Anthony (Antal) Endrey QC
|Country of Origin
|Date of Birth
|Year of Arrival in Australia
Dr. ANTHONY (ANTAL) ENDREY Q.C. (1922 – 2010) lawyer, author, cattle farmer, community leader (PART 1)
Born in 1922 at Hódmezővásárhely, in south-east Hungary, on the Great Hungarian Plain, Anthony (Antal) Endrey was from a family of lawyers, politicians and affluent cattle farmers. His maternal ancestors were of Transylvanian origin nobility and his family was engaged in beef cattle raising along the Tisza River in Csongrád county. Anthony’s secondary schooling was with distinction at every stage of his education at the private Roman Catholic Saint Norbert Premonstratensian high school in Gödöllö. Pursuing a legal career, he studied at and graduated from Péter Pázmány University in Budapest. Studying further, he graduated Summa cum Laude and gained Doctor of Law with Honours from the same University.
Proficient in German, Anthony earned a rare scholarship of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs during his studies, and spent two terms in Berlin’s Friedrich Wilhelm University. Parallel to his legal studies, Anthony devoted time to economics, finance and associated disciplines, and was assistant to the great Hungarian economist, professor çkos Navratil at his special class seminars. As a law student he also worked for the Business Law magazine.
When WWII reached Hungary, Antal was exempted from war service owing to his key position at Budapest University. He nevertheless saw action when he voluntarily joined the Royal Hungarian Army’s armoured brigade in spring 1945, in the closing months of WWII, to fight against the Soviet-Russians. Taken as prisoner of war by the Soviets, he miraculously managed to escape from them to blend into the Hungarian populace. By the end of 1945 he was among the few officially released prisoners. In July 1947 he passed the attorney’s examinations and qualified to practice as registered lawyer-solicitor. He then opened his law office and practiced in his hometown of Hódmezővásárhely. He later was recognized, decorated and awarded the title of Vitéz (Hero of Hungary) for his voluntary participation and, however short, his meritorious WWII war service.
By 1948, the onset of a repressive, unjust and inhuman Communist regime in Hungary and his vigorous opposition to it, forced Anthony to defect to the West. This was followed by his migration to Australia in April 1949 as a Hungarian refugee among the 14,300 then officially termed “Displaced Persons” that Australia welcomed. His name Antal became Anthony or simply Tony for practicality. Tony graduated LL B with a First Class Honours degree, Bachelor of Law from the University of Tasmania School of Law, and with it, the right to practice in the profession. Earlier in the same year, Tony had won a case that had set a precedent in jurisdiction in the Supreme Court of Tasmania.
In 1957 Tony moved to Melbourne, where he continued to advance in his career as a lawyer. He headed the common law department of Gillot Moir & Aheam until, in 1962, he was accepted to the Bar, reading with Peter Murphy, later Justice Peter Murphy of The Victorian Supreme Court. Tony was appointed legal counselor to one of the Senate’s Standing Committee in 1972. He also acted independently for prominent Australian and British business corporations’ Australian subsidiaries like: Vickers Armstrong, Lloyds of London and also for The National Council of Australian Credit Unions, The Age daily newspaper, National Trustees of Australia, the Public Trustee of Victoria, and several nationwide insurance companies. Operating from his Melbourne base, his successful advocacy on several occasions gave rise to the setting of legal precedents in federal Commercial & Business laws. In 1975 he was invited to the Victorian Bar and earned the high honour of Queen’s Counsel, taking silk and wig by merit and experience.
He was appointed Master of the Supreme Court of Victoria in July 1976, but resigned from that position a year later. In 1979, he retired to his cattle farm at Marden near Leongatha where he raised Aberdeen Angus cattle. Tony’s passionate hobby was to raise beef cattle, the field he knew well and which earned him many prizes at the Royal Melbourne Shows. He returned to the Victorian Bar in 1981 where he practiced until 1989. (See PART 2)