Ben Chifley the 16th Prime Minister of Australia graduated as one of the youngest first-class locomotive engine driver at 28. Chifley died of a massive heart attack on the 13th of June 1951 in Canberra, whilst parliamentarians attended State Ball at Parliament House. Once hearing the news Prime Minister Menzies told everyone to go home. Ben Chifley ghost is said to haunt Hotel Kurrajong in Canberra.
Joseph Lyon the 10th Prime Minister of Australia, father lost the family savings at the 1887 Melbourne Cup. Lyon at the age of 9 was forced to leave school and find work.
Alfred Deakin the 2nd Prime Minister of Australia was almost killed in lift accident in 1887. Melbourne became the fourth city in the world to build power hydraulic lifts. When directors of the Australian Provincial Assurance Association (including future Australian Prime Minister Alfred Deakin), inspected the hydraulic lift in the new APA building on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Flinders Lane, Melbourne, for the first time. The mechanism failed and the lift shot upwards 12 floors, stopped only by some stout springs at the top. Deakin exited the building by the stairs.
Julia Gillard the 27th Prime Minister of Australia immigrated with her family to Adelaide in 1966 as ’£10 poms’. Gillard is the first female Prime Minister to be sworn in by the first female Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Gillard was also the first unmarried Prime Minister.
Looking for something to do on this Election Night? No matter what your political preference, we will allow you behind the walls of the most intact 19th century prison in Victoria. But will Mary Anne Kane allow your release …….?
We have some room left on the 10pm ghost tour tonight. Join Mary Anne Kane, one of our industrial school girls, as she leads you through the darkened halls and cells of the infamous Geelong Gaol.
For information and bookings call 1300865800
Photo Credit: Freyja Berry
John Howard the 25th Prime Minister of Australia is the only Liberal Party Prime Minister to have been educated in a state school. Howard also lived at his parents’ home until he was 32 years old.
Harold Holt the 17th Prime Minister of Australia father married one of his former girlfriends…… So she became his step mother. After going missing while swimming and his body never found, in good Australian humour a local Melbourne swimming pool was named in his honour.
John Curtin 14th Prime Minister of Australia, first job at the age of 14, was as a messenger boy for a magazine edited by artist Norman Lindsay. Curtin was also gaoled for three days in Pentridge Prison Melbourne in 1916 for defying government’s call-up order for military. Although holding such strong beliefs Curtin passed conscription for WWII.
Gough Whitlam the 21st Prime Minister of Australia is only one of two Prime Ministers whose lifetime spanned the lives of all 25 Prime Ministers in Australia’s first century (John Gorton was the other) Whitlam was Australia’s longest-lived Prime Minister, dying at the age of 98 years, sadly 2 years short of receiving a 100th birthday card from Queen Elizabeth II, the woman who sacked him and his government in 1975.
26) Kevin Rudd the 26th Prime Minister of Australia is a descendent of the youngest ever transported convict Mary Wade, who had over three hundred relatives when she died and is considered as one of Australia’s ‘matriarchs’. At the age of 15, Rudd wrote to Prime Minister Gough Whitlam asking for advice on how to become involved in a diplomatic career. Whitlam suggested Rudd learn a foreign language, which he did Chinese (Mandarin).
Sir Robert Menzies the 12th Prime Minister of Australia is the longest serving Prime Minister (18 years). Menzies retired on Australia Day in 1966. Menzies was a lifelong supporter of Carlton VFL Football Club. In the 1970s, following a stroke the Carlton Football club made a ramp up onto the committee box at Princes Park Oval so that Menzies’s chauffeur, Peter Pearson could drive his Bentley into the stand to watch games.
Tony Abbott the 28th Prime Minister of Australia during his student days, once saved a child who was swept out to sea. Another time, he helped save children from a burning house next to a pub where he was drinking. At the aged 26, he studied to become a Catholic priest.