Dr Judy White has compiled and edited a selection of speeches given by the late Sir David Griffin during the period 1972 to 1996. They reveal a fascinating insight of the man himself and of Australia at a critical stage in its political and social history. He was a practising lawyer, President of the Union Club, chairman of several international companies including Nabalco Aluminium Company, and a Lord Mayor of Sydney. An inveterate traveller, he was often called upon to address audiences throughout Australia and overseas.
The speeches are carefully crafted, and cover a wide range of subjects including civic administration and planning, Australian history, politics, the arts, and sport. They are well researched and informative with a fine sprinkling of amusing anecdotes and literary quotations, exemplifying his keen sense of humour and love of learning. His eulogies are particularly poignant and show what an insightful friend he was. The publication is an invaluable record of Australian social history over three decades when Australia was changing rapidly both politically and socially.
Sir David survived more than three years as a prisoner-of-war in Changi Gaol during World War II and has written The Happiness Box and Changi Days: the Prisoner as Poet, both now collectors' items. Probably as a result of those experiences, his post-war life was one of service. He says in one of his inspirational speeches: ‘We should all try and give service to our country and to the community more than we receive from it.’
A fifth generation Australian, he was a man with a high sense of morality and justice, devoted to his country and particularly to the City of Sydney. He loved the company of others and was widely sought as a raconteur.
In this her eleventh book, Dr White has recorded a broad sample of his speeches presented to a variety of gatherings. They are masterpieces of perceptiveness deserving of a wider audience.
Margaret Engel - Librarian
Size: 220mmx300mm, 240 pages, 40 bw plates