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Alfred Edward Morgans (Ministerialist)

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2Alfred Morgans1 November 1901 to 23 December 1901

Alfred Morgans was an interesting character who lived for 18 years in Mexico, spoke fluent Spanish and was fascinated by Mexico's natural history and Aztec handicrafts.

He was born in Wales and educated at private schools and the Welsh School of Mines. He became an apprentice to a mechanical engineering firm and was sent to Mexico in the late 1870s to supervise its gold and silver mines.

His love of Mexico's social and natural history led him to archaeological research and he unearthed many Aztec pieces, some of which were donated to the British Museum. He came to WA in 1896 as a representative of Morgans' Syndicate Ltd. He developed many property and mining investments throughout the State. His reputation in the industry grew and he earned the title of "the doyen of mining magnates".

He was elected to the Third Parliament as MLA for Coolgardie in 1897 and took over from George Leake as Premier in November 1901. His Government though was short-lived after it was defeated in the Assembly just a month later when three of his new Ministers failed to get re-elected, and he was refused a dissolution of the Assembly by the Governor.

He decided not to renominate at the next election mainly due to his aversion to politics. He was described as a kind and considerate man who had great personal charm. He said that during his life in politics he made more enemies than the whole of the rest of his existence.

One of the things he wanted to achieve, but had no success, was a railway line between the Goldfields and the port at Esperance.

Life after politics involved a variety of consular-diplomatic appointments in WA.

 

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