From the Oral History collection: Jack Dealy
The Museum of Australian Democracy’s Oral History collection contains a wealth of personal recollection and insight into the building and its people during the era when it was home to the federal parliament. Interviews continue to be recorded with a wide range of workers, staff and former parliamentarians.
Jack Dealy oral history audio transcript (MS Word)
John ‘Jack’ Dealy was a very well known policeman in Canberra in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and is among the interviewees to shed light on the police role in relation to the provisional Parliament House back then. He recalls episodes involving demonstrations outside the building, as well as an incident inside the House when someone leapt from the public gallery onto the Floor and tried to run off with the Mace. As the policeman on duty at the police station when Fitzpatrick and Browne were arrested, he recalls how he “looked after them” in the cells for about three weeks and, on realizing that they were no danger, he’d let them out to go jogging with him. (Raymond Fitzpatrick, the owner of the Bankstown Observer, and editor, Frank Browne, were gaoled for breach of privilege in 1955).
Born in 1917 outside Shepparton, Victoria, Jack joined the Victoria Police Force in 1939. He came to Canberra in 1949, with the ACT Police. He retired from the Force in 1979. He was interviewed for the Oral History Program in February 2010.
Other interviews in the Museum’s collection with former police include Joe Medwin (2001), Walter Osborne (2002) and Roger Martindale (2009).
- National Archives Fact Sheet: The Browne–Fitzpatrick privilege case, 1955
- Harry Evans, Fitzpatrick and Browne: Imprisonment by a House of the Parliament, Papers on Parliament No. 52, December 2009