Businessman and philanthropist ‘Bails’ Myer dies aged 96
His career spanned the fields of business, medical research, aged care, Australia-Asia relations, arts, conservation, education and rural communities.
He was president of Myer Emporium Limited from 1978 to 1986, president of the Howard Florey Institute and executive member of CSIRO. Additionally, Bails Myer was the sponsor of Asialink and the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal and Trustee Emeritus of the National Gallery of Victoria. He holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Melbourne.
The Myer chain of retail stores formed an indelible fixture in Victoria’s commercial and community life throughout the 20th century, from the founding of the first Myer store in Bendigo in 1900. After expanding to Melbourne, it was the one of the first retail chains to diversify. into large suburban shopping malls, with the opening of the Chadstone Center in 1960.
In 1983, Bails Myer presided over a major interstate expansion when Myer acquired the NSW department store chain Grace Brothers and opened stores in capital cities and regions across Australia.
Two years later, Bails Myer was still at the helm when Myer merged with Coles, to form Coles Myer, in a $1.07 billion deal.
He received an AC in 1990 and was made an honorary Doctor of Laws at the University of Melbourne in 1993. Bails Myer is survived by his wife Sarah and three children.