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MORRISON, Alistair Gwynne (1915-2009)

Alistair Morrison (right) with Harvey Lade (left) in 1994.

Alistair Morrison (right)
with Harvey Lade (left) in 1994.

MORRISON, Alistair Gwynne (1915-2009)

Alistair Morrison, author, colonial administrator, bibliophile and ornithologist, who lived in Canberra for many years, died aged 93.

Born in Beijing, China he was the son of Dr George Ernest “Chinese” Morrison and grandson of founding College Principal, Dr George Morrison. Alistair led an exotic life. He grew up in England, was educated there at Malvern College, travelled to Scandinavia and South America and eventually joined the British Colonial Service, becoming a key figure in the transfer of colonial rule in Sarawak during the 1960s. He later worked for the Joint Intelligence Office in Canberra before retiring in the mid 1970s.

His marriage to the famous photographer Hedder Hammer left no children. James Frederick Greenwood (1854-1932), who was a cousin of Rebecca Greenwood and inherited the Old Oxenhope Mill at Haworth upon his uncle William’s death in 1893 was appointed, without consultation, the guardian of George Ernest ‘Chinese’ Morrison’s children in his will. As an aged bachelor, he relegated this responsibility as guardian to his cousin, Cecily Deborah Fawcett (1869-1937) who brought up Alistair.

Sources: 'Ad Astra' May 1994 p12; Reece, Bob 'Sydney Morning Herald'; 'London Times' 9 Sept 2009; 'China Heritage Quarterly' No 19 Sept 2009.
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