20th Australian Prime Minster, Lodge University of Sydney, No. 544
Sir William “Billy” McMahon, GCMG, CH (23 February 1908 – 31 March 1988). 20th Prime Minister of Australia, had practised in Sydney with “Allen, Allen and Hemsley”, the oldest law firm in Australia. In 1940 he joined the Army, but because of hearing loss he was confined to staff work. In 1951 Prime Minister Robert Menzies made him Minister for Air and Minister for the Navy. Over the next 15 years he held the portfolios of Social Services, Commerce, Agriculture, Labour and National Service. When Prime Minister John Gorton resigned during a leadership challenge in 1971, McMahon succeeded him as leader and Prime Minister. When he resigned from office he had been a minister continuously for 21 years and 6 months, a record in the Australian Parliament.