorlie Miner newspapers, with the latter growing in size and importance under his editorship. In 1898, he stood for the Legislative Council seat of North-East Province and lost by 90 votes. [1] In 1901, he agreed to stand for the federal seat of Kalgoorlie under the Free Trade Party banner, and won the seat comfortably. During his time in federal politics he was a member of the Royal Commission on Iron Bonuses. He was defeated by the Labor nominee C. E. Frazer in the second federal election. [2]

The Kalgoorlie Miner is a daily newspaper circulating in the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Goldfields-Esperance region.

The Free Trade Party which was officially known as the Australian Free Trade and Liberal Association, also referred to as the Revenue Tariff Party in some states, was an Australian political party, formally organised in 1887 in New South Wales, in time for the 1887 colony election, which the party won. It advocated the abolition of protectionism, especially protective tariffs and other restrictions on trade, arguing that this would create greater prosperity for all. However, many members also advocated use of minimal tariffs for government revenue purposes only. Its most prominent leader was George Reid, who led the Reid Government as the fourth Prime Minister of Australia (1904-5). In New South Wales it was succeeded by the Liberal and Reform Association in 1902, and federally by the Anti-Socialist Party in 1906. In 1909, the Anti-Socialist Party merged with the Protectionist Party to form the Commonwealth Liberal Party.

Charles Frazer (politician) Australian politician

Charles Edward Frazer was an Australian politician. He served in the House of Representatives from 1903 until his death from pneumonia in 1913, aged 33. He was Postmaster-General in the second Fisher Ministry.

In 1908, he was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Council for the South Province, where he sat until 1946, and served as President of the Council from 1926 to 1946. Throughout his tenure, he remained an Independent, although he was an enthusiastic supporter of the Scaddan Labor government from 1911 until 1916, voting in 165 divisions with the government and none against. Following its defeat in 1916, he worked with governments of both major political persuasions and strongly advocated for his Goldfields constituency.

South Province was an electoral province of the Legislative Council of Western Australia between 1900 and 1989. It elected three members between 1900 and 1965 and two members between 1965 and 1989.

He served as an inaugural member on the Senate of the University of Western Australia from 1912 until 1924. He was also involved in the organising committee of the Western Australia Centenary of 1929. He was knighted in 1930 and appointed K.C.M.G. in 1947. [1]

University of Western Australia university in Perth, Western Australia

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is a public research university in the Australian state of Western Australia. The university's main campus is in Perth, the state capital, with a secondary campus in Albany and various other facilities elsewhere.

He was a member of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, contributing numerous articles to Early Days and various international periodicals such as The Times and The Review of Reviews. He also wrote an autobiography in 1936.

Personal life

In 1912, he married Teresa Gertrude Quinlan, the daughter of politician Timothy Quinlan, and they had three sons (a twin male having died at birth), two grandchildren (a boy and a girl) and three great grandchildren (a girl and two boys).


He died in the Perth suburb of Subiaco in 1949. [1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Simpson, Pat. "Kirwan, Sir John Waters (1869 - 1949)". Australian Dictionary of Biography . Australian National University . Retrieved 12 August 2007.
  2. Raeside J (1996). Golden Days: being Memoirs & Reminiscences of the Goldfields of Western Australia. Hesperian Press. ISBN   0-85905-204-4.

Further reading

Parliament of Australia
New divisionMember for Kalgoorlie
1901 – 1903
Succeeded by
Charles Frazer

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