Coming from a
family of political luminaries, notably nephew Sir Robert Menzies
(Melbourne General Cemetery) who became Australia’s longest serving Prime
Minister (1939-41, 1949-66); other political relations include Sir Robert’s
father, James Menzies (Box Hill Cemetery), M.L.A for Lowan 1911-20
and James’ brother-in-law Sydney Sampson, M.H.R for Wimmera 1906-19. Hugh
was born on 4 September 1857 at Ballarat, Victoria the son of Scottish-born
parents Robert Menzies, machinery merchant and Elizabeth née Band.
Educated locally he then had a varied career as a bank manager (Rupanyup),
licensee of several hotels in Stawell before being elected to the
legislative assembly seat of Stawell from October 1902 to May 1904, but
failed to gain re-election when the seat was abolished; in 1908 he
unsuccessfully contested the seat of Ararat. From 1894 to 1906 he served as
a Stawell Borough councillor and was Mayor from 1895-96 where he “assisted
in the development of the community and in the progress of mining
developments”. “Greatly respected in the district”, Menzies later retired
to Melbourne and
carried on a newsagency in Caulfield. Married to Eleanor née Lodge
(d 1950), he resided at Vermador - 625 Glenhuntly Road, Caulfield
where he died on 13 February 1925.
Monumental Headstone (enlarge
Browne, G., “Biographical Register of the
Victorian Parliament 1900-84” (1985).
The Stawell News 18 February 1925.
The Weekly Times 21 February 1925.
The Argus 16 February 1925.
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