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Watson, Alan Cameron (Lectures)

 Fonds — Folder: 1997.014 [Watson]
Identifier: wata

Scope and contents

Contains a newspaper clipping about a visit by The Very Rev. A.C.Watson, of Toorak Presbyterian Church, Melbourne, and the typescripts of three lectures delivered at First Presbyterian Church in Invercargill.

The context of the newspaper clipping suggests March 1956, but Lecture One referes to the centenary of the Southland Province which was not officially proclaimed until 1861, although petitioning began in 1857.


  • Creation: 1956?

Access and use

Access is freely available within the J.C.Beaglehole Room for research and private study. For any use beyond this, please contact the J.C.Beaglehole Room ( in the first instance.

Biographical note

The Very Reverend Dr Alan Cameron Watson (D.D., M.A., Dip.Soc.Sci., CMG) was born at Feilding on the 16th of March 1900. He studied at Otago University, gaining an M.A in 1924, and was at Theological Hall from 1923-1925. He was ordained in 1925, service as Ordained Assistant at First Presbyterian Church, Dunedin in 1927 and served at East Taieri from 1927-31, St Paul's, Christchurch from 1932-1941 and Toorak in Melbourne from 1942 until his retirement in 1967, at which point he became Minister Emeritus to the Presbytery of Flinders.

On the 17th of January, 1928, he married Eileen Margaret Ballantyne (b. 28th June 1902 at Dunrobin in Otago), a fellow student from Otago University (BSc 1925, BA 1927). In his Australian Dictionary of Biography entry, she is acknowledged as "an invaluable partner in her husband's ministry." They had three children.

Throughout his career he demonstrated a commitment to ecumenism and social justice. As well as his involvement in founding New Zealand's National Council of Churches (1941), at various times he served in leadership roles within the Presbyterian Church of Victoria (Moderator, 1953-54), Australia (Moderator General (1959-62), and international (Vice-President of the World Presbyterian Alliance (1954-60) as well as serving on the Joint Commission on Church Union, the central committee of the World Council of Churches and chairing the Australian Council of Churches (1961-63).

He also contributed to public discourse via a regular newspaper column in the Melbourne Age from 1959-1976, and was well-known as a broadcaster. In 1968 hewas appointed CMG (Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George) for services to religion and the community. Eileen died in 1969 and Alan in 1976.

For more detailed information go to the Australian Dictionary of Biography:

and his entry in the New Zealand register of Presbyterian ministers:


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Language of Materials


Papers relating to the lecture tour of Alan Cameron Watson ca 1956
J.C.Beaglehole Room - archives and manuscripts
Sue Hirst
12 July 2018
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Tapuaka Heritage & Archive Collections - JC Beaglehole Reading Room, Victoria University of Wellington Library Repository

P O Box 3438
Wellington 6140 New Zealand
+64 4 4635681