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Edwin Lee Neil

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Edwin Lee Neil
Born 13 October 1872 Charlton upon Medlock, Lancashire
Died 17 December 1934 Kew, Victoria
Parents James Neil

Margaret McCallum

Spouse Lucy Harriet Hunt
Religious affiliation Anglican

Edwin Lee Neil (1872–1934) was a Christian businessman in Melbourne in the early 20th Century, managing one of Melbourne's leading retail businesses and being involved with various Christian organisations.

Emigrating from England with his family at the age of 12, Neil arrived in Sydney in 1884.[1] There, after other jobs, he took a job with the English, Scottish and Australian Bank, and was transferred to their head office in Melbourne. In 1895 he started working for his father's drapery business as an accountant.[1]

Neil married Lucy Harriet Hunt in South Yarra in 1900.[1]

Neil attended St. Columb's Anglican church in Hawthorn, the church which Rev. C. H. Nash was the minister of from 1900 to 1906. In 1908, when controversy broke out over Nash, Neil publicly supported Nash, which apparently led to him being dismissed from his roles as organist and choirmaster at the church by the then minister, Rev. H. F. Mercer.[2] Neil subsequently shifted to St. Hilary's Anglican church in Kew.[3]

In 1911 the drapery business was taken over by Sidney Myer, who kept him on as manager of the store.[4] Myer was a creative merchandising genius, whilst Neil was the steady, methodical businessman who put Myer's ideas into good effect.[4]

When C. H. Nash started Melbourne Bible Institute in 1920, Neil became its first president.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 de Serville, 1986.
  2. St. Columb's, Hawthorn, The Argus, 31 January 1908, p.5.
  3. James, G. E., E. Lee Neil Memorial, Letter to the editor, The Argus, 19 March 1935, p.11.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hyslop, 1986.
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