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John William Waddell (1891–1939)

The death occurred late last night, in the War Memorial Hospital, Waverley, of Mr. John William Waddell, M.L.A., who had represented Waverley in the Legislative Assembly continuously since 1932.

Mr. Waddell had suffered for many years from an ailment which he had contracted during a business sojourn in India. Shortly before his death he said to some of his colleagues: "I am going into hospital tomorrow, and I may not come out alive."

Before he entered politics, on behalf of the United Australia Party, Mr. Waddell enjoyed a successful business career. He was an underwriter, and had held several managerial posts with insurance and other companies in India and Australia. He had also travelled widely in Europe.

A son of the late Mr. Robert Waddell, he was born at Singleton, New South Wales, on March 15, 1891. He received his early education at Maitland, and afterwards at the Hawkesbury Agricultural College. Intending to take up pastoral pursuits, he spent part of his youth on the Fort Bourke station, owned by his uncle, Mr. Thomas Waddell, M.L.C., a former premier and Treasurer of the State. His interests, however, gravitated toward insurance, and in 1912 he joined the Queensland Insurance Company, becoming manager for the company at Launceston, Tasmania, and later at Madras, India.

While he was in India the Great War broke out. He joined the Indian Army and saw active service until the Armistice when he resumed his business associations with the Queensland Insurance Company in India. From 1920 to 1926 he was manager for the New India Assurance Company at Calcutta. Before returning to Australia he travelled extensively in England and other European countries, studying industrial and economic problems. In 1927 he was appointed general manager in Australia for the Century British Oak and Liverpool Insurance Companies group resigning from that position in 1930.

In that year Mr Waddell began to take an active interest in Australian politics. He was for a time vice-president and a member of the executive of the old All for Australia Party in whose interests he unsuccessfully contested the Woollahra seat in the State general election against the sitting Nationalist member the late Sir Daniel Levy.

In 1932 Mr Waddell, as the endorsed United Australia Party candidate, obtained an absolute majority of votes over the sitting Lang Labour candidate for the Waverley seat, Mr W. A. Clementson, and the candidates of the Federal Labor and Communist Parties. He continued to represent Waverley up to the time of his death.

Mr Wadell is survived by Mrs Waddell, whom he married in 1920, one son and one daughter. Mrs Waddell was the daughter of the late Mr S. Wallingford of Durban, South Africa.

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'Waddell, John William (1891–1939)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

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