His Excellency The Right Honourable Sir William John McKell GCMG
The degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) was conferred upon His Excellency The Right Honourable Sir William John McKell at the ceremony of conferring of honorary degrees held on 29 August 1952 as part of the University of Sydney's Centenary celebrations.
Presented to the Chancellor, Sir Charles Bickerton Blackburn by the Deputy Chancellor, the Honourable Mr Justice E D Roper:
HIS EXCELLENCY THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR WILLIAM JOHN McKELL, G.C.M.G., Governor-General of Australia.
Mr. Chancellor, William John McKell epitomises in its best form the career open to talents in the Australian community. From the time that he left the Public School at Surry Hills he has served the Australian way of life. From becoming Assistant Secretary of the Boilermakers' Union and graduating by his own great efforts as a barrister of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, he has occupied every post in State political life, from Member of the Legislative Assembly for Redfern in 1917 to Minister for Justice and Premier and Treasurer in the difficult years from 1941 to 1947. He was honoured by being appointed a Privy Councillor in 1948 and a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George in 1951. He is the second Australian-born Governor-General of Australia, his appointment being announced on the 31st January, 1947. As Governor-General he has carried out the arduous constitutional and personal obligations of that office in a way that commands respect. He has taken part in every aspect of Australian life from football and boxing, through the law and politics, to representation of the Crown. His career has been one of consistent fulfilment.
Mr. Chancellor, I present to you His Excellency The Right Honourable William John McKell, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, Governor-General of Australia.
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.