‘Dismal Jimmy’ Hogue, MP for Glebe 1894-1910, was Minister for Public Instruction 1895-9 and 1907-10 and Colonial Secretary 1904-7. Presbyterian, a liberal free trader and a supporter of Federation, he was probably nicknamed ironically because he was always cheerful.
The son of a Scottish innkeeper turned farmer, Hogue was born at Clarence Town NSW on 2 September 1846 and was educated locally and at Newcastle Grammar. He was a pupil-teacher before training as a compositor with the Newcastle Chronicle and working as a journalist with the Maitland Mercury. In 1875 he moved to Sydney as parliamentary reporter for the Empire, Evening News and Australian Town and Country Journal.
As Evening News editor in 1894 Hogue was involved in a protection of sources case when he refused to name the author of an article accusing MPs of drinking and gambling in the parliamentary refreshment rooms. After seven hours he was released from public questioning and no further action taken, perhaps because of the danger of further revelations.
Hogue was widely read, played flute, excelled in cricket, shooting and rowing and was a State bowls champion. In 1878 at Clarence Town he married Jessie Robards, born at Raymond Terrace on 18 October 1853, a skilled rider said to be the first woman to reach the summit of Mt Kosciusko on horseback. They had ten children, all of whom survived into adulthood, rare at that time. The youngest four were born in Glebe.
In Sydney the Hogues lived in Chippendale and Marrickville before shifting in 1887 to 19 Boyce St Glebe (on a corner with Mansfield St) where they remained until 1896 when they went to 46 Toxteth Rd. During 1909 they moved into Surbiton 248 Glebe Point Rd, vacated by flour miller Edmund Grant Aitken (1865 -1909) and his wife Margaret. A nostalgic reminder of London’s Surbiton district, there were at least two other Sydney houses with the same name at Petersham and Bondi Junction. The Glebe building, first occupied in 1898 by auctioneer James R Lawson, was one in a stretch known as The Mall, most functioning today as backpacker accommodation. The Hogues moved ca 1915 to another Surbiton in Moruben Rd Mosman, James’ address at the time of his death on 2 August 1920. Jessie died on 22 July 1932. Both were buried in Waverley Cemetery.
Eldest child Clarence Robert was born on 27 March 1879 and no doubt christened in memory of his parents’ Hunter Valley township. He entered the Public Service in 1896 as a clerk in the Charitable Institutions Office of the Chief Secretary’s Dept. From 1903 to 1910 he worked as a Clerk of Petty Sessions, first in the Attorney-General’s Glebe office and then with the Dept of Mines at Picton. He was later attached to the Immigration and Tourist Bureau and to the Dept of Labour and Industry before retiring after 25 years as a public servant. During the First World War he was accountant for the Amelioration Fund for Returned Soldiers.
In 1918 Clarence was defrauded of money by false pretences, but in 1930 as Secretary and Director of the Federal Building Assurance Co. was himself charged with fraudulent conspiracy over the theft of a security (a mortgage) from the Australian Traders’ Insurance Co. Ltd. After a drawn-out and highly publicised court case he and his co-accused were acquitted. Clarence played cricket for Glebe and was for decades a member of the North Sydney club, including seven years as secretary. He was also a cricket selector. He died at St Leonards in 1969.
Twins Amy and Oliver, born on 29 April 1880, made money by writing. Amy’s stories were published in the Sydney Mail, The Australasian and in serial form in the Australian Town and Country Journal. In 1902 at the Glebe Presbyterian Church (then on the corner of Glebe Point and Parramatta Rds) she married Henry Latour Lomax in a society wedding, but petitioned for divorce in 1909 on the grounds of desertion. Soon after the marriage Lomax had gone to New Zealand where he was imprisoned, and on his return he was charged at Albury with passing a valueless cheque. Like other family members Amy supported the war effort. At a patriotic concert at Glebe Town Hall in aid of the Red Cross she was showered with coins for her version of Kipling’s The Absent-Minded Beggar with its chorus ‘Pass the hat for your credit’s sake, and pay – pay – pay!’ Amy Hogue died in 1918 at her sister Elizabeth Holmes’ house at Rouchelbrook in the Hunter Valley where she was holidaying on account of ill health.
