Gordon Reid (governor)

  (Redirected from Gordon Reid (Governor))

Gordon Stanley Reid, AC (22 September 1923 – 26 October 1989) was an Australian academic who served as the 26th Governor of Western Australia. Born in Hurstville, a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, he was educated at Hurstville Boys High School before enlisting in the Royal Australian Air Force, where he served as a flying officer during the Second World War. After the conclusion of the war, Reid studied at the London School of Economics in England, later winning a scholarship to Nuffield College at the University of Oxford. Having obtained his Doctorate of Philosophy, Reid lectured at the University of Adelaide before serving as the vice-chancellor of the University of Western Australia from 1978 to 1982. Appointed governor in 1984, he served in the position until 1989, resigning a month before his death from cancer.

Gordon Reid

Gordon Reid.jpg
26th Governor of Western Australia
In office
2 July 1984 – 30 September 1989
MonarchElizabeth II
PremierBrian Burke
Peter Dowding
Preceded bySir Richard Trowbridge
Succeeded bySir Francis Burt
Personal details
Born(1923-09-22)22 September 1923
Hurstville, New South Wales
Died26 October 1989(1989-10-26) (aged 66)
Perth, Western Australia
Spouse(s)Ruth Reid
Alma materLondon School of Economics
Nuffield College, University of Oxford
Military service
Branch/serviceRoyal Australian Air Force
Years of service1942–1946
RankFlying Officer
Battles/warsSecond World War

Early life and educationEdit

Reid was educated at Hurstville Boys High School in New South Wales from 1934 to 1937, then enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in 1942, reaching the rank of Flying Officer by the time of his discharge in 1946.[1] He met and married his wife, Ruth, in Brighton, England while stationed at RAF Gamston.[2] In his civilian career Reid worked as a reading clerk, accountant and clerk of papers. He was clerk of records for the Australian House of Representatives from 1952 to 1955, and was Serjeant-at-Arms at Parliament House, Canberra[3] while studying for his Commerce degree. He then travelled to England where he obtained his master's degree and his Doctor of Philosophy degree at the London School of Economics. He won a Nuffield Scholarship.

Academic and governorEdit

Prior to serving as governor in 1984, Professor Reid lectured at Adelaide University and served at the University of Western Australia as Vice-Chancellor (1978–82) and Professor of Politics (1966–70, 1974–78, 1983–84). He was the author and joint author of various books and publications on Australian politics including:

  • The politics of financial control (1966)
  • Out of the wilderness: the return of Labor (1974)
  • The Western Australian elections (1974)
  • The premiers of Western Australia, 1890–1982 (1982)

As part of the Australian parliament's bicentenary publications project, Reid, assisted by Martin Forrest, was commissioned to write a history of the parliament.

In 1986, Reid was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).

On 20 August 1989, the Premier, Peter Dowding, announced that Reid had been undergoing extensive surgery for cancer, and would be stepping down as governor.[4] He died shortly after, on 26 October.


  1. ^ Reid, Gordon Stanley, WW2 Nominal Roll, 2002.
  2. ^ Ruth Reid, Verbatim (Radio National).
  3. ^ Professor Gordon Stanley Reid 1984–1989, Constitutional Centre of Western Australia], 29 May 2008.
  4. ^ The Australian journal of politics and history, Volume 36, University of Queensland Press, 1990.

External linksEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Spillman, Ken (Ed.): A Gentle Man. Memories of Professor Gordon Reid 1923–1989. (1990) ISBN 0-9589701-1-4
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Richard Trowbridge
Governor of Western Australia
Succeeded by
Sir Francis Burt