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Members’ biographical register

Sir William Stewart Bovell

Principal Honours
Knight (Kt) (1976)
Date: 19 December 1906
Place: Queens St, Busselton, Western Australia
Son of Alexander Robert Stewart Bovell, agency business proprietor, and Ethel Gribble Williams and nephew of George William Barnard
Date: 15 September 1999
Place: William Carey Court, Busselton, Western Australia
Cemetery: Busselton Cemetery, Western Australia
Church of England
Educated Busselton Central School
Bank officer and manager
Employment History
After short time with Post Office commenced banking career with WA Bank (later Bank of New South Wales ) in 1924—in Great Southern districts 1924–1930, Victoria district and eastern wheatbelt 1931–1939, head office, Perth 1940
Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force 12 July 1941, reached rank of Flight Lieutenant
Officer Commanding training, Empire air training scheme, Pearce, Clontarf, member Air Crew Classification Board, Assistant Staff Officer Organisation, Royal Australian Airforce Northern Command Headquarters, Madang (April 1945–April 1946)
Discharged 4 April 1946
1946 became partner and manager family business (established 1880), shipping agents, tax consultants, land agents and insurance
Retired from business 1947
Agent General for Western Australia 17 March 1971–16 March 1974
State vice–president WA Division 1949–1952
Member Federation Council Liberal Party of Australia 1949–1952
Date Elected
7 June 1947
Inaugural Speech
Bovell, William Stewart, Inaugural Speech.pdf
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by William Bovell
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • MLA Sussex 7 June 1947 (by-election)–25 March 1950 (constituency abolished in redistribution); Vasse 25 March 1950–20 February 1971

  • Chief Government Whip and Secretary Government parties 1949–1953
  • Opposition Whip and Secretary Parliamentary Liberal Party 1953–1957, Opposition front bencher 1957–1959
  • Minister for Lands, Forests, Immigration, and Labour (from 16 November 1961-11 April 1962) 2 April 1959–20 February 1971

  • Member Select Committee on Land Sales Control Act 1948–1949
  • Member Select Committee on Disposal of Potatoes 1949
  • Member Select Committee on Perpetual Executors, Trustees and Agency Co Ltd Act Amendment and on WA Trustee, Executor Agency Co Ltd Act Amendment 1951
  • Member Select Committee on Native Welfare in Laverton–Warburton Range area 1956

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
  • Member General Council Commonwealth Parliamentary Association 1954–1955
  • Represented Western Australian branch at General Conference, Nairobi, Kenya, 1954, and at 3rd Australian Area Conference, Melbourne, 1955
Justice of the Peace, 1949
Life Governor (since 1973) and vice–Chairman (1973–1981) Board of Governors, Church of England Cathedral Grammar School Bunbury
Life member Bunbury Race Club, Southern District Agricultural Society
Patron WA Polo Crosse Association and Geographe Bay Yacht Club
Member Pensioners’ League
Lay canon St Boniface Cathedral Bunbury
D Black and G Bolton, eds. Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia, Vol. 2, 1930-2010, Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2010, p. 21-22.
Busselton–Dunsborough Mail, 22 September 1999.
Busselton–Margaret Times, 23 September 1999.
Transcript of interview 1977 made available by National Library (State Library and Western Australian Parliamentary Library)
Western Australian Parliamentary Debates, 21 September 1999.
West Australian, 17 September 1999.
Who’s Who in Australia, (1977)