Compiled for OzSportsHistory by Brian Membrey

The Players in our Little Drama (in approximate order of appearance) :

Most at the time were plain "Mister" with peerages awarded later - in many cases through their work on the Olympic Games project; check the links to either the Australian Dictionary of Biography for local identities, Wikipedia for internationals)

Victorian Olympic Committee

Sir Edgar TANNER

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/tanner-sir-edgar-stephen-11821  (Tanner was one of those credited with bringing the Games to Melbourne after convening the first meeting of the Victorian Olympic Council — at which he was elected secretary-treasurer; late secretary-treasurer of the Australian Olympic Federation in 1947 and next year manager of the national team at the Games in London. He was later a Member of the Victorian Parliament for over 20 years from 1955, first as the Member for Ripponlea, then Caulfield)

William Thomas James "Bill" UREN  

The Victorian Olympic Committee Chairman who in conjunction with Tanner lobbied businessmen and State political leaders and attracted the vigorous support of the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sir Raymond Connelly, and an Olympian and previous Lord Mayor, Sir Frank Beaurepaire.

Uren was an inaugural member of the Melbourne Invitation Committee in 1948,  In 1950, while still Chairman of the VOC and a formerly a member of the Games Organising Committee that unanimously agreed the Showgrounds would be the accepted site if the MCG was unavailable for the Games , he was quoted as saying he “would rather give the Games away than see them staged at the Showgrounds”.  (Sporting Globe, 29 April, 1950)

He was Manager of the Australian team at the 1952 games in Helsinki

Major-General Sir Winston Joseph DUGAN,  GCMG, CB, DSO

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/dugan-sir-winston-joseph-10056 (Governor of Victoria (1939 – 1949; his role appears to have been as a Vice-Regal figurehead; he had retired to England by the time the announcement of Melbourne's successful bid was announced and died on 17 August, 1951. He had been Governor of Victoria for a then-record of just under ten years after previously being Governor of South Australia for five years)

Sir Frank BEAUREPAIRE

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/beaurepaire-sir-francis-joseph-edmund-frank-5175 (Lord Mayor of Melbourne (1940-42), former Olympic swimmer (three silver and three bronze and credited with 23 world records) and leading sports administrator – it was suggested that Beaurepaire's popularity in the international sporting community was instrumental in winning the Games for Melbourne. Beaurepaire resigned as chairman of the Organising Committee, effective 25 February 1951, citing  health  issues  and  work  commitments.  He joined  the  Melbourne City  Council’s  business  committee  for  the  Games  in  April  the  following year; his place on the O.O.C. taken by Wilfred Kent Hughes. Tragically, he died in May, 1956, six months before the Games he worked so hard to secure began. His son, Ian Beaurepaire was also a Lord Mayor of Melbourne, 1965-67).  See also The Sir Frank Beaurepaire Memorial Centre

Sir Francis CONNELLY

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/connelly-sir-francis-raymond-9809 (Lord Mayor of Melbourne 1945-48). A widower, Raymond Connelly re-married in 1948, the year after he initiated Melbourne's bid for the 1956 Games by forming the Olympic Invitational Committee,  and for his honeymoon travelled to London where he hosted a dinner for 300 at his own expense to begin the Olympic campaign. Sadly, Connelly was another that did not live to see the Olympics he initiated, dying of coronary vascular disease on 4 May 1949 just five days after Melbourne’s victory was announced in Rome)

Thomas Tuke HOLLWAY

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/hollway-thomas-tuke-tom-10524 (Premier of Victoria, 1947-50, he replaced John Cain senior with a Coalition Government after just four days, succeeded by Sir John McDonald, later Opposition Leader after Cain was  re-elected in 1952).  He was the only one of the four official representatives that lived to see the Games; he died on 30 July 1971 at Point Lonsdale;

The four "official" representatives wisely enlisted the assistance to two Melbourne newspaper executives : Sir Keith Murdoch (chairman of the Melbourne Herald) and Mr Edward A. Doyle to assist in the campaign.

