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James Scullin
James Scullin

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The cross erected over the grave commemorates former Prime Minister, James Scullin (1876-1953).

James Scullin became Australia`s first Catholic prime minister, and the first native-born Labor prime minister. Scullin was a skilled debater in an era in which it was greatly admired. It was in part this gift which brought him to the attention of the Labor Party, which first nominated him to stand in the seat of Ballarat against Prime Minister Alfred Deakin in the 1906 election. Scullin ran a grocer’s shop in Ballarat and worked as an organiser for the Australian Workers’ Union.

In 1922, Scullin won the seat of Yarra and in 1928 he became leader of the Labor Party and prime minister after the 1929 election. The crash of the New York Stock Exchange, which occurred in October 1929 and led to the Great Depression, came just two weeks after the election of the Scullin Government. The inability of the Scullin Government to respond to the Depression decided its fate and led to a split in the Labor Party. Scullin’s path to becoming prime minister had been rapid and culminated in a glorious election victory, with an additional railway car required to contain the mass of flowers presented to him on arrival in Canberra. In office little went right, but Scullin would be remembered as a man of decency and integrity.

An Australian nationalist, he preferred unification to the Federal system. He was a strong supporter of the White Australia policy and of high protection for manufacturing industries.

MELBOURNE, November 1. Hundreds of people stood in driving hail at the Melbourne cemetery today while Labour Party members paid tribute to the late Mr James Scullin, Australian Prime Minister from 1929 to 1932. The Federal Opposition Leader (Dr Evatt) unveiled a memorial over Mr Scullin's grave. The memorial, a grey marble Celtic cross, was erected by the Labour party.  Dr Evatt said the memorial was a tribute to a great Australian who did much for the under-privileged. "His was a life of long service to the nation," Dr Evatt said "He was a great orator and debater in Parliament. " Mr Scullin was the first Australian-born Labour leader to become Prime Minister, he added. Others who paid tribute were the Federal Opposition Deputy Leader (Mr Calwell), the president of the Australasian Council of Trade Unions (Mr A. Monk) and the Victorian Premier (Mr Cain).
Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld), 2 November 1953.


Address:College Crescent , Melbourne General Cemetery, Carlton North, 3054
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.791667
Long: 144.962222
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Cross
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Federal


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 1st November, 1953
Front Inscription

James Henry Scullin P.C.

Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia
October 1929 - January 1932

Beloved husband of Sarah Maria

Died 28-1-1953
Aged 76 years.

Requiescat in pace

"Justice and humanity demand interference whenever the weak are being crushed by the strong"   J.H.S.

Erected by the Federal Executive of the A.L.P. 
Federal Parliamentary Labor Party and A.C.T.U.
On behalf of the Labor Movement of Australia.


Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au