Honorary awards

Lieutenant-General Sir Iven Giffard Mackay, KBE CMG DSO VD

The honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon Lieutenant-General Sir Iven Giffard Mackay 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.

Lieutenant-General Sir Iven Giffard Mackay, KBE CMG DSO VD, BA Sydney, formerly High Commissioner for Australia in India.

Lieutenant-General Sir Iven Giffard Mackay

Lieutenant-General Mackay is seated third from left, photo, courtesy, University of Sydney Archives.


Presented by the Vice-Chancellor, Emeritus Professor S H Roberts:

Mr Chancellor, Iven Giffard Mackay is presented to you today as the University's outstanding soldier. From the time when as a junior officer he stood in a trench on Gallopoli bayoneting Turkish soldiers in hand-to-hand combat, he has played a part in military and civilian life that is beyond compare. It is the privilege of the University of Sydney that Sir Iven Mackay was on its staff, particularly in the Physics Department and in advising students, for so many years; but the University today honours him for his work as a civilian soldier. Speaking on behalf of the University, I may say, and indeed I demand the right to say, that the civilian soldier of Australia represents an achievement unequalled in any other country.

After a term as headmaster of Cranbrook School, !ven Mackay became the General Officer Commanding the 2nd Division of the Australian Military Forces in 1937. In the worst days of the Second World War he commanded the 6th Division of the A.I.F. in the Middle East, in 1940 and 1941, and was specially and specifically praised by Mr. Winston Churchill in February of 1941. Promoted Lieutenant-General, he was appointed General Officer Commanding Home Forces in Australia in 1941, and then proceeded to a diplomatic career in which he earned the highest lustre.

Mr Chancellor, I have pleasure in presenting to you Lieutenant-General Iven Mackay, Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George, Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, Victoria Decoration, Bachelor of Arts, one of the University's outstanding sons.

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.