Respected politician, Henry Beardmore, did much for region

Henry Beardmore, 7th February 1863 – 29 August 1932, was a significant contributor to Wodonga and the state of Victoria.

He married his first wife, Agnes, in 1885 and had two sons and two daughters.  Agnes died in 1892 and, in 1893, Henry married Jessie and they had six sons and four daughters.

Henry was a butcher at Glenrowan and later a grazier at Leneva.  A 1895 newspaper article tells of severe losses of sheep to dingoes on Henry Beardmore’s property.

He was a Wodonga shire councillor from 1898 to 1922, and President of the Shire 1900-01, 1903-4, 1908-10, 1911-12, 1914-17.

Henry Beardmore was a Freemason including Master of the Wodonga Lodge from 1906 to 1907, and was an active member up until his death.

Henry Beardmore leased “De Kerilleau” homestead from 1905-1915, with the exception of 1907, when Mr W. Huon was in residence, and after he died there in 1907, the Beardmore family returned.

Henry Beardmore won the seat of Benambra in the Victorian Legislative Assembly at a by-election on 20th April 1917. He continuously represented the Benambra electorate as a Nationalist and United Australia Party member for more than fifteen years. He was a strong advocate of country development and decentralisation, but he declined all inducements to join the Country Party. He held the seat of Benambra, up to the date of his death, and was returned unopposed on four occasions. He was an Honorary Minister in 1924 in the Lawson and Peacock Ministries and for a short time in 1929, he was Minister of Railways, Minister in-charge of Electrical Undertakings and Minister of Labour, in the McPherson Ministry. He was a leading supporter of Kiewa hydro-electric project and opponent of Yallourn coalfield.

On the 6th September 1932, Sir Stanley Argyle, Premier and Treasurer, while moving a motion of condolence, had the following to say about him in parliament. “I regret to have to state that during the recent adjournment we lost by death one of the most respected members of this House, the Honorable Henry Beardmore, who passed away, after a lengthy illness, at his residence at Wodonga, on the 29th August last.”

His last residence was what has been converted to Elmwood Clinic.