Meet The Press

Keith MURDOCH

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/murdoch-sir-keith-arthur-7693 (Journalist and newspaper proprietor, he retired from most of his newspapers in 1949, but remained Chairman of the Melbourne Herald and Weekly Times. He died in 1952 succeeded by his son Keith Rupert and three daughters)

Edward A DOYLE, O.B.E.

Former managing editor of The Argus, he appointed chairman of the Publications Committee of the Melbourne Invitation Committee in 1948, and later noted as appointed by State Cabinet as the editor-in-chief of two volumes commemorating the discovery of gold in Victoria in 1851, and then editor of the 764-page Official Report of the Organizing Committee For The Games of the XVI OLYPIAD, Melbourne, 1956, released in 1958.

The Australian Delegation to the International Olympic Committee (May, 1949)

Sir James DISNEY

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/disney-sir-james-stanley-10021 (Lord Mayor 1948-51)  (A First World War veteran with the Australian Flying Corps, leading motorcycle racer and motor dealer elected to Melbourne City Council in 1935 and later a foundation member (1945) of the Liberal Party of Australia.  Disney was another that failed see the Games come to fruition - after a severe haemorrhage while still in office in February, 1950, he died of Hodgkin's disease on 20 January 1952 at his Auburn home and was survived by his wife and stepson.

 Sir (Alexander) George WALES

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/wales-sir-alexander-george-8951 (Lord Mayor (1934-37)  (Elected to the Melbourne City Council in 1925 as representative of Lonsdale Ward after several years serving on Brunswick Council. He served some 29 years on the M.C.C. as a member of most council committees and was chairman (1937-39) of the public works committee before a shock defeat in the council election of 1954.  He was elected to the Victorian Legislative Council in 1936, but resigned two years later following the disclosure that he was a principal shareholder in a firm successfully tendering for State government contracts.  Wales died on 31 May 1962 at Elsternwick and was buried in Coburg cemetery, survived by his wife and a daughter).

Sir Harold LUXTON

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/luxton-sir-harold-daniel-7264  (Lord Mayor, 1928-31, at 28 years, te youngest ever appointed. One of two Australian members of the I.O.F., serving since 1933 and suggestions are that during his 16-17 years on the I.O.C., he missed just one meeting, rather a contrast to Hugh Weir below). Deteriorating health in the 1950s forced Luxton into semi-retirement, but he continued to urge Melburnians to prepare themselves for the influx of visitors, warning of a lack of hotel accommodation and sophisticated night-life, suggesting Victorian politicians had made a grave mistake in not extending hotel drinking-hours. He remained as an Honorary Member of the I.O.F., although his place on the Organizing Committee for the 1956 Olympics was taken by his son Lewis, although he continued as the elder statesman of the movement. Luxton died cardiovascular disease, on 24 October 1957 at The Lodge, Dandenong.

(These three were accompanied in the Australian delegation by Sir Frank Beaurepaire (above)

Key Players : 1950-51

Sir John G. McDONALD

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mcdonald-sir-john-gladstone-black-jack-10933 (Country Party Premier from June 1950 to October 1952, when replaced by John Cain senior (Labor).  He was Deputy Premier under Thomas Hollway after Cain’s defeat in 1955 - Hollway was Premier when Melbourne gained the Games in 1949)

Australian representatives on the International Olympic Committee (1952)

Sir Arthur COLES

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/coles-sir-arthur-william-12334  (Coles was the sixth son of George Coles, founder of the retailing empire. Following the final resolution of the M.C.G. as the main stadium, the Olympic Control Committee was noted as sending a letter of appreciation to G. J. Coles & Co. in appreciation of their providing an office in their Bourke street store as a "peppercorn" rental of 1/- per month for the previous eight months. Coles was first chairman of the Australian National Airlines Commission, which set up the Government-owned Trans Australian Airlines, chairman of the Commonwealth Rationing Commission 1942-50, a former Lord Mayor of Melbourne and a former M.H.R. for Henty.  He resigned his position as chairman of the Control Committee in May, 1953, in protest after the government’s decision to change the Games pool site from Fawkner Park.  There were several attempts to convince Coles ro re-consider to no avail).

