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Allard, Sir George Mason (1866–1953)

by A. B. Cleland

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7, (MUP), 1979

Sir George Mason Allard (1866-1953), chartered accountant, was born on 28 December 1866 at Brixton, London, son of George Allard, provision merchant, and his wife Kezia, née Thatcher. He was educated at United Westminster Grammar School, then joined the London staff of the Australian Joint Stock Bank. He arrived in Sydney in 1888 and remained with the bank until 1895. On 18 March at St John's Church of England, Ashfield, he married a widow Emma Victoria Oliver, née Couves; they visited England that year.

On their return in 1896, Allard began practice as a public accountant and remained independent until 1920. From 1899 he was secretary of the Institute of Bankers of New South Wales and editor of its Journal for many years. He was also secretary of the Sydney banks' clearing house. Registrar of the council of the Corporation of Accountants of Australia from 1903, in 1909 he became a councillor (and later vice-president) of the new Australasian Corporation of Public Accountants. From 1914 he lectured on banking practice in the department of economics and commerce at the University of Sydney. During World War I he was honorary treasurer of the Citizens' War Chest Fund for the New South Wales division of the Australian Comforts Fund and chairman of the citizens' committee of the Red Triangle Fund.

In 1917 Allard was appointed royal commissioner to inquire into the working of the public service of New South Wales. In 1918-20 he presented reports to the government on the administration and efficiency of the Public Service Board, the Department of Lands, and the Department of Works including Walsh Island Dockyard, Newcastle; on the State trawling industry and other government industrial undertakings; on the administration of Acts relating to state children; and on retrenchment of officers in the Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage.

In 1920 Allard had joined Yarwood Vane & Co. and the firm's name was changed to Yarwood Vane & Co. with G. Mason Allard. In 1923 he and the firm were commissioned by the Commonwealth government to report on expropriated properties and businesses in New Guinea. One of three government-nominated directors of Amalgamated Wireless Australasia Ltd, he was chairman in 1922-31 and with (Sir) Ernest Fisk visited Britain and Canada in connexion with the establishment of the beam wireless service between Great Britain, Canada and Australia. From the 1920s he was for many years chairman of directors of Beard Watson & Co. Ltd and Sargood Gardiner Ltd. He was knighted in 1926, was a councillor of the Sydney Chamber of Commerce, and in 1933-34 was one of a large committee to inquire into the system of examinations and secondary school courses. Following the incorporation by royal charter in 1928 of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, Allard was a vice-president until 1932, president in 1932-41 and councillor until 1948; he was also chairman of its New South Wales council in 1928-32 and a councillor until 1953. Keenly interested in shaping the affairs of the organizations to which he belonged, he had a profound influence on the accountancy profession and wide impact on the business and banking world. A reticent man, he took care in speaking and writing to ensure that his words carried precise meaning. He had a sense of humour, 'a keen and subtle understanding', and 'a natural courtesy … with a capacity for hard work'.

A member of the Union Club from 1917 and of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Allard lived for many years at Wahroonga, and enjoyed golf, boating and motoring. He died on 1 May 1953 and was cremated at Northern Suburbs. Predeceased by his wife in 1952, he was survived by a son and a daughter. His estate was valued for probate at £45 294.

Select Bibliography

  • Commerce (Sydney), 1 July 1930
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 2 May 1953
  • History of the Institute and Earlier Accountancy Bodies (Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, Sydney).

Citation details

A. B. Cleland, 'Allard, Sir George Mason (1866–1953)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/allard-sir-george-mason-4999/text8309, published first in hardcopy 1979, accessed online 13 November 2018.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7, (MUP), 1979

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