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Albert Allan Tregear (1896–1976)

In the death of Mr Allan Tregear, CBE. BCom, AASA, last Sunday, Canberra has lost one of the remaining members of the relatively small group of parliamentary officers who moved from Melbourne to Canberra nearly 50 years ago to prepare for the opening of the Federal Parliament in the new capital on May 9, 1927.

Mr Tregear, who was aged 80, joined the Public Service in 1911 and after transferring to the staff of the Senate in 1921 joined the Department of the House of Representatives in 1925.

Like many of the then unmarried men, both parliamentary and governmental, who made the move to Canberra, he took up residence at Brassey House in Barton, the place from which many aspects of the early life style of Canberra emerged.

He quickly became a well-liked and active participant in the community and sporting life of the developing capital.

As a serious lead player in repertory, as a wicketkeeper for Manuka, as a pennant tennis player and a consistent handicap player of golf at Royal Canberra, he left his mark in a period in the history of the Federal capital that can never be repeated.

He became the Clerk of the House of Representatives in 1955 but before then he had made many significant contributions to the procedures, the practices, and the work of the House. His ability in a broad field was recognised by his secondment to the Department of Munitions in World War II.

From 1955 to 1958 he was the secretary of the Australia branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and did much to enhance its status in parliamentary areas in the Commonwealth of Nations by his work in Canberra and his association with delegations attending overseas conferences. 

On his retirement at the end of 1958, he was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year Honours. In the farewell proceedings in the House preceding his retirement, the Prime Minister, Mr (now Sir Robert) Menzies, no novice in the use of words, said that Allan Tregear had brought to his office all the great qualities that one expected — complete integrity, complete capacity, and complete impartiality.

He will be remembered as well for his long and devoted service to Rotary in Canberra, as a member of the board and many committees, and as its president. He leaves a widow and daughter. — (Sir) Alan Turner.

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'Tregear, Albert Allan (1896–1976)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

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