To Rotarians Sir Henry Braddon, KBE, (1863-1955) is notably 1st, 2nd and 15th President of the Rotary Club of Sydney; the only person to hold the position more than once.
He was also a Rotary Commissioner for NSW and Queensland, equivalent of a District Governor today, from 1922-27.
The first Rotary project in Australia was the formation in 1929 of the NSW Society for Crippled Children, now the Northcott Society, by the Rotary Club of Sydney to support children who suffered polio and tuberculosis. Sir Henry Braddon was appointed the first President of the Society and other Rotarians who had played a major role in the campaign to establish the Society were elected to the board.Fourteen years after leaving the office he again became President in 1935 stating: The Club has always been at its best when it has some real work to do. He brought before the Board a scheme involving the conversion of a disused police station into a club rooms for boys; the Police Boys Club, now the Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC), was started.
Sir Henry Braddon was, as well one of the founders of Rotary in Australia, was a businessman, politician, diplomat, sportsman and a leader in many community organizations:
- He worked for Dalgety’s becoming its Australian superintendent. He was also a director of many companies and organisations including Sydney Ferries Ltd, W. R. Carpenter & Co. Ltd, the Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Co. (Australia) Ltd, the Mutual Life & Citizens’ Assurance Co. Ltd in 1933-55, the Bank of New Zealand, chairman of the Sydney boards of Babcock & Wilcox Ltd in 1930-48 and of the Union Trustee Co. of Australia in 1942-54. He was a part-time lecturer in business methods at the University of Sydney and throughout his life promoted commercial education, publishing Business Principles and Practice .
- He was appointed a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council in 1917 and was an indirectly-elected member of that body from 1934 to 1940. He sat on the Royal Commission into food supplies and fish and was a member of the Sydney section of the Board of Trade and a director of the Commonwealth Note Issue Board
- He represented Australia as Commonwealth Commissioner in the United States and later in London helped to organize the commercial side of the high commissioner’s office
- He was an all-round sportsman, notably playing rugby union for Otago, New South Wales and New Zealand; he was recognised as Otago’s first All Black despite playing in Invercargill at the time of his selection.
- He was president of the Australian Comforts Fund during The Great War, founding vice-president of the NSW division of the British Red Cross Society, a director of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, honorary treasurer of the Benevolent Society, a member of Council for Prevention and Relief of Unemployment in 1930, president of the New South Wales Rugby Union, member of University of Sydney senate, president of the Crown Street Women’s Hospital, vice-president of the Millions Club and a founder of the Australian-American Association.
He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1920 and was awarded the Belgian King Albert Medal in 1921.
For a Biography see: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/braddon-sir-henry-yule-143
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