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Troy, Michael Francis (Frank) (1877–1953)

This entry is from Obituaries Australia

Mr. Michael Francis Troy, a former Agent-General and for many years a leading figure in State politics, died at his home in Park-road, Mt. Lawley, yesterday afternoon after a long illness. He represented the Mt. Magnet electorate in the Legislative Assembly for 34 years.

A staunch supporter of the Labour movement Mr. Troy was born at Pimlico, Richmond River, N.S.W., in September, 1877. He was educated at the State school in Wardell, N.S.W., and started his career as a teacher.

Gold discoveries attracted him to this State when he was 20 and for some years he followed mining pursuits in the Murchison district, where for two years he was secretary of the Murchison district council of the Australian Workers' Union.

Mr. Troy was appointed miners' representative before the Arbitration Court in the first labour dispute on the Murchison goldfield and for some years afterwards he appeared in the court as an advocate.

At the general election in 1904 Mr. Troy entered on what was to prove a distinguished parliamentary career. He was elected to the Mt. Magnet seat.

For six years he was Parliamentary Labour Party Whip and from 1911 to 1917 he occupied the office of Speaker, being the youngest member of any Australian Parliament to hold that office.

Mr. Troy was given Ministerial rank in 1924 when he was appointed Minister for Mines and Agriculture in the Collier Government and in 1927, on the appointment of Mr. W. C. Angwin as Agent-General, he resigned the portfolio of Mines to become Minister for Lands and Migration.

After a period in Opposition the Labour Party was returned to power in 1933 and Mr. Troy resumed office as Minister for Lands.

When Mr. Collier retired from the Premiership, Mr. Troy became Deputy-Premier in the Ministry led by Mr. J. C. Willcock and he was acting Premier and Treasurer on several occasions.

A practical agriculturist, he owned a farm near Mullewa, which came to be recognised as a model of what a well-developed farm should be.

His concern for the farming community was exhibited by his reorganisation of the Agricultural Bank and by the measures he took for a substantial writing down of farmers' debts to place them in a sounder position.

He did a great deal to straighten out some of the problems of group settlement and he also took a leading part in the creation of the Dampawah, Yilgarn, Salmon Gums and Wongan Hills research stations.

During his period as Minister for Agriculture the Muresk Agricultural College was founded. He gave effect to the Federal relief scheme for debt adjustment and in 1938 initiated legislation to secure a home price for wheat.

In September, 1938, Mr. Troy, then "Father" of the Assembly, was selected by Cabinet for the office of Agent-General in succession to Sir Hal Colebatch.

He held that position until 1944, through the worst years of the war.

Mr. Troy married in 1913 Flora Brown Mackinnon, who died on January 6, last year.

There will be Requiem Mass at the Sacred Heart Church, Highgate, at 9 a.m. tomorrow and the funeral will be at 10.10 a.m. at Karrakatta Cemetery. 

"It was with very sincere regret that I heard of the death of Mr. Troy," the Premier (Sir Ross McLarty) said yesterday.

"I have a keen appreciation of his long service to the State as a member of Parliament and a Minister of the Crown and later as Agent-General in London," Sir Ross said.

"Mr. Troy was a man with a very human and practical outlook and he was a keen student, reader and thinker.

"He had a high sense of duty and the courage of his convictions, which prompted him to express his views fearlessly."

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Citation details

'Troy, Michael Francis (Frank) (1877–1953)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://labouraustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/troy-michael-francis-frank-32907/text40990, accessed 29 November 2022.

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