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Lyne, William Neil J. (1853–1941)

Mr. William Lyne, who died at his home at Broadmeadow yesterday, at the age of 88, had been a member of the Newcastle Hospital Board for 50 years and vice-president for 33 years. His hospital service was believed to be unique in Australia.

He completed 50 years as a member of the board on February 4 this year. Tributes to his outstanding service were paid by the Hospitals Commission, board, Greater Newcastle Council, and many other organisations and persons. He was elected a member of the Newcastle Hospital Board at the beginning of 1890. He had seen the hospital and its work steadily expand until it attained a position which he spoke of as being equal to that of the other great hospitals of the Commonwealth.

His son, Mr. G. R. Lyne, was a colleague on the board for many years.

Mr. Lyne was born at sea. His parents first settled in Victoria. After several months in Melbourne and other towns in that colony, they set out for Brisbane, where, after three months, they came again south, and settled in New South Wales. It was not long before they made their home in Newcastle. The son never left it.

Mr. Lyne had many vivid recollections of the colonies in those far-away days. Queen-street. Brisbane, he knew as a sandy track, over which bullock waggons used to haul their loads. It was much the same in the other cities that had grown.

"It was about 1862 that I first made the acquaintance of Newcastle," he told an interviewer. "Hunter-street then, as in 1940, was the main street. The other streets were streets in name only. Roads would more aptly describe them. And the surrounding district was composed of some scattered houses, occupied mostly by the men from the coalmines."

Mr. Lyne's first employment was in the office of the "Newcastle Pilot," then published by Dr. Brooks, a prominent figure in the life of the city in his day.

"I shall never forget the lonely walk I used to have every night going to his home for copy," said Mr. Lyne. "Dr. Brooks lived in one of those buildings be hind which was the garden of the Bank of Australasia. One of the compositors was James Hogue, who became editor of the Sydney 'Evening News,' M.L.A. for the Glebe. and Minister for Education."

Mr. Lyne always interested himself in defence matters. In 1872, he joined the No. 3 Battery of Volunteer Artillery, under Captain Macpherson. The other officers were Lieut. Kinkaldy and Second-Lieutenant Aagar. This was the time when land orders of 50 acres were given for five years' continuous service. One of these orders Mr. Lyne received, but the value of the land was at a low ebb, so that the orders were sold for small sums and were bought up by speculators. who could afford to wait for their money until land became more valuable. After a few years, Mr. Lyne's battery was disbanded, and another, No. 5. was formed, of partially-paid men. In this he had the rank of captain. His commission bore the signatures of the Governor of the colony (Sir Robert Duff) and the Colonial Secretary (Mr. J. N. Brunker), who was one of the Northern district members. In recognition of his service, Mr. Lyne received several decorations, including that of V.D. with medal. He was invested with these by the late Chief Justice (Sir Frederick Darley).

The friendly society movement found in Mr. Lyne a consistent supporter. He was an early president of the Friendly Societies' Association, and a founder of the Protestant Alliance Friendly Association, of which he became first Worshipful Master. For upwards of half a century he occupied one office or another. Mr. Lyne took an active part in the political movement as a young man.

He used to recall the great battles of the clay, in which figured Sir James Martin, Dr. Bowker, Alfred G. Lloyd, and James Fletcher. He never aspired to political honours himself, but found time to enter the municipal sphere, serving in the old Hamilton Council and becoming Deputy Mayor.

Mr. Lyne did not follow up the work that he began early as a copy-boy in the newspaper office, but quitted that employment to enter the railway service. He had served 40 years on his retirement in 1925.

The funeral will move from William street, Hamilton, this morning after a service beginning at 10.45, for the Congregational cemetery, Sandgate.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Newcastle Sun, 17 March 1941, p 2

Citation details

'Lyne, William Neil J. (1853–1941)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/lyne-william-neil-j-23307/text32463, accessed 17 October 2021.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2021

Life Summary [details]

Birth

1853
at sea

Death

16 March 1941
Broadmeadow, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage
Religious Influence
Occupation