PRIME MINISTERS

Robert Menzies
Australia Crest

Australia's longest serving Prime Minister, sometimes known as Ming from his Scottish ancestry.

Menzies became Prime Minister on April 26th, 1939, after the death of Joe Lyons.

In October 1944, Federal Opposition Leader Menzies formed the Liberal Party of Australia with the help of 13 anti-Labor groups.

On March 19th, 1951, Menzies secured a double dissolution of Parliament after the failure of the Labor-dominated Senate to pass banking legislation.

After meeting the Queen in 1963 Menzies enthused "I did but see her passing by, and yet I love her till I die."

On April 29th, 1965, Menzies committed the first battalion of Australian troops to Vietnam.

Menzies is the only Australian Prime Minister since World War 1 to voluntarily leave office when he announced on Australia Day, 1966 that he was quitting, after 16 consecutive years as Prime Minister.

On his retirement the business community of Melbourne put round the hat and raised enough to present Sir Robert and Dame Pattie with a fine house in Haverbrack Avenue, Malvern and a fine car to go with it.

Sir Robert died, aged 83, at his Melbourne home on May 15th, 1978, survived by the now late Dame Pattie, who passed away in 1995.


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