Sir Kenneth LUKE

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/luke-sir-kenneth-george-ken-10870 (Luke was President of the Carlton Football Club from 1938-55 – his connection to the club was almost certainly the driving force led to the second projected site for the main stadium being proposed for Princes Park.  In November 1949 the Hollway government appointed him a trustee of the Royal Exhibition Building and during his first term as chairman (1954-57) the stadium annexe was constructed for the 1956 Olympic Games wrestling and weight-lifting events. He was elected president of the Victorian Football League in 1956 and held the position until 1971; largely credited with establishing an administration independent of club delegates and introducing professionalism for players as well as orchestrating the purchase of land at Waverley for a new ground, which he envisaged as an alternative to the League having to depend on the Melbourne Cricket Ground for finals.  The main grandstand at Waverley Park bears his name)

Lewis LUXTON, C.B.E.

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/luxton-lewis-14171 (He was the son of Sir Harry Luxton and was appointed to replace his father as an Australian delegate to the I.O.C. after he retired in 1953; Lewis was the managing director of  Shell Co. of Australia Ltd. at the time, but later on 15 April, 1955, significantly just after Kent Hughes and I.O.F. chairman Brundage clashed heatedly on several occasions during a Press Conference in Canberra which had resulted in some sections of the press calling for Kent Hughes' resignation and the return of Arthur Coles. Luxton had an unusual sporting background for an Australian, having represented Britain in rowing at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games while studying at Cambridge University.


Olympics Organizing Committee

Sir Wilfred KENT HUGHES M.V.O., O.B.E., M.C., E.D., M.P.,

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/kent-hughes-sir-wilfrid-selwyn-billy-10723 (Chairman from 1951 of the Melbourne Olympics Organizing Committee, deputy-premier to Tom Hollway in 1948, the following year elected in the Federal seat of Chisholm and in 1951 elevated to Federal Cabinet with the  portfolios of the Interior and of Works and Housing. He  was  also  an  ex-Olympian,  having  represented Australia  in  the  400  metre  hurdles  at  the  1920 Games in Antwerp. He replaced Sir Frank Beaurepaire as Chairman of the Olympic Organising Committee in May, 1952, and is generally regarded as the leading figure in rescuing the Gaams for Melbourne)

Sir William Bridgeford, K.B.E., C.B., M.C.,

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bridgeford-sir-william-9579  (A high-ranking Army officer during both World Wars, he remained with the military and in November, 1951 departed for Tokyo to become commander-in-chief of the British Commonwealth occupation forces in Japan and later in Korea. On his return in February, 1953 he retired with the rank of honorary lieutenant general and in May was made Chief Executive Officer for the forthcoming Olympic Games, reporting to the Finance and General Purposes Committee headed by Sir Wilfred Kent Hughes.  He was subsequently appointed a K.B.E. (1956).

About 65 people served on the O.O.C.at one time or another (Miss D. Carter the only woman, her role unknown). The Technical Director was Mr. E. J. Holt, C.B.E. who held the same role during the Helsinki Games, the Administrative Director, Mr. P. W. Nette, Director of Press and Publicity, Mr E. A. Doyle, O.B.E. (above) and the Director of Housing and Catering, Brigadier C. M. L. Elliott, O.B.E.  

Melbourne Cricket Ground Trustees and associates

Sir Harry LAWSON, K.C.M.G.

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/lawson-sir-harry-sutherland-wightman-7117 (Politician and lawyer, trustee of (and spokesman for) the Melbourne Cricket Ground and of the Shrine of Remembrance. Following Nationalist Party disagreements and subsequent resignation of the Premier, Sir John Bowser in 1918, Lawson became a compromise party leader and  thus Premier before retiring from politics in 1934, returning to his law firm and serving as a director of several companies. He died at East Melbourne on 12 June 1952, survived by three sons and four daughters)

Major-General Sir Clive STEELE, K.B.E.

