May 15, 2011

John Curtin

I am wondering how many fellow Mirians know about John Curtin who has been commemorated by a University growing out of the swamps of Miri?



My photo - taken on mid day....a little dark....(This bronze statue was put up only in 2005 in Fremantle City)
(photo from Wikipedia)



John Curtin was famous for several things:
1. significant expansion of social services under his leadership. In 1942, uniform taxation was imposed on the various states,which enabled the Curtin Government to set up a far-reaching, federally administered range of social services.(a widows’ pension (1942), maternity benefits for Aborigines (1942), funeral benefits (1943), a wife’s allowance (1943), additional allowances for the children of pensioners (1943), unemployment, sickness and Special Benefits (1945), and pharmaceutical benefits (1945).The expansion of social security under John Curtin was of such significance that, as summed up one historian,
“Australia entered World War II with only a fragmentary welfare provision: by the end of the war it had constructed a ‘welfare state’”.
2. His early death and the sentiments it aroused have given Curtin a unique place in Australian political history. Successive Labor leaders, particularly Bob Hawke and Kim Beazley, have sought to build on the Curtin tradition of "patriotic Laborism". Even some political conservatives pay at least formal homage to the Curtin legend. Immediately after his death the parliament agreed to pay John Curtin's wife Elsie A£1,000 per annum until legislation was passed and enacted to pay a pension to past Prime Minister or their spouse after their death.
3. He  is commemorated by Curtin University of Technology in Perth, John Curtin College of the Arts in Fremantle, the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra, the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library and the John Curtin Hotel on Lygon St, Carlton, Melbourne. On 14 August 2005, the 60th anniversary of V-P Day, a bronze statue of Curtin was unveiled by Premier Geoff Gallop in front of Fremantle Town Hall.
4. Curtin House in Swanston St, Melbourne is named after him.
5. In 1975 he was honoured on a postage stamp bearing his portrait issued by Australia Post.

It is nice to finally see his bronze statute.

6 comments:

Ann said...

My husband came across a blog on Pillay college, and asked me about it. He asked if it is a university.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Methodist Pilley Institute is a college...may be one day it will become a university. But I think Kolej Laila will supersede it...The politicians have been saying that KLT can be a university in two years' time...It has a big campus whereas MPI is growing slowly from slow donations from church members and local people. Judy Wong Liong Yung has been the faithful principal for the last few years.

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