VERRAN, John (1856-1932)

VERRAN, John (1856-1932)
premier of South Australia
was born at Gwennap, Cornwall, England, on 9 July 1856 and when only three months old was taken by his parents to Australia. The family lived at Kapunda, South Australia, until he was eight, and then moved to Moonta. Verran received very little education and before he was 10 years old was working at the copper-mines. He attended a night school some years later. When 18 he went to the Queensland gold-mines but soon returned to Moonta, where he worked as a miner for nearly 40 years. He was elected president of the Moonta miners' association and held this office for 15 years. In 1901 he was elected a member of the South Australian house of assembly for Wallaroo, and on the death of Price (q.v.) in 1909 became leader of the Labour party. On 3 June 1910 he became premier in the first South Australian purely Labour government. He was also commissioner of public works and minister of mines and of water-supply. His ministry was defeated in 1912. He was succeeded as leader of the Labour party by Crawford Vaughan in 1913, and he broke with that party in 1917 over the conscription issue. In 1918 he stood as a Nationalist candidate and was defeated, and he was also defeated at the federal election held in 1925. In 1927 he was elected by the South Australian parliament to fill the vacancy in the federal senate caused by the death of Senator McHugh. He lost his seat in 1928 and henceforth lived in retirement. He died on 7 June 1932. His wife predeceased him and he was survived by three sons and four daughters. Verran was a man of fine character whose honesty was proverbial. For many years he was a power in the Labour ranks, but his career really ended when he left the party.
The Advertiser, Adelaide, 8 and 10 June 1932.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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  • Verran — /ˈvɛrən/ (say veruhn) noun John, 1856–1932, Australian Labor politician, born in Cornwall; premier of SA in the state s first Labor Government, 1910–12 …  

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