Fellows of Senate

Sir Hermann David Black AC

Sir Hermann David Black AC was a Fellow of Senate of the University of Sydney elected by and from the graduates from 1949 to 1990. During these years, he was elected Deputy Chancellor from 1969 to 1970 and Chancellor from 1970 to his death in 1990.


Memorial service

Sir Hermann died on 28 February 1990.

A Memorial Service for Sir Hermann was held at 11.00am on Friday 23 March 1990 in the Great Hall.

Pictured below are some of those who came to the Great Hall on 23 March to pay tribute to former the Chancellor. At the lectern is Mr Justice Gordon Samuels, Chancellor of UNSW. Watching are (left to right) Dr John Lincoln, Deputy Chancellor of Macquarie University; Dr R C Robenson-Cuninghame, Chancellor of the University of New England; the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Don McNicol; Captain J Morrice, representing the Governor; the Deputy Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Dame Leonie Kramer; the Premier, Mr Nick Greiner; Sir George Lush, Chancellor of Monash University and cousin of Sir Hermann; Sir Gordon Jackson, Chancellor of the ANU; former Vice-Chancellor, Emeritus Professor John Ward; Mr Brian Furlonger, ABC radio producer; and the Registrar and Deputy Principal, Mr Keith Jennings. The Great Hall was packed for the occasion. (From The University of Sydney News, 3 April 1990):

Mr Justice Gordon Samuels, Chancellor of UNSW, speaking at the memorial service

Mr Justice Gordon Samuels, Chancellor of UNSW, speaking at the memorial service, photo, The University News 3 April 1990, University Archives.

The chancellors of ten Australian universities, or their deputies, doffed their academic bonnets to Lady (Joyce) Black.

Some of the university's most formidable products, like Mr Gough Whitlam and Sir Garfield Barwlck, paid their respects.

So, too, did Sir Bruce Williams, who had served with Sir Herman as Vice-Chancellor, and Dr Terry Metherell, who studied there, became NSW Education Minister and had a difference or two with Sir Hermann.

Dame Leonie Kramer, Deputy Chancellor, said everyone felt a keen sense of loss. She spoke of his eminence, eloquence and energy. He had infected their lives with the sheer delight of his varied life.

The NSW Premier and former student, Mr Greiner, said Sir Hermann was a true scholar and gentleman. What differentiated H D Black from other economics teachers was his humanity and his understanding of human psycbology in the market place. "At least in his class, economics was not a dismal science but a part of all human knowledge." Sir Hermann had said it was better to burn out than to rust out. Mr Greiner said Sir Hermann had burned throughout his life, giving light to the university, State and whole community.

Mr Brian Furlonger, the ABC broadcaster who worked with H D Black in current affairs broadcasts, quoted Belloc in calling him "the loveliest and the best". He was the loveliest of men, said Mr Furlonger, and the best of communicators. The signature phrase, "H D Black, of Sydney", was a guarantee of quality.

Professor John Ward, former Vice-Chancellor of Sydney University, said Sir Hermann had once described himself as a 19th century liberal who had adjusted to most of the 20th century. His interest in people was absolutely unbounded. So was his faith in the power of the human mind to work for the benefit of humanity.

Justice Samuels, Chancellor of UNSW, said Sir Hermann had loved his office and adorned it superbly. "He was Sydney University. I call him Hermann Sydney," he said.

They doffed their mortar boards and hats and filed out, to a Bach toccata and fugue.

(From The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 March 1990)