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/steele-sir-clive-selwyn-11755  (Engineer and Army officer (Military Cross), honorary consulting engineer to the M.C.G. trustees, believed later overseeing construction.  Along with the report submitted by McClelland (below) suggesting the M.C.G. surface would be irreparably damaged if made available for the Games, his view was contested by a panel of experts appointed by theO.O.C.. Survived by his wife, he died of myocardial infarction on 5 August 1955 at the Repatriation General Hospital, Heidelberg, and was cremated.

D. J. (David John) McCLELLAND

(Also noted as a consulting engineer to the Melbourne Cricket Club and submitting reports on the likely impact of levelling the arena to enable the track and field events to be held; he had already supervised construction of new stands in the 1930’s and 1950’s and took control of the re-grading of the ground for the 1956 Games. Almost always shown as "D. J", he was also the honorary treasurer of the Melbourne Cricket Club and the three-year older brother of Dr. William Cleland McCLELLAND below)

John Cain senior and Arthur Caldwell (both below) were also noted as trustees of the Melbourne Cricket Ground

Movers and Shakers ; the proposed stadium at Princes Park

William "Big Bill" BARRY, M.L.A.

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/barry-william-peter-bill-9444 (A trade union official and politician, Barry was born in 1899 at Northcote; a Melbourne City Councillor, he served on the Olympic Organising Committee (1952-55) and was also a trustee (1946-55) of the Exhibition Building. Barry was an avid supporter of the proposed stadium at Princes Park and fought hard to construct the Olympic Village as part of a slum clearance program in Carlton, both sites within his electorate. During his time as Minister for Housing, there were allegations that Barry was corrupt and heavily influenced by the ex-illegal tote operator and entrepreneur John Wren, Barry had campaigned heavily just before the War to have he cycling track at the Exhibition operating in fierce opposition to one of Wren’s closed down an the basis it was on public land and therefore admission charges were illegal. The allegations could never be proven - after losing his seat, he ran a milk bar and later a licensed grocery and prior to his death, he lived in a modest East Brunswick hotel owned by his daughter and son-in-law).

Frank HEATH

(Architect, engineer and town planner, noted as 44 years of age and a member of the Royal Society of British Architects and the Town Planning Institute of London when awarded the contract for the design of the proposed of the Princes Park Olympic Stadium. Heath’s design was selected from 115 entries and described as the biggest architectural "plum" in Victoria's history, his commission by completion to be about £66,000.   It is thought he received £37,000 of the amount after the project was cancelled, but the payment was never officially publicised.

Ernest A WATTS

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/watts-ernest-alfred-11983 (The contractor chosen for the aborted construction of the stadium at Princes Park, former works including the Coles and Foy & Gibson's department stores in Bourke Street, the Chevron Hotel in St. Kilda Road (1934) and the Southern Stand at the M.C.G. (1936), later ICI House (believed the first office tower in Melbourne to feature a circular stair case) and B.H.P. House on the corner of William and Bourke streets. Like Heath, it is believed the company received an undisclosed payment when the Carlton project was abandoned,

The Switch to the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Olympic Park (1952-53)

John CAIN (senior)

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/cain-john-9661  (Elected M.L.A. for Jika Jika (Northcote and Preston), 1917 and first became Premier in 1943 (but ousted after four days after a coalition of Opposition parties), then November, 1945 to October, 1947, again December, 1952 to April, 1955, the early part of this period seeing the cancellation of plans for the Main Stadium at Princes Park and the Olympic Pool at Fawkner Park in favour of the M.C.G. and Olympic Park, and the selection of Heidelberg a the site for the Olympic Village. He was defeated by Henry Bolte in the election of April, 1955 and died on 4 August, 1857 while on a visit to Queensland. Cain was also a long-standing member of the M.C.G. trustees and father of later Premier, John Cain junior). The origin of the medals shown in the image remains a mystery - Cain was a vocal anti-conscriptionist during the First World War.


Leslie W. “Bill” Galvin  

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/galvin-leslie-william-bill-10272  (Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey at the times the Games were awarded to Melbourne and gave guarded approval for construction of swimming pool, diving pool and athletics centre. With John Cain overseas at Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in May, 1952, Galvin was Acting Premier and part of a group of a Labor Cabinet group determined to stop the alienation of public parkland and ordered the cancellation of plans to build the Olympic Pool in the northern part of Fawkner Park despite an earlier promise by Cain that it would proceed as planned. Cain's reaction to the cancellation was not revealed.

