Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Ivan Bernhard Lund (1929–1992)

by R. I. Cashman

This article was published:

Ivan Bernard Lund (1929–1992), fencer, was born on 13 May 1929 in Melbourne, only child of Kai Bernhard Svane Lund, dealer, and his wife Eileen Lillian, née Kelly. Ivan’s father was born in Denmark and migrated to Australia in 1922; his mother was born in Tasmania. He attended St John’s (Marist Brothers’) School, Hawthorn, before obtaining a position with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in 1945. At an early age he was inspired by the swordsmanship of film stars such as Errol Flynn. He took up fencing and was to dominate the sport in Australia until his mid-thirties, winning six national championships with the épée (1950, 1953, 1958, 1960–61, and 1964) and five with the foil (1951, and 1953–56), and securing many State titles. Six feet two inches (188 cm) tall and weighing a light 12 st. 4 lb. (78 kg), he had a reach of 65 ins (165 cm) with the épée.

Lund excelled in four successive British Empire (and Commonwealth) Games. In Auckland in 1950 he was placed third in the individual épée and was a member of the Australian team that won this event; in Vancouver in 1954 he won the individual épée, and gained second place in one team event and third place in two more; in Cardiff in 1958 he came second in the individual épée, and was a member of teams that secured two second places and one third place; and in Perth in 1962 he won the individual épée, and came second in two team events. His total of thirteen medals—three gold, six silver, and four bronze—was an Australian record in the games, not equalled until 1974 and not surpassed until 1990. He carried the Australian flag at the opening ceremony in 1958 and took the athletes’ oath in 1962. Although he participated in four Olympic Games (1952, 1956, 1960, and 1964), he did not win a medal; he was Australian flag-bearer at the opening of the Tokyo games in 1964.

Dedicated to the advancement of Australian fencing, Lund served as an administrator, publicist, and coach. Having been secretary-treasurer (1955, 1959–64) of the New South Wales Amateur Fencing Association, he presided over the Tasmanian Amateur Fencing Association (1965–66). He was a national selector, manager of the Australian fencing team at the 1966 Empire and Commonwealth Games, and an administration officer at the next two games. In 1986 he was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

Employment in the bank had taken Lund to Sydney in 1950, Hobart in 1964, and Victoria (relieving staff) in 1967. A keen and reliable officer, he gained steady promotion. His final posting, in 1969, was to Brisbane, where, from 1972, he managed the international division. On 10 July 1976 at St Thomas’s Church of England, Toowong, he married Phillipa Mary Hart, a medical records librarian; a Catholic priest also officiated, reflecting Lund’s religion. Modest and personable, he was a gentleman athlete who respected his opponents and his sport. He also rowed and played squash. His other interests included photography and classical music, and he enjoyed weekends in his campervan with his family. He retired from the bank in 1988. Survived by his wife and by their son and two daughters, he died of pancreatic cancer on 9 April 1992 at Auchenflower and was cremated with Anglican rites.

Research edited by Malcolm Allbrook

Select Bibliography

  • Emmerick, Richard. Personal communication
  • ‘Ivan Bernard Lund: Career Path with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.’ Unpublished manuscript, n.d. Documentation and Archives Centre, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Sydney. Copy held on ADB file
  • Lund, Phillipa. Personal communication
  • Point in Line (Sydney). 'LUND, Ivan.’ March 1958, 4. Australian Fencing Federation. Papers. National Library of Australia
  • Studham, David. Personal communication.

Additional Resources

Citation details

R. I. Cashman, 'Lund, Ivan Bernhard (1929–1992)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published online 2016, accessed online 24 May 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 19, (ANU Press), 2021

View the front pages for Volume 19

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Ivan Lund, 1960

Ivan Lund, 1960

National Archives of Australia, A1200:L35237

Life Summary [details]


31 May, 1929
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


9 April, 1992 (aged 62)
Auchenflower, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (pancreatic)

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