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Stuckey, Roy Darrell (1900–1985)

by Kenneth W. Knight

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 18, (MUP), 2012

Roy Darrell Stuckey (1900-1985), town clerk, was born on 3 May 1900 at Camden, New South Wales, youngest of seven children of English-born Henry Stuckey, grocer, and his Camden-born wife Ruth, née Doust.  In 1914 Roy was awarded a four-year secondary school scholarship, but on 20 December 1915 the sturdily built Parramatta High School student overstated his age and enlisted in the Army Service Corps.  On 30 October 1916 he joined the Australian Imperial Force and sailed for Britain on 10 February 1917.  He served as a driver with the 4th Field Company, Engineers, in France.  At Villers-Bretonneux on 26 June 1918 he was injured by shellfire.

Discharged in Australia on 4 May 1919, Stuckey, on medical advice, sought outdoor work; as the junior partner in his brothers’ Camden bakery he delivered bread daily from 5 a.m.  He played rugby league football, was foundation secretary and then president of the local Returned Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Imperial League of Australia and was an alderman on Camden Council in 1924-27.  A scoutmaster, he earned the movement’s medal of merit in 1927.

Encouraged by his uncle Horace Doust, Camden’s town clerk, Stuckey studied to qualify as a town or shire clerk.  In July 1927 he became an accountant with Marrickville Council in suburban Sydney.  On passing his final examination in 1928 he was appointed shire clerk of Marthaguy Shire at Warren, New South Wales.

On 15 November 1935 Stuckey became town clerk at Hunters Hill.  His career flourished and he became well known in Australian and overseas administrative circles, partly through his membership of professional bodies such as the Association of Local Government Clerks of New South Wales (president 1948-57) and the Australian Council of Local Government Associations (president 1950-60).  The first Australian to serve as president of the Society of Town Clerks of the British Commonwealth, he was a member of the Local Government Examinations Committee and chaired (1958-85) the A. R. Bluett Memorial Trust.  He held office in a striking range of sporting, cultural, educational, church and service organisations.

In 1939-41 Stuckey served with the 18th and 35th battalions, Citizen Military Forces, attaining the substantive rank of lieutenant.  He was chief warden of the Hunters Hill National Emergency Services unit in 1943.  In the 1940s he led campaigns that frustrated attempts to incorporate Hunters Hill into other local government areas.  He helped to establish a municipal art advisory body and was founding president (1961-80) of a local historical association with an associated museum.

Stuckey was outgoing, an excellent speaker and raconteur.  His politically conservative views matched those of the local community; his attachment to Britain was reflected in his presidency (1967-69) of the New South Wales branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society and his assistance to thousands of British migrants during his ten years chairmanship (1958-68) of its 'Bring-out-a-Briton' committee.  In 1959 he was appointed OBE.  When he retired on 3 August 1967, after almost thirty-two years, Hunters Hill Council conferred on him their highest accolade, freedom of the municipality.

On 26 November 1921 at St John’s Church of England, Glebe, Stuckey had married Vera Gladys Graham (d.1933).  He married Miriam Margaret Sims (d.1964) on 4 April 1936 at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Bega.  On 15 October 1969 at Pennant Hills he married with Presbyterian forms Evelyn Yvonne Houston, née Crowley.  In retirement he remained active, in 1971-72 conducting a financial survey of local government throughout Australia for the Council of Local Government Associations.  He revised several editions of the widely used Bluett’s Local Government Handbook (N.S.W.), wrote articles about Hunters Hill and in 1977 compiled An Abbreviated History of Hunter’s Hill 1835-1977.  He died on 31 October 1985 at his home there, survived by his wife and the three sons of his first marriage and daughter of his second.  The man described by the mayor Bruce Edelman as 'Mr Hunters Hill' was farewelled at a funeral service at Gladesville-Boronia Park Uniting Church and buried in the Uniting Church cemetery, Cawdor.  His sons all became town or shire clerks.

Select Bibliography

  • Sunday Telegraph (Sydney), 14 October 1962, p 39
  • TWT: The Weekly Times, 26 July 1967, p 6
  • TWT: The Weekly Times, 6 November 1985, p 3
  • Shire & Municipal Record, 15 September 1967, p 465
  • Shire & Municipal Record, December 1985, p 421
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 1 November 1985, p 15
  • B2455, item Stuckey Roy Darrell, B884, item N20274 (National Archives of Australia)
  • Hunters Hill Municipal Council, Mayoral Minute, 4 November 1985
  • records (Hunters Hill Historical Association Museum)
  • records (Local Studies Collection, Ryde Library)
  • private information.

Citation details

Kenneth W. Knight, 'Stuckey, Roy Darrell (1900–1985)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/stuckey-roy-darrell-15791/text26990, published first in hardcopy 2012, accessed online 16 January 2019.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 18, (MUP), 2012

View the front pages for Volume 18

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