Person - Neil Morrison
NEIL RODERICK McLEOD MATHESON MORRISON (1926 - 2013)
Of interest to ASIO, Neil Morrison joined NT ca 1949 when he acted in Juno and the Paycock, Birthday of a Miner and Pot of Message. He was a voice in the Waiting for Lefty tribute to Edgar Yardley the same year. In 1951 Neil was on management committee and ran Contact street theatre, its focus the referendum to ban the Communist Party. He dressed in neck-to-knee bathers for the 1954 Reedy River fancy dress ball.
Born on 21 June 1926 in Scotland, Neil was a child migrant who arrived in Sydney aged 12 in March 1938, and was sent to Molong and Fairbridge farms. After working as a copy boy with the Daily Telegraph he volunteered for the AIF in 1944. In training at Cowra, he helped round up escaping Japanese POWs. Postwar he was stationed with BCOF in Japan for four years. He then gained his Leaving Certificate, worked as a teacher (his first appointment was the first time he had stepped inside a high school), graduated MA and was a schools inspector before studying law and becoming a barrister. He served for a time as Deputy President of the Arts Council. He loved teaching, swimming and soccer and sang in the bass section of the Sydney University Graduate Choir.
In 1968 he co-compiled an anthology of poetry for secondary students. In 2002 and 2009 he recorded Henry Lawson and other Australian poetry set to music.
Neil Morrison married Patricia June Lynch in 1950. He died on 18 June 2013. His funeral oration was delivered by ex-pupil Ian Hamilton, a NT supporter.
Neil Morrison was interviewed for the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants oral history project conducted by the National Library of Australia.