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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

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George Archibald McIntyre (1909–1974)

by L. T. Carron

Foresters in Canberra said a last, sad goodbye this week to George McIntyre — a friend to forestry for over 30 years.

Hundreds of foresters who took his course of Statistics at the Australian Forestry School in the 1950s will remember his sincere, earnest (and frequently frustrated) attempts to impart in them some element of his skill and love for biometrics.

Generous with his time, energy and expertise, he helped a large number of foresters all over Australia with their problems. He was a gifted consultant, with a logical first-principle approach, a startling capacity to grasp the fundamentals of a forestry matter he had never heard of before, and a self-effacing demurral of the extent and value of his contribution.

Despite the increasing demands on him in recent years, he still found time to help staff and students of this Department with an ever increasing range of problems.

At the service for him at Norwood Park Crematorium on 16 January, the Rev. Hector Harrison, an old friend, read a panegyric prepared by some of his colleagues in the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry:—


In the world of science great reputations are built on imaginative thinking combined with exceptional technical skills. Seldom can it be claimed that dedicated service to others is also a dominant ingredient in that reputation.

However, in the case of George McIntyre this is undoubtedly the case, and many hundreds of scientists throughout Australia and in neighbouring lands pay tribute to his work and the soundness of his advice.

George had an uncanny capacity for evaluation of each new problem presented to him. Indeed, many a good scientist has come away from a consultation a little wiser in their own subject, as well as with competent technical advice.

It was upon thousands of events of this kind that George McIntyre’s reputation as a dedicated scientist and wise counsellor was built. Many would claim that he was the best biometrical consultant that Australia has produced.

We were privileged to know him.

Original publication

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Citation details

L. T. Carron, 'McIntyre, George Archibald (1909–1974)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 July 2024.

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