Oliver Hogue was dux of Forest Lodge School where he was captain of the cricket team and the cadet rifle team who practised on Saturdays at the Randwick Rifle Range. An expert horseman, he was also a keen swimmer, cyclist and oarsman. After working as a commercial traveller he turned to journalism. In November 1914 he enlisted and was sent with the Light Horse to Gallipoli where he was described by war correspondent C E W Bean (whose job Hogue had wanted) as an enthusiastic and devoted officer. Hogue fought in the Sinai desert and Jordan with the Cameliers, and was in Palestine when news reached him of his twin’s death. He contributed poems to Barrak (the Camel Corps review) and The Kia Ora Coo-ee as ‘Trooper Bluegum’, his usual sign-off signature in his frequent letters home. Major Hogue survived the war but died in London in 1919, a victim of the influenza pandemic. His memorial service was held at the Glebe Presbyterian Church.
The Hogues entertained theatrical people at Glebe’s Surbiton. John Roland, born on 3 March 1882, became a professional singer after a brief stint as a clerk. In 1911 he sailed to the USA where he had ‘concert and gramophone engagements’, toured as a singer and was a lead in New York in the romantic operetta Little Boy Blue. In 1915 he married Brooklyn-born musical comedy artist Gwendolyn Ethel Austin (died 1931) in New York. As Roland Hogue his Broadway career spanned the years 1917-43 after which he concentrated on television. He also toured Australia occasionally. Roland Hogue played a valet in the 1933 film His Double Life starring Lilian Gish.
Early stage work in America included A Friend Indeed (1926) and The Wrecker (1927-8). In 1942 he acted with Gregory Peck in You Can’t Take It With You and the following year with Billie Burke in This Rock and gave ‘another smooth performance as a valet’ in My Dear Children. Television work included The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse (1948), The Clock (1949), Armstrong Circle Theatre (1950) and Pulitzer Prize Playhouse (1950). He also wrote a stage play The Dead End. Roland Hogue died on 7 October 1958 in New Jersey.
Elizabeth Mary, born in 1883, married Stanley Holmes (born at Clarence Town) at Glebe in 1907. They moved to Rouchelbrook in the Hunter Valley where she died in 1954.
Frank Arthur, born on 6 May 1885, married Vida Clarine Robinson in 1909. They lived at 24 Eglinton Rd Glebe where Oliver Alfred John (1910-87) was born. They then moved to Darlinghurst where Betty Jean and Ada Jessie were born in 1911 and 1915 respectively. A clerk, Frank enlisted on 13 May 1918 and embarked on HMAT Medic on 2 November, just before the armistice was declared. By the 1930s he was living at Newcastle. He died at Hamilton in 1949.
Sydney Cecil Alexander (1887-1969) became an engineer. In 1911 he married Mary A Scanlan at Randwick and they settled at Coogee.
Stephen James (1889- 1978), a dentist when he enlisted on 18 December 1917, embarked as a lieutenant with the Army Medical Corps from Melbourne on HMAT Beltana on 19 January 1918. After he married Elsie Maude Sevil at Murrurundi in 1927, the couple lived at Scone. Stephen died on 18 June 1978, his resting place the Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens.
Jessie Jean, an ‘artiste’ born in 1890, married Kenneth Cameron Mornington Gibbs (1897-1982) in 1924 at Mosman. She died on 10 July 1985, her resting place the Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens.
Inspired by her brother Roland’s success, youngest child Anne Christine joined the theatrical profession and took the stage name Tien Hogue. Born in 1892, she was by 1911 a member of Miss McCormack’s Lyndhurst School and performed in and helped direct its fairy play The Prince of Petriana. She appeared in several silent films made in Australia 1913-20: Pommy Arrives in Australia, The Life of a Jackeroo, A Blue Gum Romance, The Shepherd of the Southern Cross and Robbery Under Arms. On stage she acted in Within the Law, Quinneys, The Rosary, The Man Who Stayed at Home, The Thirteenth Chair (with Nancye Stewart) and The Bird of Paradise (with Muriel Starr). In 1917 while on tour with Peg ‘O My Heart in Hobart she was incensed overhearing a parliamentarian declare that if Australia were in trouble Britain would not fire a shot to help her, and was a witness when he was charged under the War Precautions Act. Her portrait by Joseph Wolinski was a finalist in the 1926 Archibald Prize.
In 1924 in London Tien Hogue married British naval officer Arthur Guy Norris Wyatt (1893-1981) after which she gave up her theatrical career and lived abroad. In 1933 she made a trip home and four years later revisited Sydney on her way to join Captain Wyatt, a hydrographer then charting the NZ coast. A keen yachtswoman, skater and skier, she was back in Australia in 1950 as Lady Wyatt, wife of Vice Admiral Sir Guy Wyatt. The couple retired to Tasmania.