The Lady Hailsham Staff
The Lady Hailsham Staff, presented to the University in February 1982 by the Sir Robert Menzies Oration Committee, is a memorial to Lady Hailsham who died tragically in a horse riding accident in Sydney two days before her husband, Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone, delivered the Inaugural Oration in the Great Hall in May 1978.
The staff was designed by Mr D Connolly MP and crafted by V Hemmingsen of Adelaide and P Noakes of Sydney. It is surmounted by a Viscoutess's coronet (a mark of Lady Hailsham's rank) on top of a thistle of silver and a ball of Connemara marble. All metals used are of gold and silver. The coronet is studded with sapphires from Sri Lanka, where Lady Hailsham spent part of her childhood. The marble was donated by Lord Mayo and is from the county in Ireland where Lady Hailsham's family originated from. The thistle symbolises the association with Sir Robert Menzies. The staff is made of Tasmanian blackwood with tip and joins in silver. It is carried in procession by the Yeoman Bedell.