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H.K. 'Keith' Watson (1900-1973)

H.K. Watson was the driving force behind the Secession movement in Western Australia, being one of the founders of the Dominion League in 1930. He personally launched the campaign to a packed audience at His Majesty's Theatre.

Watson with petiton Born at Southern Cross, he was educated in Perth, where he took up a career in accountancy. Within a year of joining the Dominion League, Watson had become its secretary. His energy, drive and incessant letter-writing to all of the major newspapers, attracted thousands of recruits to the cause and helped return a strong 'Yes' vote in the referendum. Watson was appointed to the Western Australian delegation which presented the secession petition to King George V and the House of Lords in London in 1934. He returned to Perth in 1935 frustrated at the British Parliament's refusal to accept the petition. The Dominion League lost popularity and by 1938 was inactive.

In 1948 he was elected to the Legislative Council and served in the Western Australian Parliament for the next twenty years. Watson had been a vice-president of the National Party (forerunner to the Liberal Party) in 1933 and of the Liberal Party in 1948. He joined the Perth Building Society in 1932, eventually becoming chairman in 1951.

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