History of West Australia/Norman Kirkwood Ewing

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Norman K. Ewing.jpg
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Greenham & Evans.

IN the science of a country's government the legal mind must exercise a powerful influence. Of the premiers who went to London to the Record Reign celebrations, those of Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia were followers of the law. Western Australia, in both her Houses of Parliament, has a number of representatives of the legal world, and amongst them is Mr. Ewing.

Norman Kirkwood Ewing was born at Wollongong, New South Wales, in 1870. He is the son of the Rev. T. C. Ewing, Rural Dean of Wollongong, and was educated at the Illawarra College and at Southey's school, "Oaklands," Mittagong, New South Wales. Young Ewing finished his educational course at the Sydney University, matriculating at the age of sixteen years. Resolving to embrace the law as a profession, he was articled to Mr. H. Fitzharding, and after five years was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, in the early part of 1894. He immediately commenced the practice of his profession in the town of Murwillumblah, on the Tweed River, in his native colony, and rapidly acquired a good standing. He interested himself in the various political movements of the district, and at the last general elections in New South Wales contested the Tweed electorate against the sitting member, Mr. Joseph Bede Kelly, and several other candidates. Mr. Ewing was second on the list, only being defeated by a small majority. For such a young man this was a splendid showing. After eighteen months in the Tweed district, Mr. Ewing determined to seek fortune in the West, and arrived in this colony in November, 1895. When he had performed the necessary six months' residential qualification he, in May, 1896, was called to the Western Australian bar. Since that date he has gradually forced his way in the ranks of his brother professionals, who recognise in him a "foeman worthy of their steel," especially in the forensic sense. Mr. Ewing, though a young man, has gained an extensive clientele in Perth. Recently he was unable to undertake the increasing volume of work which came to his office, and took Mr. H. P. Downing—another New South Wales lawyer—into partnership with him.

When the general elections took place in Western Australia in May, 1897, Mr. William Thorley Loton, who formerly sat for the Swan constituency in the House of Assembly, did not seek re-election, and Mr. Ewing was asked to contest the constituency by a number of people, chiefly resident at Midland Junction. He acquiesced, standing as an Independent candidate against Messrs. James Morrison, J.P., W. G. Johnston, J.P., and Mr. Huelin, and he headed the poll. His brother, Mr. T. Ewing, is a well-known man in politics in New South Wales, having been for fourteen years a member of the Legislature, and for eight years the chairman of the Public Works Committee. Mr. Ewing has certainly bounded into public notice very quickly, but his is another example of what brains and well-directed energy will do. He saw his opportunity and grasped it. His undoubted ability will serve him well in the House, and as he has made his mark in his profession he is sure to do likewise in the broader arena of politics.