Sir Robert MENZIES, K.T, A.K, C.H, Q.C, F.A.A, F.R.S.

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/menzies-sir-robert-gordon-bob-11111  (Barrister and politician, close compatriot of Wilfred Kent Hughes, longest serving Prime Minister, 1939-41, 1949-66. Although the Games were technically the responsibility of Melbourne (i.e. they are awarded to a city, not country or state) and to a lesser Victoria., Menzies later advanced Federal funds to assist the redevelopment of the M.C.G. and £2 million interest-free of the proposed allocation to Victoria of housing funds to allow the Olympic Village at Heidelberg to be constructed. Prior to entering politics, he had provided free legal advice to the Carlton Football Club of which he was an avid supporter)    

Dr. Herbert "Bert" EVATT

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/evatt-herbert-vere-bert-10131 (Not a major player, but noted along with Menzies, Cain and Calwell (perhaps described bast as “an odd mixture of bed-fellows) at the crucial meeting early in 1953 that saw the Games transferred to the M.C.G).

Arthur Augustus CALWELL

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/calwell-arthur-augustus-9667 (Deputy Federal Opposition Leader; noted as attending the 1953 meeting as chairman of the M.C.G. trustees, a position to which he was elected in August, 1952, following the death of Sir Harry Lawton; Calwell later serving on the O.O.C.). There are some suggestions that it was a more conciliatory approach adopted by Calwell after he replaced Sir Harry Lawton that reversed the Trustees.  Prior to becoming Chairman, Calwell moved a motion in 1952 that the Trustees re-consider its position, but failed to find a seconder.

William Caldwell McCLELLAND, C.B.E.

A medical doctor and four-time captain of Melbourne around the turn of the century, McClelland became president of the Melbourne Football Club in 1912 before he resigned the position after being elected to the presidency of the Victorian Football League in 1926. He held the latter position for 30 years and in the interim became President of the Melbourne Cricket Club in 1944, then holding arguably the two highest sporting administration positions in Victoria for 12 years.  At 81 years of age, he resigned the V.F.L. Presidency in favour of Sir Kenneth Luke just prior to the staging of the Games, but continued to hold the cricket club post until his death in May of the following year. In 1950, the V.F.L. instituted the W. C. McClelland Trophy, which was awarded to the club with the highest number of points accumulated during the home-and-away season across the three grades - Firsts (10 points per win), Seconds (four points) and Thirds or Under-19's, two points. Since the abolition of the Thirds competition in 1991,  it has lost much of its significance in terms of assessing club depth, now simply awarded to the minor premier, i.e. the team finishing on top of the ladder)

Construction, Civil and Technical Committees

The Hon. Patrick Leslie "Les" COLEMAN, M.L.C.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Coleman_(politician)  (A former hotelier, Coleman was Minister of Transport in the third Cain Government and at times Acting Treasurer. In late May, 1953 and as a  representative of both the State Government and the Melbourne City Council (where he served from 1939 to 1960), he was appointment Chairman of the Games Control Committee, one of the positions held by Arthur Coles prior to his resignation following the decision to move the location of the proposed Olympic pool from Fawkner Park. The Control Committee in June, 1953 was reformed as the Construction Committee overseeing the building of the Olympic Park complex and the athlete's Village at Heidelberg  Coleman also served on the Games Finance and General Purposes Committee. He was the Labour Government Leader in the Legislative Council from 1952-1955, but was expelled from the ministry and the ALP as part of the Australian Labor Party split of 1955. After his expulsion from the ALP in March 1955, he became, with Bill Barry in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, the parliamentary leader of the Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist), later known as the Democratic Labour Party, but his attempts to re-enter State politics and then the Federal Senate both failed.

Ernest J. H. “Billy” HOLT, C.B.E.   

