Tamara (Tamie) Beggs grew up in western Victoria, where her family, like John Malcolm Fraser’s, had a grazing property. The couple married in 1956, and by the time Fraser became Prime Minister in 1975, they had 4 children, aged 9 to 17 years.
The Frasers were not newcomers to Canberra when they moved into The Lodge in January 1976. They had built a house in the suburb of Deakin and all 4 of their children were born while the family lived there from 1957 to 1972. In their early years in Canberra, Mrs Fraser had made friends with another ‘political wife’, Margot Anthony, whose husband was the Country Party Member for the seat of Richmond. In March 1971, Doug Anthony had succeeded John McEwen as Leader of the Country Party.
Mrs Fraser undertook many political roles during her husband’s prime ministership. When Fraser was ill during the crucial election campaign in December 1975 after the dismissal of the Whitlam government, Mrs Fraser was required to deputise for him.
Although Mrs Fraser claimed she hated electioneering work, she was good at it and was regarded by Liberal Party campaign managers as an asset. Commenting on her role to an Age newspaper reporter on 5 December 1975, she said that ‘the hardest thing to take is that you are public property’. She nevertheless played a prominent role in the 1975, 1977, 1980 and 1983 federal election campaigns.
Dr Haydn James
Dr Haydn James is a conductor/arranger with many years experience in the world of choral music. For twelve years, he conducted The Dylan Singers, and for the following thirty years was Musical Director of The London Welsh Male Voice Choir; also, for five years Haydn travelled to Wales to direct The South Wales Male Choir, which was one of the largest choirs in the Principality. During this time, he appeared at most of the UK’s major concert halls, and toured extensively throughout Europe, North America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, South America and the Falklands. Haydn was the first conductor of an exciting new young male chorus, Eschoir, and regularly appears as guest conductor with a number of mixed and male choirs.
As Musical Director for the Welsh Rugby Union, Haydn has led the singing at more than 130 international matches at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium (previously known as The Millennium Stadium), as well as at a variety of Rugby Union, Rugby League, NFL and FA Cup Finals in Cardiff, Twickenham, Wembley and elsewhere. He has directed Melody Music’s British and Irish Lions Male Choir on tours to Australia (2001 & 2013), New Zealand (2005) and South Africa (2009), and has conducted nine massed choir festivals (the ‘1000 Voices’) at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as at similar events in Cardiff, New York, Sydney, Toronto and elsewhere.
As a choral arranger, Haydn’s work has been performed and recorded by many of the top male choirs in the UK and elsewhere, whilst some of his arrangements have been performed at Royal Albert Hall (the ‘1000 Male Voices’ concerts), as well as at massed choir concerts in Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall, New York.