|Sir Nicholas Shehadie
AC, KStJ, OBE
|75th Lord Mayor of Sydney|
24 September 1973 – 26 September 1975
|Preceded by||David Griffin|
|Succeeded by||Leo Port|
15 November 1926 |
Sydney, New South Wales
|Spouse(s)||Dame Marie Bashir|
Sir Nicholas Michael Shehadie AC, KStJ, OBE (born 15 November 1926) is a former Lord Mayor of Sydney (1973–1975) and national representative rugby union captain, who made thirty career Test appearances for Australia between 1947 and 1958. He is an inductee into both the Australian Rugby Union Hall of Fame and the IRB Hall of Fame.
Forebears and early life
His grandfather Nicholas Shehadie was a clergyman in the Antioch Orthodox Church who migrated from Lebanon in 1910 and later became the head of that church in Australia and New Zealand. Sir Nicholas' father Michael remained in Lebanon due to the outbreak of World War I, won a scholarship to study chemistry at the University of Kiev and in the 1920s chose to migrate to Australia to join his father in Sydney's growing Lebanese community. Michael earnt a living as a chemist and shopkeeper, and having been ordained in Russia took over as the pastoral head of the Antioch Church upon the death of Nicholas senior in 1934.
|Early rugby days 1940s|
|Full name||Nicholas Michael Shehadie|
|Place of birth||Coogee, New South Wales|
|School||Cleveland St Public School
Crown St Commercial School
|Rugby union career|
|Position||Front row/Second row|
|Professional / senior clubs|
|Years||Club / team||Caps||(points)|
|Years||Club / team||Caps||(points)|
|1943–1957||New South Wales||37|
|Years||Club / team||Caps||(points)|
The young Shehadie embraced Sydney's sporting lifestyle and joined the Coogee Surf Club where many of the surfers were avid rugby players, Keith and Colin Windon among them. He joined the Randwick Rugby Club and was first picked as a replacement in first grade when he was still aged fifteen. He made his first representative appearance for New South Wales against a Combined Services side at age sixteen. In 1947 he appeared in a New South Wales XV against New Zealand and then made his debut for Australia in the final Test against those same touring All Blacks.
He was selected on the 1947–48 Wallaby tour, the fourth youngest of the 30-man squad. He dislocated his shoulder in the fourth tour match against Cardiff but recovered to make 24 tour appearances including the final two Tests against England and France. He finished the tour in the Wallabies side that met the British Barbarians in their inaugural match against an international touring team.
Shehadie made representative appearances against the New Zealand Māori in 1949 and that year toured New Zealand in Trevor Allan's team which first time in history returned victorious with the Bledisloe Cup. He made further representative showings against the British and Irish Lions in 1950, the All Blacks in 1951 and Fiji in 1952.
He made his second tour of New Zealand in 1952 and then on the 1953 Wallaby tour of South Africa he was honoured with the Australian captaincy in eight tour matches and in one Test. He continued to represent at the highest level from 1954 to 1956 and then in 1957 he made history as the first Wallaby to repeat a tour of the British Isles and Europe. While he played in 24 matches of the trip including two Tests, the tour was a disappointment with the Wallabies losing all five Tests. Shehadie was signally honoured however when he became the first tourist to be asked to play for the Barbarians in the final tour match against his own team.
All up, Shehadie made 175 appearances for Randwick in a 16-year club career. He represented for Australia on 114 occasions – the first player to reach the century mark. He played 30 Tests – a record at the time – 3 of them as captain.
Business and public life
Shehadie worked in the 1950s selling fire doors and securities systems for Wormald Industries and later became a sales manager with an asphalt company. When his footballing days ended he commenced a business supplying and fixing vinyl tiles used in hotel bars and in computer room installations requiring anti-static floors. The business was successful being first to market with a product in high demand by the growing information technology departments of corporate Australia.
