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James Houghton Snr.

The Hon. James Houghton Snr. was born on the 13th September 1911 in Sydney, NSW to parents James Houghton and Emily (nee Corscadden) and the family moved to Queensland when James was still young.

James spent much of his early youth living on the Redcliffe Peninsula with the Beedham Family, who owned the Redcliffe Picture Palace.

Humpybong Cricket Team 1926. Front row left: James Houghton(15yrs) Middle row centre: Halley Kirkwood. Front row right: George Beedham. Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RLPC-001\001351

Educated at Humpybong School and the Brisbane Technical College, he subsequently worked in the Commercial Bank, being posted to Woolloongabba, Ipswich, and Proston.

On 24 February 1938 James Houghton married Mary Auld Shinnie, and together had two sons and two daughters.

Houghton family home c.1947. Mary Houghton with children on the verandah of their family home on Oxley Avenue where the Midway shopping centre now stands. The house was brought to this location from Speedwell outside Proston and was later moved to Sportsground Street. Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RLPC-001\001366

From left to right: George Beedham, James Houghton, Stan Beedham, with Liz (Eleanor) Beedham (nee Corscadden) in front. Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection:RLPC-001\001362

When World War 2 started he was drafted into the Light Horse, despite never having ridden a horse. He served in AIF, 5th Light Horse and 5th Motor Regiment, from 1939; Served in AIF, as Major 2/12 Battalion (7th Division)

He rose to the rank of Major and was Commanding Officer at an army base in Townsville. He also served in New Guinea's Milne Bay.

J.E.H. Houghton holding baby James. June Houghton standing in front.

Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection:RLPC-001\001364

After discharge Jim and Mary returned to Proston where Jim commenced his own business as a stock and station agent. A lack of educational facilities prompted their return to Redcliffe in 1949, where Jim opened his own real estate business in Redcliffe.

In 1955 he was elected Mayor and during his nine years in office, saw Redcliffe proclaimed a city in 1959.

Election Day 1960 James and Mary Houghton with a friend. Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection:RLPC-001\001346

Mary and James Houghton with children John, Elizabeth, James, and June celebrating James' election as Mayor. The family house was situated where the Midway shopping centre now stands.

Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection:RLPC-001\001347

He contested the newly created seat of Redcliffe in 1960, and won easily thus uniquely holding both the Mayoralty and the State Member's position at the same time.

Redcliffe Hockey Team 1962 Hockey Team with James Houghton (centre back), Keitha Drake (centre left) and Mary Nairn (centre right). Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RLPC-001\001344

Laying the foundation stone for the Redcliffe Hospital on 4 May 1963. People in photograph from left to right: Dr. Noble (Minister for Health), Jim Houghton (Mayor), Dave Nicholson (MLA Murrumba).

Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RLPC-001\001142

After retiring as mayor in 1964, he continued as State member for Redcliffe and held the office of Speaker of State Parliament for the last five years of his parliamentary career.

His party positions were:

  1. Secretary, Parliamentary National Party. 1963 - 1972

  2. Member, Government Party Committees: Mines, Main Roads and Electricity. 1969 - 1971

  3. Member, Government Party Committees: Premier's and State Development; Mines and Main Roads; Works and Housing. 1971 - 1972

  4. Member, Government Party Committees: Mines and Main Roads; Works and Housing; Conservation; Marine and Aboriginal Affairs. 1972 - 1974

  5. Member, Government Committee Inquiring into Consumer Affairs. 1969

James Houghton worked hard to have the toll on the Hornibrook Highway removed and have the road links with Redcliffe upgraded.

In 1979, James Houghton Snr was honoured by having Australia's longest bridge named after him. The all concrete bridge named the Houghton Highway is 2740 metres long.

James Houghton Snr. passed away on the 21st January 1985 aged 73 years and is buried in the Redcliffe Cemetery.


James Houghton Snr. is listed on the wall of the Redcliffe Wall of Fame:

A collection of portrait and information honouring the achievements of individuals who have influenced and shaped Redcliffe. The collection is in the Jetty Arcade at 139-141 Redcliffe Parade.

For a complete list of people who appear on the wall click on the following blog post:

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Mar 18

Brings back great memories - wonderful family.

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