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Long, George Merrick (1874–1930)

Anglican churchmen in Melbourne were shocked yesterday when they learned of the tragically sudden death in London of the Bishop of Newcastle (Dr. Long). Mingled with expressions of deep regret were high tributes paid to the personality and conspicuous ability of Bishop Long, together with the recognition that his death had removed one of the great leaders of the Church of England in Australia.

The name of Bishop Long will always be inseparably associated with his achievement in drafting a new constitution for the Church in Australia in collaboration with Professor J. B. Peden, and in piloting the measure successfully through a General Synod in face of stern opposition. The merit of the achievement lay not so much in the fact that the measure was passed, as in the manner in which an assembly composed of men of almost all shades of ecclesiastical opinion were wooed into agreement by the persuasive eloquence and personality of Bishop Long.

In reviewing the results of the convention the Bishop of Wangaratta (the Right Rev. J. S. Hart, then Dean Hart), in referring to Bishop Long, said: "We shall not easily forget his tall, stalwart, purple-clad figure, his easy yet dignified attitudes, his good-tempered yet powerful face. Always alert and keen, always genial and considerate, with a grasp of the situation that enabled him to decide quickly when to make, and when to insist upon, concessions, he showed himself a real leader of the Church. Bishop Long was the central force of the convention."

The administrative and organising gifts possessed by Bishop Long were first revealed when he undertook the head mastership of Trinity Grammar School, Kew. Finding a primary school with about 70 pupils, Bishop Long had the satisfaction, seven years later, of knowing that the school had become one of the principal secondary schools in Australia. Proceeding to Bathurst (N.S.W.) as bishop of the diocese, Dr. Long again exercised his administrative capacities, and in 1928 he left that work in a flourishing condition. He had been in Newcastle diocese for only two years, and much had been hoped from his episcopate. When the diocese of Melbourne was vacant following the death of Archbishop Lees Bishop Long was one of those whose names were seriously considered for the appointment.

Memorial Service Today
A memorial service to Bishop Long will be held at evensong in St. Paul’s Cathedral today, when the Vicar-General (Dean Aickin) will preach the sermon. Clergy are asked to bring their robes.

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'Long, George Merrick (1874–1930)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/long-george-merrick-610/text611, accessed 27 June 2019.

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