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Secretaries to Senate

Wilson Harold Maze MBE

Wilson Harold Maze MBE (1911 - 1985) was Registrar then Deputy Principal from 1950 to 1973 and a Fellow of Senate for four years. The position of Registrar included being Secretary to Senate.


MSc HonDSc Sydney
Registrar: 1950 - 1955
Deputy Principal: 1955 - 1973 (the title changed from Assistant Principal in 1968)
Fellow of Senate: 1975 - 1979


Wilson Harold Maze was born in Northern Ireland in 1911, coming to Australia at the age of eleven. He was educated at Fort Street Boys' High School.

His students days at the University of Sydney

Maze attended the University in the Depression years after he had worked to earn the money to pay his fees and expenses.

He graduated BSc with First Class Honours and the University Medal in Geography in 1931, and later completed his MSc.

His career at the University of Sydney

The remainder of his life centred on the University of Sydney. Maze entered the academic staff as a demonstrator, subsequently becoming an assistant lecturer, lecturer then senior lecturer. During this period he published regularly in his subject.

On one of his field trips he met and fell in love with Molly Bannister who became the other member of a team which devoted itself to University and family.

In 1947 Harold Maze moved from the academic life to that of administrator, becomoing Deputy Registrar (1947-50).


Registrar Wilson Maze in 1950, photo, University Archives.

He then became Registrar (1950-55), Assistant Principal (1955-68) and Deputy Principal (1968-73).


Registrar William Maze (left) in 1952 as the Governor-General, Sir William McKell, is welcomed by the Chancellor Sir Charles Bickerton Blackburn, the Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Steven Wallace and the Deputy Chancellor The Hon Mr Justice Ernest David Roper. The occasion was the Centenary Oration on 28 August 1952 in the Great Hall by The Hon K W Street, Lieutenant-Governor and Chief Justice of NSW, Sydney Morning Herald photo, copies held by the University of Sydney Archives.


Deputy Principal Wilson Maze in 1973, photo G3_224_1170, University of Sydney Archives.

He was elected a Fellow of the Senate by the graduates, holding office in 1975-79, and the University conferred on him the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science. Mr Maze was honoured by the award MBE in 1975.

His many achievements at the University of Sydney included his complete reorganisation of the Administration on becoming Registrar, upgrading the Administration so that it could serve the Academic Staff and the students with pride; and his determination that the University of Sydney would have space to breathe - it would go 'out', not 'up'. His vision of the University moving into the Darlington area has been achieved. To build he had to destroy. He convinced those in power in the University and in State and Federal Governments that the University must have space and funds and then built a staff which completed the task with care and understanding. To those who remember Darlington it was an incredible task to envisage. In addition, there was the building program leading to the library, the Edgeworth-David and the Carslaw Buildings and many others. After his first overseas trip as a Carnegie Fellow he continued to make these trips to return always with new ideas, such as student housing, which led to Selle House and International House, the new Union in City Road and many other internal changes.

He died on 24 July 1985, aged 74.

'Harold Maze was not only a builder but a man to whom many owe much. We remember him with affection for the many times a helping hand was given, for the understanding when this was needed and for his loyalty for and his trust in his staff. Harold Maze was a faithful son of the University. He built his own memorials. He will be missed but he will be remembered with respect, love and affection.'

From the obituary by Hugh McCredie in 'The Gazette', December 1985