Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Stuckey, Reginald Robert (1881–1948)

by Tony Bott

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 16, (MUP), 2002

Reginald Robert Stuckey (1881-1948), public servant, was born on 25 February 1881 in Adelaide, fifth of nine children of South Australian-born parents Joseph James Stuckey, solicitor and actuary, and his wife Alice, daughter of Charles Mann. Like his father, Reginald was interested in mathematics. He attended the Collegiate School of St Peter, Adelaide, topped the senior examination in 1896 and won (but did not take up) a scholarship to the University of Adelaide. Choosing to follow a career in insurance, he obtained a post with the Australian Mutual Provident Society in 1897. He studied by correspondence and qualified as an associate (1905) of the Institute of Actuaries, London. On 14 February 1911 at Stow Memorial Church, Adelaide, he married Jessie Bridgman (d.1942) with Congregational forms.

In 1914 Stuckey left the A.M.P. to become public actuary. Nine years later he was made under-treasurer for South Australia. He chaired the State Bank of South Australia (1926-48) and the State's Public Debt Commission (1926-46), and presided (1927-48) over the South Australian Superannuation Fund Board. Lionel Hill, the premier, appointed him in 1927 to a royal commission which was to inquire into the financial effects of Federation on South Australia, but on 31 August that year (Sir) Richard Butler's newly elected government revoked the royal commission. A committee, chaired by Stuckey, completed the commission's work in December, drawing attention to the 'disabilities sustained' by the State since 1901 and outlining the reasons that justified a claim for extra assistance from the Federal government. As the Depression deepened, the State's finances deteriorated further. In 1932 Stuckey chaired another committee which prepared a case for South Australia to receive a special grant from the Commonwealth. That year he was appointed C.M.G.

A member (from 1930) of the advisory committee on State finance, Stuckey assisted the Federal government in 1931 with the Australian conversion loan, which dealt with the nation's internal debt. He served (1932-33) on the South Australian committee on debt adjustment in regard to the agricultural and pastoral industries, and was a member (1933-39) of the Farmers' Assistance Board. In February 1946 he retired from the public service. He was a man of ability, integrity and dedication who had helped to guide South Australia through the difficult years of the Depression and World War II.

At St Theodore's Church of England, Rose Park, on 26 October 1946 Stuckey married Mary Hazel Kenney, a 38-year-old civil servant. They lived in the suburb of Highgate. The only club he belonged to was the Commercial Travellers Association of South Australia. Suffering from high blood pressure, he died of retroperitoneal haemorrhage on 5 July 1948 in Adelaide and was buried in North Road cemetery. His wife survived him, as did the son and two daughters of his first marriage. In expressing his condolences, Premier (Sir) Thomas Playford said that Stuckey had achieved a nationwide reputation for his management of the State's accounts and been complimented many times by parliamentary commissions.

Select Bibliography

  • Chronicle (Adelaide), 26 June 1930, 8 July 1948
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 3 June 1932, 8 Dec 1933
  • Advertiser (Adelaide), 6 July 1948.

Citation details

Tony Bott, 'Stuckey, Reginald Robert (1881–1948)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/stuckey-reginald-robert-11796/text21103, published in hardcopy 2002, accessed online 23 October 2014.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 16, (MUP), 2002

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