Alexander Bannerman James Irvine was born in India, son of Major-General Irvine, an officer in the Imperial Army who died in NZ in 1889. Alexander was educated in England and Scotland. He arrived in Tasmania in 1884 after spending several years in Mauritius and Fiji.
He was manager of the Launceston branch of the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand for eight years from 1887. He exhibited models of steamships belonging to the Union SS Co. at the Tasmanian Exhibition in 1891-92. His impressive display won awards for full models of the SS Rotomahana, Mararoa and Wakalipu. He achieved honorable mentions for half models of the SS Monowai and Takapuna. His chart table showing the position of a fleet of 53 steamers won a first award. A B J Irvine was a founding committee member of the Launceston Golf Club in 1899. In May 1900 Mr Irvine was entertained at a dinner at the Launceston Club on the eve of his departure for New Zealand. By 1913 he was the Branch Manager of the Canadian-Australian Royal Mail Line in Auckland. He died in Queensland in 1921.