Merv Toms

Last updated


Merv Toms
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
of Western Australia
In office
15 July 1971 8 October 1971
Preceded by Hugh Guthrie
Succeeded by Daniel Norton
Member of the Legislative Assembly
of Western Australia
In office
7 April 1956 1 March 1962
Preceded by Edward Oldfield
Succeeded byEdward Oldfield
Constituency Maylands
In office
1 March 1962 23 March 1968
Preceded byNone (new creation)
Succeeded byNone (abolished)
Constituency Bayswater
In office
23 March 1968 8 October 1971
Preceded byNone (new creation)
Succeeded by Mal Bryce
Constituency Ascot
Personal details
Born(1909-01-23)23 January 1909
Boulder, Western Australia, Australia
Died8 October 1971(1971-10-08) (aged 62)
Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia
Political party Labor

John Mervin "Merv" Toms (23 January 1909 – 8 October 1971) was an Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1956 to 1971. He was appointed Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in July 1971, but served only a few months before dying in office.

Contents

Early life

Toms was born in Boulder, Western Australia, to Lucy (née Kent) and John Pryor Toms. He moved to Perth during his childhood, attending Midland High School. Toms left school at the age of 15, initially working as a labourer and later as a carpenter and joiner. He married Winifred Ann Jenkinson in 1933, with whom he had three children. Toms was elected to the Bayswater Road Board in April 1944, and would serve on the council until May 1971, including as chairman from 1951 to 1965. He was also prominent in the Building Workers' Industrial Union, a forerunner of the CFMEU. [1]

Politics

Toms entered parliament at the 1956 state election, easily winning the seat of Maylands. At the 1962 election, he transferred to the new seat of Bayswater. When Bayswater was abolished at the 1968 election, he switched seats for a second time, winning the newly created seat of Ascot. [2] Toms was subsequently appointed deputy chairman of committees in the Legislative Assembly. [1]

Following Labor's victory at the 1971 election, Toms was elected to the speakership. His elevation meant that the government and opposition had equal numbers on the floor of the Legislative Assembly, so he made frequent use of his casting vote as speaker. During a sitting in October 1971, Toms collapsed and was rushed to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, where he died. [1] Because his death reduced Labor to a minority government, the premier, John Tonkin, advised the governor, Sir Douglas Kendrew, to prorogue parliament until the necessary by-election had been held (which Labor won). [3]

See also

Related Research Articles

John Tonkin Australian politician

John Trezise Tonkin AC, popularly known as "Honest John", was an Australian politician.

Electoral district of Maylands

Maylands is a Legislative Assembly electorate in the state of Western Australia. Maylands is named for the inner northeastern Perth suburb of Maylands which falls within its borders.

Ascot was an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of Western Australia from 1968 to 1989.

Charles North (politician) Australian lawyer and politician

Charles Frederic John North was an Australian lawyer and politician who was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1924 to 1956, initially representing the Nationalist Party and later the Liberal Party. He was Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 1947 to 1953.

Malcolm John Bryce was an Australian politician, who served as a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1971 to 1988, representing the seat of Ascot. He was deputy leader of the Labor Party from 1977 to 1980 and from 1981 to 1988, and served as deputy premier under Brian Burke.

Aloysius Joseph "Loy" Rodoreda was an Australian politician who was the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1953 to 1956. A member of the Labor Party, he sat in parliament from 1933 to his death in 1958, first representing Roebourne and then Pilbara, both located in the state's North-West.

Sir Desmond Henry O'Neil was an Australian politician who was a Liberal Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1959 to 1980. He was a minister in the governments of Sir David Brand and Sir Charles Court, and served as deputy premier to Court between 1975 and 1980.

Donald George May was an Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1962 to 1965 and again from 1968 to 1977. He was a minister in the government of John Tonkin.

James Hegney was an Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1930 to 1947 and again from 1950 to 1968. He served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 1956 to 1959.

Arthur William Bickerton was an Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1958 to 1974, representing the seat of Pilbara. He served as a minister in the government of John Tonkin.

John Merrifield Hearman CMG was an Australian politician who was a Liberal Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1950 to 1968, representing the seat of Blackwood. He served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 1959 to 1968, with only Sir James Lee-Steere having served in the position longer.

Daniel Norton was an Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1953 to 1974, representing the seat of Gascoyne. He served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 1971 to 1974.

John Joseph Harman AM was an Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1968 to 1986, representing the seat of Maylands. He served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 1983 to 1986.

John Ewing was an Australian politician who served in both houses of the Parliament of Western Australia. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly from 1901 to 1904 and again from 1905 to 1908, and then served as a member of the Legislative Council from 1916 until his death.

George Taylor (Australian politician)

George "Mulga" Taylor was an Australian labour leader and politician who was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1901 to 1930. He was a minister in the government of Henry Daglish, and later served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 1917 to 1924.

Thomas Daniel Evans was an Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1956 to 1980, representing the seat of Kalgoorlie. He served as a minister in the government of John Tonkin, including as treasurer and attorney-general.

Garry Kenneth Kelly was an Australian politician who served as a Labor Party member of the Legislative Council of Western Australia from 1982 to 1993. He stood for parliament eight times in total, winning four elections.

Richard George Ardagh was an Australian trade unionist and politician who served in the Legislative Council of Western Australia from 1912 to 1924, representing North-East Province.

A by-election for the seat of Ascot in the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia was held on 13 November 1971. It was triggered by the death of Merv Toms, the serving Labor member and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, on 8 October 1971.

References

  1. 1 2 3 John Mervin Toms – Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  2. Black, David; Prescott, Valerie (1997). Election statistics : Legislative Assembly of Western Australia, 1890-1996. Perth, [W.A.]: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project and Western Australian Electoral Commission. ISBN   0730984095.
  3. Phillips, Harry (1991). "The Modern Parliament, 1965–1989". In Black, David (ed.). The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia 1832–1990. Perth, Western Australia: Parliament of Western Australia. p. 206. ISBN   0-7309-3983-9.
Parliament of Western Australia
Preceded by
Edward Oldfield
Member for Maylands
1956–1962
Succeeded by
Edward Oldfield
New creation Member for Bayswater
1962–1968
Abolished
New creation Member for Ascot
1968–1971
Succeeded by
Mal Bryce
Preceded by
Hugh Guthrie
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
1971
Succeeded by
Daniel Norton