*Vintage NEW ZEALAND GOVERNOR-GENERAL’S Diplomatic Case & Documents, Cir. 1962
NEW ZEALAND GOVERNOR-GENERAL’S
Diplomatic Case, Documents & Photographs
Ex-property of Brigadier, Sir Bernard Furgusson, Baron Ballantrae, KT, GCMG, GCVO, DSO, OBE (6 May 1911 – 28 November 1980), the last British-born Governor-General of New Zealand, serving from 1962 to 1967.
Born in 1911, Sir Bernard was educated at Eton and Sandhurst. He served with distinction in the Second World War – as Brigade Major 46th Infantry in 1940; in the Middle East in 1941; General Staff Officer, Wingate’s Chindits (1943-44); and Director of Combined Operations (1945-46). Post-war positions included command of the 1st Battalion Black Watch (1948-51). He retired in 1958. His decorations include (partial list) Knight of the Order of the Thistle (KT), Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG), Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO), Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
When he became Governor-General in 1962, Sir Bernard followed in the footsteps of both his grandfathers, Sir James Fergusson and the Earl of Glasgow, who were Governors of New Zealand; and his father, Sir Charles Fergusson, who was Governor-General from 1924 to 1930.
Sir Bernard was the author of 13 books. He was created Life Peer in 1972, taking the title Baron of Ballantrae after his hometown in Ayrshire, Scotland. He died in 1980.
The present collection, found in and accompanying the Government issued Foreign Service Official Diplomatic Brief Case made by Chubb, London and engraved in gold with the royal arms, includes an actual photograph of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth with H.R.H Prince Philip and Sir Bernard and Lady Furgusson, taken at a reception and dinner given by the New Zealand Society at the Savoy Hotel, 26 September, 1962. The evening’s colourful programme naming the 300 guest is included. Further included is the programme of the ceremony and dinner held at the Wellington Town Hall, welcoming Sir Bernard to his post. A photographic print of the hall and table setting is included. Finally, present too are two dozen newspaper clipping surrounding Sir Bernard’s arrival and reception in New Zealand and the Queen’s visit there. With dozens of articles and photos, this is a treasure trove of memorabilia of the period, not least for the historian, researcher or collector but for any and all interested in the glories and pageantry of the late period of the British Empire.
The Case: No amount of research on my part reveals the actual maker of the body of this case but we can surmise that it was made for Chubb to take their lock. Chubb is the famous lock-making firm dating from the early 19th century. In 1823, the company was awarded a special licence by George IV, and later became the sole supplier of locks to the General Post Office, and a supplier to Her Majesty’s Prison Service. In 1851, they designed a special secure display case for the Koh-i-Noor diamond for its appearance at The Great Exhibition. In popular culture, in the short story “A Scandal in Bohemia” Sherlock Holmes says that Irene Adler has a Chubb lock on her London villa’s door.