150 Years of Queensland Parliament

In 2010, Queensland Parliament celebrated its 150th anniversary. Over the course of those 150 years, this institution of governance underwent changes in both its location and its structural composition. It has, however, consistently represented the interests of a diverse group of people and a geographically large terrain. Queensland Parliament met for the first time on […]


Royal Visits to Queensland: An historical essay

The first royal visitor to Australia was Prince Alfred, the second son of Queen Victoria (later to become the Duke of Edinburgh). A Royal Navy Captain on a world tour on board HMS Galatea he visited Queensland in March 1868. During his visit, The Brisbane Courier reported a restless, feverish excitement as seemed to pervade all classes during the whole time. […]


Who was Sir Thomas Bilbe Robinson?

Sir Thomas B Robinson’s endeavours as Queensland’s Agent General held a unique place during the First World War, but we’ll come back to that part of his story later. Robinson was born on the 24 November 1853 in Rotherhithe, England and moved to Australia in 1881 with his wife, Elizabeth. He first managed the firm […]


Flood, Fire and Famine

Core of my heart, my country! Land of the Rainbow Gold, For flood and fire and famine, She pays us back threefold My Country, Dorothea Mackellar In this famous ode to her adopted country written in 1908, Dorothea Mackellar successfully captures the spirit of Australians battling a hostile environment in which flood, fire and famine […]


The Sinking of the S.S. Quetta

Freeman’s Journal Sat 8 March 1890 Wreck of the S.S. Quetta Fearful Loss of Life 123 Souls Perished The R.M.S. Quetta, of the British India Steam Navigation Co.’s Anglo-Australia service, was on Friday night wrecked on the Queensland coast, after striking on a sunken rock not marked on the chart. The Quetta was well known […]


The Story of Charles O’Brien

Records from Queensland State Archives’ collection Photo of Kerry O’Brien courtesy of Artemis Films and Serendipity Production The fourth series of Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA) is screening on SBS ONE in 2012. Episode two, air date 3 April 2012 at 7.30 pm, follows the story of Kerry O’Brien, one of Australia’s most revered television journalists. WDYTYA is a co-production by Artemis International […]

deeper and discover even more about Mostyn’s career. Various newspaper clippings from The Australian, Courier Mail and Telegraph located in the Premier’s Batch Files provide a narrative on his career and highlight his promotion to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1971.  Several articles in the batch file cover the “competition” as several other candidates were considered for the role, including candidates from other states. However, it is clear from an article in the Telegraph dated 11 February 1970 that the newspaper favoured Queenslander Mr Justice Hanger for the role. A description in the article about his career is quite emotive as it surmised that Mostyn quite simply had a “brilliant legal career.” Other arguments in favour for his case include a cablegram dated April 1970 to Yarrawonga, London advises of the approval for The Honourable Mostyn Hanger to be appointed as Senior Puisine Judge and to also as Acting Chief Justice of Queensland. Another cablegram dated 13th May 1971 announced Mostyn’s appointment. Mostyn remained in this role for a further six years until he retired in 1977. 
But that’s not all…Mostyn married Greta Robertson in 1936, and they had a son, John Mostyn Hanger  who followed in his father’s footsteps to become a well-known District Court judge from 1976 to 2001.  Another son, Ian Hanger became a QC. His sister Eunice became a well-known playwright and a highly regarded academic at the University of Queensland, where researchers can find the Eunice Hanger Collection containing letters to her famous older brother Mostyn.
QSA Digital Image ID 5638, Photograph of an oil painting of Chief Justice Sir Mostyn Hanger of the Supreme Court, April 1986

What’s in a name? Mostyn Hanger

Our recent What’s in a Name blog covered some of the many unusual and intriguing names we find in the Archives, and looked at how a name can lead us on a merry trail to discover the stories hiding in the records. Stories that shed light not only on the individual but also Queensland’s past. […]