100th anniversary of Edward Granville Theodore becoming Queensland Premier

Today marks 100th anniversary of Edward Granville Theodore becoming Queensland Premier.

Edward Granville Theodore 1 June 1915. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 67744

Theodore entered politics in 1909 as a member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly seat of Woothakata, later becoming Premier of Queensland and leader of the Queensland Labor Party from 1919 until 1925. He was nicknamed ‘Red Ted’ because of his confrontational style whilst Treasurer of Queensland.

Moving to Queensland in 1906, Theodore worked the mines and prospected for wolfram and tin in the Chillagoe-Irvinebank hinterland of Cairns. He became involved in the union movement where he was responsible for organizing the Amalgamated Workers’ Association and was elected president of the Australian Workers’ Union in 1913.

E. G. Theodore on horseback, 1925 John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 197728

Several photographs from the John Oxley Library collection reveal an informal perspective on this significant political figure. A trip to Tully Falls in 1925 shows Theodore on horseback as well as relaxing with friends whilst investigating the possibility of a hydro-electricity scheme at the Tully River Gorge.

E. G. Theodore trip to the Tully Falls, 1925 John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 197727

Delving further into the John Oxley Library uncovers the Sunny Queensland Photography Album (1924). Developed as a special Christmas gift from Premier Theodore, the album showcases “Queensland’s tropical grandeur, scenic charms and industrial activities” of the time, acting as an effective tool to summarise Queensland achievements to its recipients. A selection of images from the Sunny Queensland Photography Album are available to view online via our One Search catalogue.

APE-36, Sunny Queensland Photograph Album, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Australia.

You can read more about the life and political career of Edward Granville Theodore on the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Further collections on Edwards Granville Theodore

Further reading on the history of Queensland politics

Heidi Stevens – Librarian, State Library of Queensland