Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Walter Hubert Boyd (1900–1970)

by J. C. H. Gill

This article was published:

Walter Hubert Boyd (1900-1970), solicitor, was born on 26 June 1900 at Ahoghill, County Antrim, Ireland, son of William Boyd, farmer, and his wife Eliza Jane, née McClelland. Walter was educated at Ballymena Academy where he developed a lifelong love of Rugby Union football. During World War I he served with the British Army and met R. L. H. Peterson, a solicitor for whom Boyd's elder brother Lowry worked at Longreach, Queensland. After the Armistice, Boyd matriculated and studied medicine for a year at the Queen's University of Belfast. Peterson, with whom he had kept in touch, persuaded him to migrate in 1922 and enter into articles of clerkship with him. Boyd was admitted as a solicitor on 3 May 1927. He married Thelma Lilea Forrest on 18 December 1929 at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Brisbane.

In 1931 he was admitted to partnership by Peterson who subsequently entered into partnership with J. K. Cannan in Brisbane, leaving Boyd to carry on their practice in the Central West. He became a partner in the Brisbane firm in 1946. A councillor (1949-69) of the Queensland Law Society, he was vice-president in 1952-54, president in 1954-56 and served on sub-committees which examined complaints, ethics and legislation. His enthusiasm inspired others, and his sense of humour and sincerity ensured his popularity. While a member of the society's public relations and social committees, which were particularly suited to his warm and outgoing personality, he was especially keen to advance the interests of younger members of the profession. Considering that the formality of the admission ceremony was rather starchy, he persuaded the council to entertain newly-admitted solicitors at lunch, thus introducing them to the society's management and affairs.

During the time he had been based at Longreach and in the Central West, Boyd played Rugby League football and cricket; when he moved to Brisbane he was able to resume his interest in Rugby Union, as an administrator. For many years he was president of the Great Public Schools Rugby Club. He chaired the Queensland Rugby Union's management committee in 1958-62 and, as president (1965-70) of the Q.R.U., helped to secure Ballymore Park, Brisbane, as its permanent home. Boyd was a Rotarian and a Freemason. In 1965 he was appointed O.B.E. On 29 January 1970 he retired from the Queensland Law Society Council, but was immediately appointed to its statutory committee, the judicial body which dealt with all forms of professional misconduct.

Survived by his wife, daughter and two sons, Boyd died of a coronary occlusion on 10 May 1970 at St Lucia and was cremated with Presbyterian forms.

Select Bibliography

  • Law Institute Journal, Mar, July 1970
  • Proctor, Oct 1989
  • Courier Mail (Brisbane), 11 May 1970
  • Queensland Law Society Archives and Queensland Rugby Union Archives, Brisbane
  • private information.

Citation details

J. C. H. Gill, 'Boyd, Walter Hubert (1900–1970)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1993, accessed online 22 May 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 13, (Melbourne University Press), 1993

View the front pages for Volume 13

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


26 June, 1900
Ahoghill, Antrim, Ireland


10 May, 1970 (aged 69)
St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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