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Christian, Arthur William (1893–1956)

The Honourable Arthur William Christian, M.H.A., Minister of Agriculture and Forests in South Australia, collapsed and died from a heart attack on 7th January. He was 62 years of age and had spent most of the day fighting a bushfire on his property at Nildottie, on the River Murray, near Swan Reach.

Mr. Christian was born at Tanunda in 1893 and in his early years was a school teacher. In 1915 he enlisted in the A.I.F. and subsequently served with the 11th Field Ambulance in France and Belgium. After World War I he took up land at Yaninee, on Upper Eyre Peninsula, and had engaged in wheat and wool growing right up to his death.

He was elected to Parliament in 1933 and retained his seat through the intervening years. In 1938 he was made a member of the Public Works Committee, and became chairman of that body in 1944.

Mr. Christian succeeded to the portfolio of Minister of Agriculture on 28th May 1954 on the retirement of Sir George Jenkins. During his short period of office he proved an able administrator and had a good all-round grasp of rural problems. In the last parliamentary session he brought down legislation to introduce bulk handling of wheat and to improve bushfire prevention and control. The campaign to fight the grasshopper plague of the last three months, he made his personal concern.

Mr. Christian, who was the youngest son of Edmund Christian, one of the earliest-born colonists in South Australia (born at Kingscote in 1843), is survived by his widow.

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Citation details

'Christian, Arthur William (1893–1956)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/christian-arthur-william-219/text220, accessed 25 November 2017.

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