Follow us on Facebook
+ -

Arthur Calwell

Arthur Calwell Park on the corner of Mangalore and Cashmere Streets is named after Travancore’s most famous resident of the 20th century, the federal member for Melbourne for 32 years from 1940 to 1972.  The Calwell family is likely to have had one of the longest ongoing connections with Flemington.

In 1853 Arthur Calwell’s Welsh-born grandmother, Elizabeth Lewis, settled in Flemington after visiting the goldfields.  She married an American, Davis Calwell, and their son Arthur Calwell lived in Lee Street, Flemington, from about 1923.  After moving to North Melbourne, Arthur Calwell’s family moved back to Flemington in the early 1930s, buying in the new Travancore estate, where his daughter still resides.

Some accounts suggest Calwell stopped attending St Brendan’s Church in Wellington Street, Flemington, where he had worshipped for many years, due to the rift caused by the Democratic Labor Party.  However, his family maintained strong links with the local community.

Calwell is notable for being the second victim of an attempted political assassination in modern Australia, when a student fired a sawn-off shotgun at Calwell at short-range at an anti-conscription rally in Sydney.  Fortunately, Calwell suffered only minor injuries from broken glass.  Calwell was also Immigration Minister in the Chifley government from 1945 to 1949 and Leader of the Australian Labor Party from 1960 to 1967.

Breen M, People, Cars & Cows: The Changing of Flemington (Melbourne, 1989)