Records and artefacts belonging to one of Newcastle’s first three University graduates were donated to University of Newcastle at a presentation on May 16.

A collection of items belonging to the late James Carr was handed over to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, by his son, John Carr. The presentation was timed for the 60th anniversary of the University College graduation ceremony held on 16 May 1953.

Presentation 16 May 2013 (l-r) University Archivist Gionni Di Gravio, Associate Librarian Research and Information Services Teresa Chitty, University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, Belinda Carr, Bronwyn Carr and John Carr.

The Collection included photographs from the day in 1953, and from the 50th reunion celebrations for the Department of Chemical Engineering held in 2003, his degree, certificates, letters of congratulation, and the hood of his academic gown.

One of the more intriguing items was a canister containing a 16mm silent colour film of the procession to Newcastle Town Hall filmed by James Carr’s father-in-law.

Canister containing 16mm colour film of procession to Newcastle Town Hall.

James Carr was one of the first three graduates of the University in 1953, then known as the Newcastle University College of the New South Wales University of Technology. He passed away in 2011 in his 89th year.

Conferring of Degrees – 16 May 1953.


The Newcastle University College of The New South Wales University of Technology Conferring of Degrees Newcastle Technical College Presentation of Diplomas 1953

This year marked the sixtieth anniversary of the first graduation ceremony and the Carr family thought it would be fitting to mark the occasion by presenting a number of items that he kept from that ceremony.

James Carr, Ernest Walpole and James Mackie.


- Gionni Di Gravio, University Archivist