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Deakin, Alfred

(1856-1919). Australian statesman and member of the Theosophical Society (TS) who was an important parliamentary figure during the early years of the Australian Commonwealth. Deakin was born in Melbourne, Australia, on August 3, 1856. He practiced law, journalism and school-teaching before he entered the State Legislature in 1880. Deakin joined the TS in February 23, 1895. He was a student of Swedenborg’s works and had an ardent interest in Spiritualism. Deakin was considerably involved in the drawing up of the constitution of the proposed Australian Federation which came into being in 1900. Three times Australian Prime Minister between 1903 and 1910, his Government promoted much needed social legislation. He was a close friend of Henry S. Olcott and Annie Besant. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that “few would deny his greatness” (1970 ed.). Deakin died in Melbourne on October 7, 1919. A Victorian University has been named after him.


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