Holt was appointed Technical Director of the Games early in 1953. He remains something of an oddity; although many overseas officials with International Olympic Committee connections were appointed to oversee various sports whilst the Games were in progress, Holt was the only "major player" in Games preparation brought in from outside Australia.  Noted as living in Surrey, England, he had previous also been Technical Director for the 1948 London Olympics. After a short visit in 1951, he arrived in Melbourne on s.s. Orontes in February, 1953. just days after the plans for a new Main stadium at Princes Park were abandoned in favour of an upgrade to the Melbourne Cricket Ground.  As well as overseeing most of the installations of communications, broadcasting and timing equipment, he also served on the Fine Arts and Finance and General Purposes Committees. One report revealing he and his wife had taken a house in South Yarra suggested he anticipated being in Melbourne for four years.  He was honorary secretary of  the British Amateur Athletics Association during the lead-up to the 1948 Olympics and had been the British member of the Track and Field Jury of Appeal at pre-war Games.


Sir Maurice A. NATHAN, C.B.E.   

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/nathan-sir-maurice-arnold-14983  (Nathan was a wealthy Melbourne businessman elected to the City Council in 1952. Regarded as something of a visionary, he was largely responsible for introducing the Moomba Festival in 1955 and was a strong proponent of a city square and underground rail link around Melbourne.  During the lead-up to the Games, he was a member of the Construction Committee, but also had a more important role as Chairman of the Council's Olympic Civic Committee which handled accommodation, (both commercial and in private homes), decorations, information booths, hospitality and liaison with the Fine Arts Sub-committee. In 1957, after a promotional tour to the U.S., Nathan was highly critical of the failure to provide a television coverage of the previous year's Olympics, suggesting Melbourne "completely fouled up" a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Appointed CBE (1957), Nathan served as Lord Mayor in 1961-63, and after retiring from the Council became the honorary President of the Victorian Football League from 1971 to 1977, a period that saw the completion of Waverley Park at Mulgrave.  Nathan died on 13 December 1982 at East Melbourne.

Australian Delegates to the I.O.F.

Sir Harry LUXTON

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/luxton-sir-harold-daniel-7264 (Lord Mayor 1928-31 and at just 28 years of age, the youngest ever appointed. He was appointed to the I.O.F. in 1933 and attended the 1949 meeting which awarded Melbourne the Games. It was suggested that during his 16-17 years on the I.O.C., he missed just one meeting, rather a contrast to Hugh Weir below)

Hugh WEIR

Something of a mystery man; he was noted as  vice-President of the Australian Olympic Federation and president of the Australian Amateur Athletic Union in 1950 and strongly opposing a move to increase a move to increase the number of members of the Olympic Organising Committee from 15 to 19 - the vote was regarded in many sources as a test of strength on the organising committee between "big business" and amateur sportsmen. It was noted in 1950 that he was appointed to the I.O.F. before the war, but had never attended a meeting due to business commitments!

Overseas identities

Avery BRUNDAGE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avery_Brundage (A controversial and abrasive character appointed in 1952 as president of the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.), serving until 1972. Formerly president of the U.S. Olympic Association - in 1936, he strongly fought against moves for the U.S. team to boycott the 1936 Olympics in Germany following the rise of Nazism.  Brundage represented the U.S. in the 1912 Olympics in the pentathlon and decathlon without success. A self-made millionaire through his construction company, he was fiercely apolitical (said to have been deeply shocked when seven nations withdrew their teams from the Melbourne Games in the week leading up to the opening) and a avid supporter of amateur sport, steadfastly refusing any payment during his twenty years with the I.O.C.;  He suggested several times during the squabbles over the Games site that Melbourne could be stripped of the Games.  During the Games, Brundage endeavoured to be present at as many Victory Ceremonies as possible and personally presented the majority of the medals but, due to the distance between venues and the difficulty of estimating finishing times of events, other members of the I.O.C. also presented medals).

