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BIRRELL, Hayden Wilson (1923-1994)

BIRRELL, Hayden Wilson (1923-1994)

Hayden Wilson Birrell, parliamentarian, was a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly for twenty-one years and was a strong supporter for the establishment of Deakin University in Geelong, the construction of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre, the State Government Offices and the north wing of the Geelong Hospital.

The son of Stanley Wilson Birrell and Alice Hayden nee George and born on 5 February 1923, he first went to Chilwell State School before his education at Geelong College from 1933 to 1938. His address when he was first enrolled was 11 Huntingdon St, Newtown.

At School, he was notable as the Secretary of the Debating Committee and as a member of the Tennis Team. He enlisted in the AIF in 1941 and the RAN in 1942. Pegasus noted that Sub-Lieutenant Birrell was aboard HMAS Pirie in Tokyo Bay at the time of the general Japanese surrender. He was discharged from the navy in June 1946.

Hayden was the MLA for Geelong (1961-1976) and the MLA for Geelong West (1976-1982). He was also an inaugural member of 'Community Aid Abroad' in Geelong. He remained a keen sportsman and was president of the parliamentary bowling team.

Hayden retired from politics in 1982 and moved to the Gold Coast, where he died at the Nearang Nursing Home on 24 December 1994. His brother, Clive Norman Lewis Birrell (1924-2003) also attended the College.

Sources: Pegasus December 1945 p59; Ad Astra March 1995 p22.
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