ACT Heritage Library Manuscript Collection

HMSS 0318 Sir Walter Hankinson Presentation Album

Call Number

HMSS 0318


Sir Walter Hankinson Presentation Album

Date Range



 0.09m (1 manuscript box)

Access Conditions


Copying conditions

with attribution

Related Collections


British official and diplomat, Walter Crossfield Hankinson entered the Colonial Office in 1920 and transferred to the Dominions Office in 1925. He was appointed acting Representative in Australia of His Majesty's Government in 1931-1932 and 1935-1936. He was Deputy and acting High Commissioner in Australia from 1943-1947, High Commissioner in Ceylon, 1948-1951, and Ambassador to Ireland from 1951-1955. Lady Sheila Hankinson was the daughter of Australian historian, Dr Frederick Watson. Watson published A Brief History of Canberra, in 1927 and served for a short time on the Federal Capital Commission.

Walter and Sheila married on 23 April 1936 at the Church of St John the Baptist, in the Canberra suburb of Reid.  Walter was made OBE in 1948 prior to taking up a position as High Commissioner to Ceylon.  In retirement, Sir Walter and Lady Hankinson returned to Australia, settling in the Canberra suburb of Deakin. Sheila died on 27 June 1981.  Walter died in 1984.

A collection of personal papers of Sir Walter and Lady Hankinson are at the National Library of Australia, MS 9941.

This leather bound presentation folio of 18 black and white photographs of Canberra, ca 1936,  is attached to pale blue boards with printed captions and the cover title in gilt cursive lettering reads ‘Canberra’. 

Cover of Presentation Album to Walter C Hankinson 

The folio was presented to Hankinson at a gathering in his honour in the Prime Minister’s room on Thursday 26 March 1936.  The Prime Minister, Joe Lyons, made the presentation on behalf of the Ministry.  In addition to Cabinet Ministers, others present were the British High Commissioner (Sir Geoffrey Whiskard), the Speaker of the House of Representatives (Colonel Bell), leader of the Opposition (Mr. Curtin) and Mr W.F. Leishing.

The folio was signed by fourteen of those present:


Signatures inside album presented to Walter C Hankinson



Name and link to further information

Position at time of presentation

J.A. Lyons

Joseph Aloysius Lyons

Prime Minister

Archdale Parkhill

Sir Robert Archdale Parkhill

Minister for Defence

R.G. Casey

Richard Gavin Gardiner (Lord)  Casey


W.M. Hughes

William Morris Hughes

Minister for Health and Repatriation

H.V.C. Thorby

Harold Victor Campbell Thorby

minister without portfolio in charge of War Service Homes

John Curtin

John Curtin

Leader of the Opposition

H.S. Gullett

Sir Henry Somer Gullett

minister without portfolio directing negotiations for Trade Treaties

J.A.J. Hunter

James Aitchison Johnston Hunter

minister without portfolio assisting the ministers for repatriation and the interior 

Geo. J. Bell

Sir George John Bell

Speaker in the House of Representatives

G.F. Pearce

George Foster Pearce

Minister for External Affairs and Minister for Territories

A.J. McLachlan

Alexander John McLachlan

Minister in charge of development of Scientific and Industrial Research

Thos. C. Brennan

Thomas Cornelius Brennan

minister without portfolio assisting the Minister for Commerce

T.W. White

Thomas Walter White

Minister for Trade and Customs

T. Paterson

Thomas Paterson

Minister for the Interior


The images in the folio are of : 

· Parliament House, Canberra

· House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra

· Senate Chamber, Parliament House, Canberra

· King’s Hall, Parliament House, Canberra

· Institute of Anatomy, Canberra

· Courtyard, Parliament House, Canberra

· Government House, Canberra

· Flowering Plums, Yarralumla Nursery, Canberra

· Cotter River Dam, Canberra

· Australian Forestry School, Canberra

· View from Mount Ainslie, Canberra

· View from Red Hill, Canberra

· View on Mount Stromlo, Canberra

· Parliament House from Mount Ainslie, Canberra

· Hotel Canberra and Commonwealth Avenue, Canberra

· Parliament House Grounds and Trees, Canberra

· City Shops, Canberra

· Street Scene, Ainslie, Canberra