Otto MAYER

(Chancellor of the I.O.F.  The Official Report following the Games paid a special tribute to Mayer in Lausanne, "for his strenuous and successful efforts to abate the storm of withdrawals from Europe" during the turbulent times of the Soviet takeover of Hungary and the crisis in the Middle East in 1956, but during debates on whether Melbourne could host the Games without the equestrian events, one of those who pushed for the transfer of the Games to another site. He later softened his stance, stating that if Australia cold not relax its quarantine laws, the equestrian competition should be held at an alternate venue, his preference in Italy in conjunction with the 1956 Winter Olympics held in January and February.

The Equestrian  Arguments

Sir Earle PAGE

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/page-sir-earle-christmas-7941 (Federal Health Minister overseeing the quarantine laws that ultimately led to a decision by the I.O.F. to stage the equestrian events of the 1956 Games in Stockholm in Sweden. Although nominally on the "right" of the political scene as head of the United Australia Party, he was a bitter opponent of Robert Menzies. He earlier served as caretaker Prime Minister for 19 days following Joseph Lyons's death in April, 1939 before Menzies assumed his first term as Prime Minister).

Sir Harry Morton LLEWELLYN (3rd Baronet, C.B.E.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Llewellyn (Winner of  Great Britain's only gold medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics - the team jumping equestrian event. Llewellyn was the first to suggest that the Melbourne Games could continue if Olympic rules were changed to allow equestrian events to be conducted at a different location, although his preferred option was Dublin)

David George Brownlow CECIL (Lord Burghley, 6th Marquess of Exeter)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Cecil,_6th_Marquess_of_Exeter (Winner of the Gold Medal for the 440-yards hurdle at the 1928 Olympics. The title dated back to 1571, the 1st Baron Burghley (13 September 1520 – 4 August 1598), an English statesman who was the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign, twice Secretary of State (1550–53 and 1558–72) and Lord High Treasurer from 1572. Cecil-Lord Burghley championed the move to amend the rule which insisted that all Olympic events must be held in the same city)

Armand MASSARD

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armand_Massard  (A French épée fencer who competed at the 1920, 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympics. In 1920 he won an individual gold and team bronze medal, and in 1928 he a team silver medal. Maasard was a leading journalist and president of the French Fencing Federation from 1933 to 1967. He served as a member of the I.O.C. from 1950 to 1957, as vice-president 1952-55 and was a vehement opponent of Melbourne retaining the Games if it could not guarantee that equestrian events could be held locally)

Prince Axel Christian Georg of Denmark

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Axel_of_Denmark (Noted as a pioneer of motor sports in Denmark and president of the Royal Danish Automobile Club from 1920 until 1938. Although voting was kept secret, rumours emerged during the Games themselves that it was Prince Axel’s casting vote that awarded Melbourne the Olympiad and he remained a strong supporter during the arguments over quarantine laws and the equestrian events.  In 1963, he was elected as the first honorary member of the I.O.C. in its history and unanimously awarded the Olympic Order of Merit the same year.

Post-Games

Sir Harold George ALDERSON

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/alderson-sir-harold-george-9326 (President of the New South Wales Olympic Council in 1926-70 and of the Australian Olympic Federation in 1946-73, he served on the committees for the British Empire (and Commonwealth) Games in 1938, 1962 and 1966. He was appointed M.B.E. in 1956, the year of the Games)

Sir Frank SELLECK, M.C.

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/selleck-sir-francis-palmer-11654 (Lord Mayor from September, 1954, he served two years as Lord Mayor of Melbourne and was expected to stand down in 1956 in favour of Beaurepaire in honour of the latter's efforts in securing the Games, but Beaurepaire's death in May, 1956 saw Selleck continue for a third term over the staging of the Games. The Closing Ceremony on 8 December saw Selleck presented with the Olympic flag to be held in safe keeping for the 1960 Games in Rome).

Mervyn Wood

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mervyn_Wood  (The most senior Olympian, Wood carried the Australian flag at the Opening Ceremony at the 1952 Helsinki Games and at the Closing Ceremony in Melbourne. He was national sculling champion eight times, four-time Olympian (1936, 1948, 1952 and Melbourne, and three-time Olympic medallist (single sculls 1948, 1952;  double sculls, 1956). With the Police force in Sydney, he later rose to become N.S.W. Police Commissioner)



The Games : Main Players

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