Proceeds of Sir Hermann's house to go to University
4 September 2009
A Roseville house that belonged to a former chancellor of the University of Sydney, the late Sir Hermann Black, will go to auction this month with the proceeds bequeathed to the University.
Sir Hermann Black, born in 1904, started his working life as a teacher before joining the University of Sydney as an assistant lecturer in economics in 1933. In 1939 he became adviser to the Treasury, serving throughout World War II.
A gifted speaker, Sir Hermann Black was well known for his role as commentator for the Australian Broadcasting Commission from the 1930s and member of discussion panels such as Monday Conference.
He played a part in persuading the government to increase the school-leaving age from 14 to 15 and to appoint a permanent economic adviser.
Teaching, he believed, was intended less to instill knowledge than to develop the intellect, and the lecturer needed to display the processes of his or her own reasoning. He believed not in teaching conclusions, but how to reason.
In December 1969 he was elected deputy-chancellor and five months later chancellor, remaining chancellor during a period marked by student unrest and financial stringencies in the 1970s and during the reforms of the late 1980s instituted by the Federal minister for employment, education and training, John Dawkins.
In 1963 Sir Hermann married Edith Joyce Black, nee Ritchie, a University of Sydney graduate (BA, 1939) and a talented organist and musician who worked as a secretary and a schoolteacher. They had no children.
It was Sir Hermann's wish that if he outlived Lady Black their Estate would go to the University. Although Lady Black, who died earlier this year, outlived her husband by 19 years her will reflected his wishes. The University is now in the process of selling the property and its contents through the Estate's Executor.
The home, described by the selling agent David Pannell as a fine example of the Australian Bungalow style, sits on approximately 700m² of land close to city buses, Roseville Girls College and Roseville Primary School.
It features original timber architraves and picture rails, and a newer extension that includes a family room opening on to a sunny back garden.
The contents of the home, including a Kawai Baby Grand Piano, an oak dining suite, a selection of jewellery, paintings, vases and a number of signed first edition books, will be auctioned on Sunday 13 September at 11am.
House auction enquiries: David Pannell, 0412 260 593 or Rosemary Pannell, 0411987487.
Auction: On site 1pm, 19 September.
Home contents enquiries: Sandra Goldsmith, 0419 633 192.
Inspection: 1.30-4pm, 12 September, and from 8.00am, 13 September.
Contact: Media office
Phone: 02 9036 5404