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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Turner, Henry Gyles

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Turner, Henry Gyles, general manager of the Commercial Bank of Australia (Limited), was born at Kensington, London, in 1831. His mother was possessed of a moderate fortune, which his father lost. The subject of this memoir was apprenticed to William Pickering, the celebrated Aldine publisher and bookseller. In 1851 he resigned his connection with the book trade, and accepted an appointment in the London Joint Stock Bank. In Sept. 1854 he differed with his managers respecting some office promotion, and he was requested to resign, which he did. The following month he received an appointment in the Bank of Australasia, Melbourne, and sailed for Victoria, entering upon his duties in Melbourne in Dec. 1854. In 1865 he became accountant, and received two offers of management in New Zealand, which he declined, and was just about to take the management of the branch bank at Brisbane, when the directors of the Commercial Bank of Australia (Limited) offered him the chief management of that institution, which he accepted, taking charge in July 1870. He had an arduous task before him in practically reorganising the bank, which under his management, which still continues, has emerged from an obscure position to the front rank of Australasian banking institutions. As a writer, Mr. Turner is well known as a contributor to the daily and weekly press, and to all the magazines that have been published in Victoria. He projected the Melbourne Review, and was one of the editors as well as a contributor. Mr. Turner has paid several lengthened visits to England of late years, and is now collaborating with Mr. Alexander Sutherland in the production of a volume of biographical sketches of some of the leading authors of Australia. On all matters of public finance he is recognised as an authority, and has delivered several addresses which have been published and have attracted wide attention.