39th NSW Governor swears on “precious relic”

In-coming NSW Governor, Margaret Beazley swore the Oath of Allegiance on a bible that had belonged to the second archbishop of Sydney, Most Reverend Roger William Bede Vaughan. Witnessing the Oath is Chief Justice of NSW, Tom Bathurst. PHOTO: NSW Government

The 39th Governor of New South Wales—a Catholic—has been sworn-in on the 140 year-old bible of the second Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Reverend Roger William Bede Vaughan.

Surrounded by all the pageantry appropriate to the occasion, in-coming Governor Margaret Beazley AO QC, took the Oath of Allegiance, the Official and Judicial Oath and signed the Proclamation of the Assumption of Office in front of family, friends and dignitaries at NSW Government House this morning.

This was followed by a stirring 19 Gun Salute across the lawns of Government House, announcing the beginning of the Governor’s commission. Ms Beazley later said the Gun Salute which went for two minutes got her “heart pounding.”

Dignitaries, family and friends came to Government House to witness the Swearing-in ceremony. PHOTO: NSW Government

In her address, Governor Beazley thanked the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney and the Catholic Institute of Sydney for loaning the precious bible for the Swearing-in ceremony.

“Dating back to the 1870’s, the bible still bears Archbishop Vaughan’s signature on the inside cover,” she said.

Archbishop Vaughan’s bible was published in 1870. PHOTO: Government House, Sydney.

“Today the bible is under the care of the Catholic Institute of Sydney’s Veech Library in Strathfield, and I am grateful to them, and the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney for entrusting me with such a precious relic.”

The bible was published in 1870, thirteen years before Archbishop Vaughan died.

Governor Margaret Beazley signs the Proclamation of the Assumption of Office. PHOTO: NSW Government

After a distinguished law career spanning 43 years, Governor Beazley said she hoped to use her time as Governor “in service of the community” and to “advance the opportunities for New South Wales.”

“Education, in my view, is critical to leveraging those opportunities, especially for our young people. We have great wealth of emerging young leaders in this State and I want to learn more about their vision for our combined future.”

The signature of Archbishop Vaughan, second archbishop of Sydney, can be seen inside the front cover of the bible. PHOTO: Government House, Sydney

NSW Premier Gladys Berejilkian said some of NSW’s last 38 Governors sworn-in had been the country’s “most celebrated” people.

“Public service is at the heart of your new role,” she told the Governor, concurring with the sentiment expressed by Governor Beazley that life should be lived with the aim to “make a real and lasting difference” in the world.

Governor Beazley has had a distinguished 43 year career in law. PHOTO: NSW Government

Governor Beazley’s husband Mr Dennis Wilson, an Adjunct Professor at Notre Dame University, was present and the Governor’s three children—Erin, Lauren and Anthony Sullivan.

The ceremony was concluded with a military parade in front of Government House including a full Royal Guard consisting of 96 men and women from the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force. They were supported by a 30 piece band from the Royal Military College and a 14-horse troop from the New South Wales Mounted Police.

There was also a flypast conducted by an F/A-18A Hornet aircraft from 77 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force.