Honorary awards

Sir Robert Randolph Garran, GCMG QC

The honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon Sir Robert Randolph Garran by the Chancellor Sir Charles Bickerton Blackburn KCMG OBE at the ceremony of conferring of honorary degrees held on 29 August 1952 as part of the University of Sydney's Centenary celebrations.

Sir Robert Randolph Garran, GCMG QC, MA (Sydney MA LLD Melb Hon LLD ANU, was Chairman of the Council of Canberra University College and formerly Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth.

Sir Robert Garran, 27 August 1952

Sir Robert Garran pictured chatting with the Chancellor at the civic reception for delegates to the University's centenary celebrations held two days earlier, on 27 May, photo, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 August 1952, National Library of Australia.


Presented by the Deputy Chancellor, the Honourable Mr Justice E D Roper:

Mr Chancellor, Robert Randolph Garran is a name inseparably associated with the development of the constitutional structure of the Commonwealth of Australia. He is one of the great old men of Australia in many diverse capacities. After obtaining every conceivable scholarship within the University in the eighties and nineties of last century, he played a leading part in the evolution of our present Federal Constitution. In particular he was secretary to the Drafting Committee of the Federal Convention in 1897-98, and when Federation was achieved he became Secretary to the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department and was Parliamentary Draftsman from 1901 to 1916. For fifteen years after 1917 he was Solicitor-General for the Commonwealth of Australia. He accompanied the then Prime Minister, a man whom we are also honouring today, to the Peace Conference in 1919. In addition to his legal work, he has rendered distinguished service in the the fields of education, literature, religion, art and music. Every legal and historical student in Australia has used the fundamental text-book known as "Quick and Garran"; every advocate of the arts in Australia has read his translations of Heine, Schubert and Schumann. It is particularly fitting today, Sir, that I mention his Chairmanship of the Canberra University College Council since 1930. It falls to few men to represent such a diversification of functions and such a fulfilment of achievement as does Sir Robert Garran; and it is my very great pleasure in this, our Centenary Year, to present to you Robert Randolph Garran, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, Queen's Counsel, Master of Arts, Doctor of Laws.

From "The University of Sydney Centenary Celebrations August 26 - August 31, 1952" compiled by the Office of Information and Public Relations. Allan Gamble, Information and Public Relations Officer.