Today the Search Engine Google is showing a Doodle for Sir Douglas Nicholls. Google is celebrating 28th Governor of South Australia , Athlete and pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls’ 112th Birthday in Australia and New Zealand with a doodle.
Sir Douglas Ralph Nicholls, KCVO OBE was born on 9th December 1906. He was a prominent Aboriginal Australian from the Yorta Yorta people. He was a professional athlete, Churches of Christ pastor and church planter, ceremonial officer and a pioneering campaigner for reconciliation.
Nicholls was the first Aboriginal Australian to be knighted when he was appointed Knight Bachelor in 1972 and he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1977 and also the first appointed to vice-regal office, serving as Governor of South Australia from 1 December 1976 until his resignation on 30 April 1977 due to poor health.
Nicholls was born on 9 December 1906 on the Cummeragunja Reserve in New South Wales. He was the youngest of five children born to Herbert Nicholls and Florence Atkinson. His maternal grandfather was Aaron Atkinson, who was the brother of William Cooper.
Schooling at Nicholls’s mission was provided to Grade 3 standard and strict religious principles were emphasised. When he was eight, he saw his 16-year-old sister Hilda forcibly taken from his family by the police and taken to the Cootamundra Domestic Training Home for Aboriginal Girls where she was trained to become a domestic servant.
At 13 Nicholls worked with his uncle as a tar boy and general hand on sheep stations, and he lived with the shearers. He worked hard and had a cheerful disposition. This annoyed one of the shearers so much that he challenged Nicholls to a fight, with the loser to hand over one week’s pay 30 shillings –or $3. After six rounds the shearer who challenged him conceded defeat.
Nicholls died on 4 June 1988 at Mooroopna. A state funeral was held for him and he was buried in the cemetery at Cummeragunja.
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