Spotlight on Corangamite-a swing back to Labour

Corangamite swung back to the Labor party for the second time when Richard Armstrong Crouch was elected in 1929. Crouch a lawyer and the son of a miner from Ballarat had first served the Parliament in 1901 when at just 32 he was the member for Corio -the youngest member in the house at the time.

Couch had commanded a battalion at Gallipoli and was a wit and a radical who opposed conscription. His political career was short lived and after one term he was defeated and decided to forsake politics for philanthropy travel writing and, as member of the Royal Victorian Historical Society he encouraged Australians to take a greater interest their history.

He is perhaps most remembered for initiating the avenue of busts of Australian Prime Ministers in the gardens at Ballarat and bequeathing funds for maintaining the collection. I wonder how many of the many tourists who visit the beautiful Botanical Gardens in March each year for the Begonia Festival would know that the instigator of the “Prime Ministers walk” was indeed once the member for Corangamite.


Richard Armstrong Crouch  Member for Corangamite 1929-1931

3 thoughts on “Spotlight on Corangamite-a swing back to Labour

  1. Norma Bakker Reply

    Thanks again for yet another interesting post about a former member for Corangamite. I am really enjoying these posts and the interesting snippets about the lives and achievements of the parliamentarians of a former age.

  2. Martin Hooper Reply

    An interesting series of post on Corangamite, thanks Chrystal Barr. I enjoying seeing and reading your posts. As I remember old Jan Juc (Bellbrae after 1922) and, I imagine, Torquay were not in Corangamite back in those early years. During that early tenure (1901-1910) of Richard (not Robert as under your image) Armstrong Crouch, Jan Juc was in Corio. I am guessing but perhaps that second name Armstrong has some family connection to the pastoralist family of Armstrong Creek (now in much prominence on the Surf Coast Highway). The ALP candidate, named Alfred Ozanne, defeated Crouch in 1910 and I have wondered if Ozan Street in (new) Jan Juc is somehow related to him. Again thanks and I look forward to seeing more post… Martin Hooper

    • Chrystal Barr Reply

      Martin I have immediately made the correction to Richards name …I will blame that Solstice moon for keeping me from sleep and up far to early! The changing of the electoral boundaries is definitely another chapter in this story but one I chose to skirt around for the moment. I was wanting just to keep the focus on those who have served as the Member for Corangamite leading up to July 2nd. I think the connection to Armstrong creek and Ozanne might be stretching it but could be worth investigation one of these cold we wintery days Glad you are enjoying the posts and thanks for the feedback

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