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WILLIAMS, Charles Murray (1923-1987)

WILLIAMS, Charles Murray ‘Mick’ (1923-1987)

C M Williams circa 1958.

C M Williams circa 1958.

History Professor at the Australian National University, Charles Murray Williams was referred to in Ad Astra of 1981 as ‘the most eloquent school-boy debater in more than 30 years’ , winning the Stanley Calvert Prize for Debating in 1940.

'Mick' was born on 2 May 1923, the son of Harold James Williams and Alice Isabel nee Nicholls, of llooroopna. ‘Mick was a student at Shepparton High School before coming to the College as a boarder in 1936. He participated in a variety of activities at School including the Debating Committee in 1940 and 1941, the Music Committee in 1941. The Pegasus Committee from 1939 to 1941 and the House of Guilds Council from 1939 to 1941 of which he was chair in his last two years. In 1939 he won the Pegasus Prize and in 1941, the Dr Gus Kearney Memorial Prize. In his final year at College, 1941, he played football in the 1st XVIII and became a School Prefect.'

He enlisted (No. VX79693) on 5 May 1942 and served with 13 Australian Heavy Wireless Section in Morotai and Borneo (April 1945-January 1946). A letter he wrote to The Pegasus was published in June 1943:
'Is there to be a 'Pegasus' this year? It would be a pity to let the magazine lapse; at any rate, I'll look forward to getting a copy as usual. Unlike many of the Old Boys whose letters I read in 'Pegasus', I never meet anyone from the College, perhaps because they have all the sense to keep out of Sigs. There is one, McQueen, who was in my old unit, but whose work was remote from mine, so that I seldom saw him. The powers decided to quarter us in one of Victoria's coldest and windiest spots; most of us are hoping for some activity which will give us the opportunity of moving out'. Mick was discharged from the AIF on 4 March 1946.'

'He was appointed the first Professor of History at the University of New England and then moved to the Australian National University (ANU) from 1967 to 1987 where he was Emeritus Professor of History at his retirement. He was a key member of the Society for the Study of Labour History.

The Mick Williams Prize at ANU 'commemorates the late Professor C M (Mick) Williams who was a member of the Department of History between 1967 and 1987 and is supported by the Williams family and members of educational service units in the University. The prize is awarded annually to the student enrolled in the undergraduate degree program who achieves the best result in the History Fourth Honours Year'

Sources: Ad Astra 1959; Ad Astra June 1987; ANU; James Affleck. Geelong Collegians at the Second World War pp 543-544..
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