Acting Judge, Supreme Court of New South Wales, Matrimonial Causes Jurisdiction, 05/01/1949 - 12/11/1950
Puisne Judge, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 13/11/1950 - 02/11/1952
Judge in Divorce, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 03/11/1952 - 05/04/1954
Stanley Vere Toose was born on 6 October 1883 at the family property, 'Bellbrook', near Kempsey, the son of James Chapman Toose and his wife Jane nee Barr. He was educated at Upper Macleay River part-time school, West Kempsey Public School and Fort Street Model School, Sydney. He passed the matriculation examination for the University of Sydney in March 1903 and attended the university as an evening student, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) in 1908 and as a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 1912. Toose was active in student organisations including the Sydney University Union (treasurer 1911, committee member 1912) and the Sydney University Law Society (committee member 1912-1913). (1)
Toose was admitted to the New South Wales Bar on 9 May 1912, although he did not start his practice until 1919. He joined the NSW public service on 13 March 1902 as a junior clerk in the Sheriff's office of the Department of Attorney General and Justice, later becoming a clerk. On 1 October 1912 he transferred to the Prothonotary and Divorce office. On 30 April 1915 he left the public service and from 1 May he was clerk to the Honorable Justice Alexander Gordon, the Judge in Divorce and Matrimonial Causes at the Supreme Court of New South Wales. The clerk he was replacing, WKS MacKenzie, was on military service. Toose had volunteered for the Army but was medically unfit. After the war Toose established his practice, specialising in divorce. (2)
Toose was appointed an Acting Judge of the Supreme Court of NSW in the Matrimonial Causes Jurisdiction on 5 January 1949 for six months, which was later extended a further six months. He was an Acting Judge when appointed a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court on 13 November 1950 in the Matrimonial Causes Jurisdiction. Following the death of Henry George Edwards, Toose was appointed the Judge in Divorce on 3 November 1952. Reaching the statutory retirement age of seventy, he heard his last cases in October 1953 and retired on 5 April 1954. (3)
Toose's expertise in the divorce jurisdiction was used by the Commonwealth government on two occasions. Toose, Percy Joske, QC, and Harry Alderman, QC, were briefed by the Commonwealth Government to draft a bill for a Federal divorce act, but the act was not proceeded with. Toose, along with Colonel William K S Mackenzie, drafted the bill which became the Commonwealth Matrimonial Causes Act 1945. This Act only applied to marriages entered into between 3 September 1939 and the passing of the legislation. It was to expire on 1 June 1950. It was designed to help women deserted by their husbands, where the husband lived in another state or overseas, and was aimed primarily at women whose marriages to overseas military personnel had broken down. Under the divorce laws of the time, a woman could only sue for divorce in the court of her husband's domicile. For many women this made divorce impossible as they could not afford to travel overseas or did not know where their husband lived. (4)
Following the death of his father in 1929, Toose purchased the properties 'Half Moon' and part of 'Bellbrook' from the estate. He also purchased property adjoining 'Half Moon' from the estate of his brother Gordon. (5)
Toose took an active interest in politics. He assisted in election campaigns, including those of William Morris Hughes and Sir Joseph Cook. Hughes' committee meeting were held in Toose's Phillip Street Chambers for twenty years. (6)
Toose was involved in his community. He was one of the founders of the Balmoral and the Spit Swimming Clubs. He was a foundation member and President for 12 years of the Roseville Golf Club. He was patron for 33 years of the Roseville Cricket Club. He was patron of the Parents and Citizens Association of the Fort Street Girls' School for 30 years. He was a founder of the Roseville Progress Association. (7)
Toose died at his property 'Half Moon', near Kempsey, on 6 August 1967. He was survived by one son and three daughters from his first marriage to Gladys nee Burcher, whom he married on 11 July 1917. She died circa 1925. He married his second wife, Enid nee Fuller, on 3 February 1937 and she died circa 1958. His son Paul Burcher Toose became a Supreme Court Judge on 2 June 1969. (8)
1. Who's Who in Australia, Melbourne, The Herald, 1950, p.707; 1955, p.758; 1959, p.795; 1962, p.851; 1965, p.846; 'The Honourable Mr. Justice Stanley Vere Toose (1883) Died 6th August 1967', Savage Toose Hayllar Family Genealogy Pages, http:strawberrythunder.net/Familytree/ftdocuments/Hon%20SV%20Toose%201883.PDF (cited 25 June 2008); 'Toose Stanley Vere: Savage Toose Family Tree', Savage Toose Hayllar Family Genealogy Pages, http:strawberrythunder.net/Familytree/getperson.php?personID=1354&tree=T... (cited 26 June 2008); University of Sydney Calendar, 1903, pp.243, 324; 1904, p.241; 1905, pp.275, 353; 1906, p.358; 1907, p.384; 1908, pp.295, 370, 389; 1909, pp.393, 434; 1910, p.433; 1911, pp.438, 533; 1912, pp.438, 553, 555; 1913, pp.510, 555, http://calendararchive.usyd.edu.au/index.php (cited 18 March, 7 May, 12 May 2008).
2. Barristers Admission Board; NRS 13665, Roll of Barristers, 1876-1926; Reel 2147, p.19; New South Wales Law Almanac for 1919, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1918, p.65; Legislative Assembly New South Wales, Public Service List, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1902, p.59; 1913, p.60; 1914, p.58; NSW Government Gazette, No.97, 2 June 1915, p.3072; No.118, 30 June 1915, p.3832; NSW Law Almanac, 1916, p.36; 1917, p.36; 1918, p.36; 1919, p.36; State Reports New South Wales, Sydney, Law Book Company of Australasia, Vol.53 (1953), p.iii.
3. State Reports New South Wales, op.cit., Vol.49 (1949); Vol.50 (1950), Vol.52 (1952); Australian Law Journal, Vol.24, p.287 (16 November 1950); Vol.27, p.380 (20 October 1953).
4. State Reports New South Wales, Vol.53 (1953), p.vi; Henry Finlay, To Have But Not To Hold : a history of attitudes to marriage and divorce in Australia 1858-1975, Leichhardt, Federation Press, 2005, pp.295-301.
5. 'The Honourable Mr. Justice Stanley Vere Toose (1883) Died 6th August 1967', op.cit.
8. ibid; Who's Who in Australia, op.cit..