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Edwin Sandys Lumsdaine (1857–1931)

The death of Rev. Edwin Sandys Lumsdaine, Rector of Emu Plains and Castlereagh, which took place in Nepean District Hospital on Thursday, 26th ult., removes a widely known and very esteemed member of the country clergy of the State. He was a learned man, possessing many estimable traits of character, not the least of which were his devotion to duty and the courage of his convictions. He was born at Parramatta 74 years ago, his father at the time being curate at St. John's, of which Rev. Mr King was Rector. Deceased's father and three of his father's brothers came out to Australia with Bishop Broughton, who was their guardian. All those wards of the Bishop were educated at The King School, which deceased later attended. On leaving school, he became a bank officer, and was on the staff of the old Mercantile Bank. After a time he turned his attention to surveying and his duties in this profession took this to various parts of the country, including the territory that is now the site of the Federal Capital. Next he studied law, and for years practised in Sydney as a solicitor. Later he was admitted as a barrister, but never actually practised, deciding to enter the Ministry of the Church of England. He has stated that his resolution to take this step was made when on a visit to England, a text displayed in a church making an appeal to him.

In 1906 he was ordained deacon, and in 1907, priest, by the Archbishop of Sydney. He held the curacy of Castle Hill (with Rouse Hill and Dural), and afterward did temporary duties at St. John's Parramatta, Glenmore Road, Paddington, in the Cathedral district, Sydney, St. Marys, St. Matthias', Paddington, Glebe Point, Cook's River, Botany, Orange, and Richmond. From 1911 to 1917 he was curate in charge of the Conventional District of Woolwich. In 1917 he became locum tenens of St. Paul's, Emu, and Castlereagh, and in 1919 the Archbisbop appointed him Rector of the parish.

In his young day Mr Lumsdaine was a fine athlete, a splendid swimmer, and was very fond of horse-riding. He was an accomplished musician, and often filled the position of relieving organist in his own church. As a singer he was possessed of no mean ability.

Deceased is survived by his wife and three daughters—Mrs Kennedy (Ireland), Mrs H. Whiting (Melbourne) and Mrs Allan Spowers (Melbourne). He also leaves two brothers—-Mr Edwin Lumsdaine, of Artarmon, and Mr Herbert Sinclair Lumsdaine, a retired banker living at Hornsby—and two sisters —Mrs Deane (Melbourne) and Mrs Eaglesfield-Smith (Hornsby). Two brothers and a sister predeceased him. Mr Herbert Sinclair Lumsdaine is the father of Mr Jack Lumsdaine, the well known musician and entertainer.

The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon. A service was held in deceased 's parish church, St. Paul's, Emu, which was crowded. It was conducted by Rector of Penrith, Rev. H. N. Powys, assisted by Rev. F. Wilde (Springwood) and Rev. F. Greville (Mulgoa). The service commenced with deceased's favorite hymn, "When our Heads are Bowed with Woe," which was followed by the recital of Psalm 90. The lesson was read by the Rector of Mulgoa from the Book of Revelation, and "Nunc Dimittis" was sung. Mrs Wines presided at the organ.

An address was given by the Rector of Penrith, who took as his text, "He being dead yet speaketh," from Hebrews. In the course of his remarks, Mr Powys pointed out that deceased was about 24 years in Holy Orders. Like Levi of old, he gave up the lucrative calling of the law for the Gospel. He left the civil courts to plead in the heavenly courts for souls astray. The sacrifice that he made was typical of the man. His life was one of self-denial and self-abnegation. He lived a life of discipline and loyal service. His later days were made sorrowful by trouble, the preacher making reference, in this connection, to the fire at the Emu Rectory over two years ago. The reward of their deceased friend was not an outward one, except in the concourse present this day, which met to pay a tribute to his memory.

"I know from personal contact," said the Rector, "that numbers will rise up and call him blessed. He was faithful, earnest, and sincere, and he emphasised the truth as he saw it. He being dead yet speaketh. His message is, 'Follow Christ.' The burden of his preaching was, 'Be ye reconciled to God.' We might say of him, 'To him to live is Christ, and to die is gain, and to depart and be with Christ is very far better.' "

In concluding the Rector tendered sympathy to the neighboring parishes represented there that day, which had been bereaved. Especially did he do this, he said, when he remembered the help rendered by Mr Lumsdaine to the parish of Penrith during the sickness of a former Rector. "We tender our sympathy to the relatives as well as the parishioners," said Mr Powys, "and pray that God will comfort them. It is fitting that his last resting place should be here, under the shadow of the church that he loved and served so well. So we finally appeal to the congregation to rally round the old church for the sake of the Master, whom Edwin Lumsdaine sincerely and humbly followed."'

At the conclusion of the address, prayers were read, and the hymn, "Lead Kindly light," was sung. Prior to the remains being removed from the church, the Dead March was played by Mrs C. H. Fulton, the congregation standing.

The cortege, headed by the clergy reciting the usual sentences, proceeded to the grave, hard by the old church. A large and representative gathering listened to the burial service. The chief mourners were Messrs Edward and Herbert Sinclair Lumsdaine, brothers of deceased, Messrs Paul and Clive Lumsdaine, nephews, and Mesdames Paul and Clive Lumsdaine.

Many wreaths were forwarded, including one from the parishoners. The S.S. was represented by a beautiful cross.

Original publication

Citation details

'Lumsdaine, Edwin Sandys (1857–1931)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


26 March, 1931 (aged ~ 74)
Kingswood, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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