LEFROY, Sir Henry Bruce (1854-1930)


LEFROY, Sir Henry Bruce (1854-1930)
premier of Western Australia
was born at Perth on 24 March 1854. His father, Anthony O'Grady Lefroy, C.M.G., born in 1818, was secretary to Governor Fitzgerald from 1849 to 1853, and colonial treasurer of Western Australia from 1856 to 1890 when he retired. He sent his son to Rugby, where he excelled both in his classes and in athletics, becoming a member of the football fifteen. He declined a university career and returned to his father's station at Walebing, about 100 miles north of Perth, of which he soon became the manager. He was invited to join the Victoria Plains road board, was elected chairman when he was 21 and held the position for 20 years. He entered the legislative assembly in 1892 as member for Moore, in May 1897 became minister of education in Forrest's (q.v.) ministry, and about a year later exchanged this position for that of minister for mines. On Forrest's resigning in 1901 Lefroy became agent-general for Western Australia at London until 1904. Returning to Australia Lefroy devoted himself to his pastoral interests for six years. In 1911 he was elected to the legislative assembly for his old constituency, and was minister for lands and agriculture in the second Wilson (q.v.) ministry from July 1916 to June 1917. He then became premier still retaining his old portfolios. He resigned on 17 April 1919 and was a private member until 1924. His last years were spent in retirement at Walebing where he died on 19 March 1930. He was married twice (1) to Rose Wittenoom and (2) to Madeleine Walford, who survived him with three sons by the first marriage and two sons and a daughter by the second. Lefroy was created C.M.G. in 1903 and K.C.M.G. in 1919. He was a kindly, honourable man, belonging to the best type of squatter, always doing his duty as he understood it, and much loved and respected in his district and in parliament.
J. S. Battye, The Cyclopedia of Western Australia; The West Australian, 22 March 1930; Who's Who, 1930.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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