Colonel Sir Albert Edwin Axon KBE

Award of Doctor of Engineering honoris causa
Colonel Sir Albert Edwin Axon KBE

Mr Chancellor,

On this first occasion when we hold a ceremony in this splendid Mayne Hall, may I invite you to honour one of your predecessors as Chancellor of the University, one who laid the financial foundations of this hall through the Great Hall Appeal which began in 1960. 

I refer, sir, to Sir Albert Axon. He is unfortunately unable to be with us tonight but we know that Lady Axon will take to him the testament of the warmth of our regard and gratitude.

Sir Albert Axon first enrolled in The University of Queensland as an undergraduate in 1917, but joined the A.I.F. at the end of that year. When the war ended, he returned to his studies, and graduated Bachelor of Engineering with First Class Honours in 1923. He then studied electricity generation in Europe and America before proceeding to his Master's degree in 1928.

He became the leading consultant on electricity generation in Queensland and New South Wales, and in 1936 was appointed a member of the Royal Commission on Electrical Development which recommended the setting up of the State Electricity Commission. He continued as member of this commission for nine years.

Sir Albert was first elected to the Senate in 1935 and apart from a period in World War II, remained a member until 1966, a total of 29 years. He was elected Chancellor in 1957, and held this position for nine years when illness brought retirement. He brought great professional distinction to the University, which he served with great dedication during his office as Chancellor and since his retirement. He is gratefully remembered for his introduction, with Sir Fred Schonell, of staff superannuation and the improvement of staff conditions generally.

One of the memorable sights of the 60's was Sir Albert and Sir Fred strolling around the grounds admiring the new buildings rising all round the semi-circle.

He was made a Knight Commander of the most excellent Order of the British Empire in 1959 and in 1960 and was awarded the highest honour of the Institute of Engineers, the Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal. Our sister universities of Melbourne and New England have honoured him, the former in 1961, with a Doctorate of Engineering and the latter in 1962 with a Doctorate of Science.

The Senate, sir, has resolved that Albert Edwin Axon, Knight Commander of the most excellent Order of the British Empire, Master of Engineering (Queensland), Honorary Doctor of Engineering (Melbourne), Honorary Doctor of Science (New England), Member of the Institute of Engineers of Australia, be admitted to the degree of Doctor of Engineering 'honoris causa' of this University and I invite you so to admit him.

Honorary award citation


Doctor of Engineering honoris causa