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Born in South Dunedin in 1899, Phil Connolly, DSC, VRD, MP, worked as an engineer fitter at the Hillside Railway Workshops until the outbreak of World War II.

On departure for war with the Royal New Zealand Navy he was described as “one of the most prominent members of the Labour Party in Dunedin - a young man with a decided future”.

Lieutenant-Commander Connolly commanded the minesweepers HMS Deodar in the English Channel and HMNZS Moa on anti-submarine duties in the Atlantic and Pacific.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1941 for his service in safeguarding Allied English Channel convoys.

In 1943 he was elected to Parliament and represented Dunedin West (later renamed Dunedin Central) for 20 years. He served a total of 27 years as a Dunedin city councillor and a member of the Otago Harbour and Hospital boards.

From 1957-60 Connolly was Minister of Defence and Minister of Police.

He was described as “an eminent statesman and Minister of the Crown who devoted his life to the advancement of the people of New Zealand” and a man whose “forthright honesty and unquestioned integrity, together with his wide experience of life, both in peace and war, had combined to make him an outstanding minister”.

Connolly was offered a knighthood, but declined. He died suddenly at his Dunedin home on February 13, 1970, aged 70.

In Command: Minesweeper Captain and Labour Parliamentarian Phil Connolly by his daughter, Rosemary Jamieson, is a 2009 first edition published by Steele Roberts Publishers, Wellington.

It is a heavy, quality as-new 324-page 16.5x23cm stiff pictorial card soft cover with fold-in flaps packed with excellent photographs and many cartoons.

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  • Seller location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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