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Charles Carty (Carty) Salmon (1860–1917)

Widespread regret will be expressed at the news of the death of Dr Charles Carty Salmon, who was re-elected as member of the House of Representatives for the Grampians in May last. Dr. Salmon had just gone through a most strenuous political campaign, having been all through the electorate, when he was seized with serious illness. He returned to Melbourne on May 7, two days after the polling and at once set himself to get in touch with the arrears of private business. Dr Salmon was managing director of Dudgeon and Arnell Proprietors Limited, tobacco manufacturers, Lonsdale street, and he was at his office on the afternoon of May 8. Later he was seized with sudden illness, and was at once taken to his home at Walsh street, South Yarra. For some time his condition was serious, but he made a partial recovery, though he was not able to take his seat in the House. His condition grew worse again, however, and after lingering for weeks he died on Saturday evening at 8 o'clock.

Dr Salmon who was the son of the late Mr F. B. Salmon, was born at Daisy Hill, near Talbot, on July 30, 1860, and was educated at Scotch College, Melbourne. On leaving school he went to the country for a while, but returned to Melbourne, and entered Trinity College in April, 1886, with a view to studying medicine at the Melbourne University. Dr Salmon did not complete his medical course at the Melbourne University but after studying two years here went to Scotland, and graduated L.R.C.P., L.R.C.S., Edinburgh, and L.F.P.S., Glasgow, in 1891. He at once returned to Australia and was registered as a medical practitioner on August 7 1891. He entered the Victorian Parliament in 1893, representing the Talbot constituency and he held the seat until he resigned to contest the Laanecoorie seat in the first Federal Parliament. He was successful and represented the constituency until in the redistribution of seats in 1913 it was abolished. He stood for the Senate in 1914 and was defeated but in 1915 at a by-election for the Grampians he was successful. At the elections in May last he was again returned.

Dr Salmon had not been long in the Legislative Assembly of Victoria before he began to take a prominent position. He was Minister for Public Instruction and Commissioner of Trade and Customs in the McLean-Shiels Ministry in 1899-1900. He was also president of the Australian Natives Association. Whilst a member of the House of Representatives he was Chairman of Committees and Deputy Speaker from 1904-1908, and subsequently in July 1909 he became Speaker and held the position until the expiration of the Parliament in 1910. In the discussion as to the appointment of Speaker in the present Federal Parliament Dr. Salmon's name was freely mentioned.

In addition to his Parliamentary positions, Dr Salmon had many outside interests. He joined the medical staff of the Australian Mounted Rifles in 1891 with the rank of captain, and was transferred to the AAMC in 1903. He gained his majority in 1909 and became lieutenant-colonel in 1912 attached to the 20th Light Horse. He had been for four years Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Victoria and was installed in March last for the fourth time. He has also been closely identified with the Anglican Church. He was a member of the council of the diocese, a lay canon of St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, a lay representative of the Church Synod, Ballarat, a trustee and chairman of the council of Trinity College Melbourne, and a member of the council of the Church of England Grammar School, Melbourne. Dr Salmon also took a prominent part in the establishment of federation.

Dr Salmon married in 1900 Nancy, the daughter of the late Sir Matthew Harris, then Lord Mayor of Sydney. His wedding was the occasion for one of the most elaborate social functions in Sydney. Mrs Salmon and three children survive him.

The funeral which will be conducted with full military honours and Masonic rites will be held on Tuesday, the place of interment being the Melbourne General Cemetery. A service will be held at St Pauls Cathedral at half past 1 pm conducted by Archdeacon Hindley.

Prime Minister's Tribute
"I have heard with grant regret of the death of Dr Carty Salmon" said the Prime Minister (Mr Hughes) last night. "He played a conspicuous part in the politics of this State before federation,and has since occupied the highest post it is in the power of the House of Representatives to bestow — that of Speaker. He was a man of most kindly disposition, and his death will be mourned by all members of both parties. I have written to Mrs Salmon conveying my own sympathy and that of the Government, and we are seeking to ascertain her wishes with regard to the funeral. It is likely that Parliament may adjourn to enable members to attend."

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'Salmon, Charles Carty (Carty) (1860–1917)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 June 2024.

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