Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Edward Alan (Ted) Hunt (1896–1982)

by Theodora Hobbs

This article was published:

Edward Alan (Ted) Hunt (1896-1982), solicitor and Presbyterian layman, was born on 26 November 1896 at Kirkton, near Branxton, New South Wales, third of six children of Henry Edward Fripp Hunt, schoolteacher, and his wife Barbara, née Brown. Educated first in his father’s rural schools then at Maitland Boys’ High School, Edward completed the Solicitors’ Admission Board examinations while an articled clerk in Sydney. He was admitted as a solicitor on 29 August 1919. Employed by Harold T. Morgan & Morgan, he showed great aptitude in insurance work.

Through the Presbyterian Fellowship Association, Hunt met Edna Bell; they married on 3 April 1924 at St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Sydney. In 1929 he lost his job but he and his brother Hector Robert, also a solicitor, established the firm of Hunt & Hunt. Specialising in litigation, Edward found his insurance work was a lifeline during the Depression. He conducted all the accident investigations—interviews, statements and client reports—himself. His legal work included workers’ compensation and conveyancing. When they qualified, his two sons entered the firm.

After moving to Eastwood in 1939, the Hunt family joined the local Presbyterian Church. Hunt’s church roles included those of trustee, elder and convenor of the war memorial committee. He became law agent (honorary solicitor) for the Presbyterian Church of Australia in the State of New South Wales in 1947, and served until 1973.

In 1947 Hunt was elected to the Dundas Shire Council. After it merged with the Parramatta City Council, he served from 1948 to 1959 (mayor 1956-57). Following his wife’s death in 1956, Hunt reduced his law practice, devoting his time to church and community involvements. He married Gladys May Stewart, a widow, on 14 December 1957 at Willoughby Presbyterian Church.

The complex will of the benefactor C. B. Alexander (d.1947) of Tocal, in the Hunter district, where he had played and fished as a child, interested Hunt. He suggested that the development of Tocal as an agricultural college (as well as support of St Andrew’s Home for Boys, Leppington), would comply with Alexander’s wish to provide training for destitute and orphaned children. The Alexander trustees, the Presbyterian Church and the Supreme Court of New South Wales (in 1963) agreed. A college council, with `E.A.’ as chairman, was formed, work began in 1964 and next year the C. B. Alexander Presbyterian Agricultural College opened. Its scholarship program gave priority to disadvantaged students. In 1970 the State government took it over. Hunt’s account of these events, The Tocal Story, was published in 1972. He also served as director of Burnside Presbyterian Homes for Children, Parramatta, from 1973 until his death. These projects became a consuming passion.

Hunt was appointed MBE in 1974. His wife died in 1980. On the centenary of Kirkton Public School, where his father had been the teacher, Ted Hunt was guest speaker on 1 May 1982. He talked about his schooldays, eighty years before, and presented an illuminated scroll. Amid the applause, he sat down and died. Survived by the two sons and two daughters of his first marriage, he was cremated.

Select Bibliography

  • J. White, Tocal (1986)
  • F. R. Ramsay, Three Score Years and Ten: The Story of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Eastwood (1907-1977) (1989)
  • S. O’Flahertie, The History of Hunt & Hunt (2000)
  • Australian Law Journal, vol 56, no 7, 1982, p 380
  • private information and personal knowledge.

Citation details

Theodora Hobbs, 'Hunt, Edward Alan (Ted) (1896–1982)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 2007, accessed online 13 July 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, (Melbourne University Press), 2007

View the front pages for Volume 17

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


26 November, 1896
Kirkton, New South Wales, Australia


1 May, 1982 (aged 85)
Kirkton, New South Wales, Australia

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.