Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sir Hubert Ferdinand Opperman

Sir Hubert Ferdinand Opperman, (1904 – 1996), referred to as Oppy by Australian and French crowds, was an Australian cyclist and politician, whose endurancecycling feats in the 1920s and 1930s earned him international acclaim.
Hubert rode a bicycle from the age of eight until his 90th birthday, when his wife Mavys, fearing for his health and safety, forced him to stop. His stamina and endurance in cycling earned Opperman the status of one of the greatest Australian sportsmen.
Opperman's career ended with World War II when he joined the Royal Australian Air Force. He served from 1940 to 1945 and rose to flight lieutenant. He raced briefly after the war but retired in 1947.
Beret belonging to Hubert Opperman, 1928. Photo: National Museum of Australia
Opperman joined the Liberal Party of Australia after the war and in 1949 was elected to the Parliament of Australia for the Victorian electorate of Corio centred on Geelong. He beat a senior Labour minister, J. J. Dedman and held the seat for 17 years before appointment to High Commissioner for Malta.

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