1951 – 1963
Sir Charles Gairdner was born in 1898 in Batavia, Java, now called Jakarta.
He joined the British Army in 1916 and from 1937 to 1940 he was the Commanding Officer of the 10th Royal Hussard. In the early 1940s he served with the 6th, 7th, and 8th Armoured Divisions and was Chief of General Staff with the 18th Army Group in 1943.
He was appointed Governor of Western Australia on 6 November 1951.
During his term of office he started a Government House cricket team, launched the Medical School Appeal for the Western Australia University, opened the Narrows Bridge in 1959 and hosted the Commonwealth Games in Perth in 1962.
The highlight of the Gairdner’s long term of office was the visit to Perth of the Queen and Prince Phillip in 1954, the first ever by a reigning monarch. This tour was originally scheduled for 1952, but had been delayed by King George VI’s death and Princess Elizabeth’s accession to the throne.
After 12 years in the job, he left the House on 26 June 1963 and was appointed Governor of Tasmania, a position he held from 1963 to 1968.
Sir Charles died in 1983. The Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Nedlands was later named in his honour.