Sir Douglas Nicholls Wiki, Sir Douglas Nicholls Bio
Sir Douglas Nicholls Wiki: He was born on 9th December 1906 and died on 4th June 1988. Sir Douglas Nicholls was a prominent Aboriginal Australian from the Yorta Yorta people. Douglas Nicholls was a professional athlete, Churches of Christ pastor and church planter, ceremonial officer and a pioneering campaigner for reconciliation.
Sir Douglas Nicholls was the first Aboriginal Australian to be knighted when Sir Douglas Nicholls was appointed Knight Bachelor in 1972 (he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1977 and also the first appointed to vice-regal office, serving as Governor of South Australia from 1 December 1976 until his resignation on 30 April 1977 due to poor health.
Sir Douglas Nicholls Education and Early Life
Schooling at Sir Douglas Nicholls’s mission was provided to Grade 3 standard, and strict religious principles were emphasized. At the age of eight, Sir Douglas Nicholls saw his 16-year-old sister Hilda forcibly taken from his family by the police and taken to the Cootamundra Domestic Training Home for Aboriginal Girls where she was trained to become a domestic servant.
At 13 Sir Douglas Nicholls worked with his uncle as a tar boy and general hand on sheep stations, and he lived with the shearers. Sir Douglas Nicholls worked hard and had a cheerful disposition. This annoyed one of the shearers so much that he challenged Sir Douglas Nicholls to a fight, with the loser to hand over one week’s pay (30 shillings – $3). After six rounds the shearer who challenged him conceded defeat.
Sir Douglas Nicholls Family
Sir Douglas Nicholls married Gladys Nicholls in December 1942, the widow of his brother Howard Nicholls (1905–1942); Howard (who had married Gladys in 1927) had died in April 1942 as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident. Gladys already had three children. Douglas Nicholls and Gladys were married for 39 years and raised their combined six children; two sons, Bevan, and Ralph, and four daughters, Beryl, Nora, Lilian, and Pamela. Lady Gladys Nicholls died in 1981.
Sir Douglas Nicholls’ great-grandson Nathan Lovett-Murray also played Australian Rules Football, playing 145 games for Essendon.
Sir Douglas Nicholls Governor of South Australia
Sir Douglas Nicholls was appointed Governor of South Australia on 1st December 1976, on the nomination of Premier Don Dunstan. Sir Douglas Nicholls was the first non-white person to serve as the governor of an Australian state and is the only Aboriginal person to have held viceregal office. Due to his race, his nomination proved controversial and attracted more attention than most viceregal appointments.
Sir Douglas Nicholls suffered a stroke and was admitted to the cardiac ward at Royal Adelaide Hospital on 25th January 1977. Sir Douglas Nicholls had a history of high blood pressure and had suffered a mild heart attack some years earlier. His retirement due to ill health was announced on 22 April, with effect from 30 April. He held office for only 150 days, making him the shortest-serving governor in South Australian history and the only governor to serve for less than a year.
Sir Douglas Nicholls Google Doodle
On 9th December 2018, Google celebrates Sir Douglas Nicholls with a doodle on what would have been his 112th Birthday for championing the upliftment of Australia’s Indigenous people and leading to him becoming the first Aboriginal Australian to be knighted by the Queen of England.
Sir Douglas Nicholls Death
Sir Douglas Nicholls died on 4th June 1988 at Mooroopna. A state funeral was held for him and Sir Douglas Nicholls was buried in the cemetery at Cummeragunja.