Edwin Fowles

Edwin Fowles (1871 – 1945) barrister, politician
A foundation senator of the University of Queensland in 1910-16, and first chairman of the library committee, Fowles was deeply involved in establishing the university as secretary of the finance committee in 1906-11. Associated closely, too, with the setting up in 1912 of the Methodist Kings College in the university, he was its bursar and a fellow in 1916.

Edwin Fowles was a prolific writer. Apart from legal texts he published a matriculation Latin grammar in 1897, and wrote many articles for the Queensland readers put out by the Department of Public Instruction for use in state schools. Besides numerous general newspaper articles under the nom de plume ‘Remanet’, he produced leaders for the Brisbane Courier and was associate editor of the Daily Mail in 1903-07. In 1917 he was believed to have used his talents to launch a campaign of spurious anti-government letters to the editor.

A foundation senator of the University of Queensland in 1910-16, and first chairman of the library committee, Fowles was deeply involved in establishing the university as secretary of the finance committee in 1906-11. Associated closely, too, with the setting up in 1912 of the Methodist Kings College in the university, he was its bursar and a fellow in 1916.

Like many contemporary lawyers Fowles had political aspirations. In the general election of April 1912 he failed to win Fortitude Valley in the Legislative Assembly for the United Party against David Bowman, but in July was appointed by the Denham ministry to the Legislative Council. A brilliant debater who always prepared his brief carefully and was blessed with a ready wit to squash interjectors, he became after 1915 the unofficial leader of the Opposition in the council; he frequently obstructed the policy of the Ryan government. After the abolition of the Upper House in March 1922, he unsuccessfully sought a Legislative Assembly seat at Fortitude Valley in 1923 and Merthyr in 1925.

For some years Fowles was a leading temperance advocate and was on the executive of the Queensland Temperance League. Like his father-in-law Archibald, he was a fervent Methodist and gave unstintingly of body, mind and spirit to the work and worship of his church—as choirmaster, youth leader and lay preacher. In annual and general conferences and on many committees, his advice was respected. He was a foundation member of the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association.

Fowles wrote many hymns, revealing poetic gifts, spiritual insight and the evangelical tradition in which he had been reared. A member of the committee for the preparation of an Australian and New Zealand supplement to the Methodist Hymn Book of 1933, he worked very hard and contributed two of his own hymns to it. He prepared a ‘Methodist Hymn Book Companion’ to facilitate the introduction of the new book. In many Brisbane churches he conducted community hymn-singing and explained the origin of both words and tunes.

Source : http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080582b.htm

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