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Sir Geoffrey Syme (1873–1942)

The death of Sir Geoffrey Syme, managing editor and part proprietor of the Age (which was reported in later editions of The Argus yesterday), occurred early yesterday morning in a private hospital in Melbourne. Sir Geoffrey Syme was 69. He had been in failing health for more than 2 years, but had continued to take an active part in the editorial direction and management of the paper. He had been its managing editor since the death of his father, Mr David Syme, 35 years ago, his eldest brother, the late Mr Herbert Syme, having been business manager until shortly before his death in 1939.

Sir Geoffrey Syme, who was the 4th son, was educated at Kew High School and University of Melbourne. After he left the University he went abroad, and obtained some experience on the journalistic side of newspaper production in England and Scotland. On his return he was placed by his father on the reporting staff of the Age, and subsequently was appointed editor of an associated weekly magazine, Every Saturday.

He became managing editor of the Age when David Syme died in 1908 and in his direction of the paper in subsequent years he adhered strictly to the political principles set down for it by his father.

In 1918 he visited Britain as a member of the Dominion Press Delegation, which went there to discuss postwar problems at the invitation of the British Government.

Though a keen student of politics, he kept aloof from political ties, and seldom appeared in public. The newspaper dominated all his other interests, but he devoted some attention to agricultural and pastoral pursuits, and was a keen sportsman. He was a member of the VRC and VATC, and of Metropolitan and Kew golf clubs, also of the Athenaeum Club. Last year he was created a KBE.

He is survived by Lady Syme (formerly Miss Violet Addison Garnett, of Warrow Hall, Clitheroe, England, whom he married in 1902), and 4 daughters—Mrs Geoffrey Haggard, Mrs John Hayne, Mrs. Max Clemons (Launceston), and Miss Veronica Syme. He was predeceased by 2 brothers (Messrs Herbert and Francis Syme) and by his only sister (Mrs Lucy MacAllistor), the only surviving members of the late David Syme's family now being Dr A. E. Syme, of Lilydale, and Mr Oswald Syme, of Macedon.

The funeral will leave Sir Geoffrey Syme's home, Blythswood, Carson st, Kew, at 3pm today, after a short service, for Boroondara Cemetery. A. A. Sleight Pty Ltd has charge of the arrangements.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Syme, Sir Geoffrey (1873–1942)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


3 March, 1873
South Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


30 July, 1942 (aged 69)
East Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

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