His career in public office commenced in 1962 when he stood as an alderman for the council elections of the City of Sydney. He ran on a ticket with the Civic Reform Association, a non-aligned ratepayers' association. He was elected and then served a second term from 1966. When city council boundaries were changed in 1967, his ward moved into the South Sydney precinct and he and his fellow councillors were dismissed overnight. In the next election of 1969 he stood again and was chosen as Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney. He was instrumental in an administration that presided over the development of Martin Place including its beautification and closure to traffic. This leadership also pioneered a system enabling the transfer by sale of city building site ratios whereby owners of historic buildings would no longer be penalised because they weren't able to develop the building.
In 1973 he was elected as Lord Mayor of Sydney. He was in office at the time of the opening of the Sydney Opera House by Queen Elizabeth II on 20 October 1973. He officiated at visits by Charles, Prince of Wales in 1972 and by Anne, Princess Royal in 1974. He was in office during the Green Bans when the New South Wales Builders' Labourers Federation led a campaign to protect the built and natural environment of Sydney's Woolloomooloo area from excessive development.
Sydney Cricket Ground
Shehadie had been a member of the Sydney Cricket Ground for 29 years when in 1978 he was invited by the New South Wales, Minister for Sport, Ken Booth to become a Trustee. At the time he was patron of the Randwick Rugby Club and a committee member of the Sydney Turf Club. He served as Trustee of the SCG from 1978–2001 and was chairman from 1990–2001. His time on the trust saw the installation of lights at the Cricket Ground and the building of the Sydney Football Stadium where a stand was named in his honour. In his final year as chairman a Walk of Honour was opened, with thirty-three plaques honouring sporting champions who have performed at the SCG. Sir Nicholas Shehadie is one of the thirty-three.
He was appointed Chairman of the New South Wales Rugby Union in 1979, a position which gave him a seat on the Australian Rugby Union board, where he was immediately selected Deputy President. In 1980 he became President of the ARU, a position held till 1987. He was instrumental in the schoolboy rule changes which outlawed forceful scrum engagements aimed to avoid neck injuries and make schoolboy rugby safer. He performed as tour manager on the 1981-82 Australia rugby union tour of Britain and Ireland.
He was first involved in discussions regarding a Rugby World Cup from 1983 when the ARU raised the matter with the International Rugby Football Board. Initial resistance came from the Home Nation unions with the push coming from Australia and New Zealand. After much international lobbying a 1985 vote saw France, New Zealand and Australia all for it; Scotland and Ireland against it; with England and Wales both split. The vote was carried and Shehadie was appointed joint chairman on the inaugural Rugby World Cup committee with John Kendall-Carpenter of the IRB and Dick Littlejohn of the New Zealand Rugby Union. Shehadie retired after the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup and was made a life member of the ARU.
He was appointed as Chairman of the Special Broadcasting Service in 1981 and served that organisation until 1999. SBS is a government-funded Australian public broadcasting radio and television network, chartered to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that reflect Australia's multicultural society.
- 1 January 1971 Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for service to Local Government.
- 1 January 1976 Knight Bachelor for his service as Lord Mayor of Sydney.
- 11 June 1990 Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for "service to the media, to sport and to community".
- 17 May 2001 Knight of the Order of St John
- 28 July 2000 Australian Sports Medal for his service as "Both President of Australian Rugby Union and Captain of Australian Rugby Team (1969–1973)".
- 1 January 2001 Centenary Medal for "service to the community".
- In 1985, he was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
- In 2006 he was honoured in the second set of inductees into the Australian Rugby Union Hall of Fame.
- On 24 October 2011, Shehadie was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame.
- Shehadie, A Life Worth living pp11-12
- Shehadie, A Life Worth Living pp14-15
- Howell, Wallaby Test Captains p147
- "Sir Nicholas Michael Shehadie AC OBE". mosmanis.info. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
- Shehadie, A Life Worth Living pp105-107
- Shehadie, A Life Worth Living pp115
- Shehadie, A Life Worth Living pp123
- "RWC legends inducted into IRB Hall of Fame" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- "Nicholas Michael Shehadie OBE". itsanhonour.gov.au. Australian Government. 1971. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
- "Sir Nicholas Michael Shehadie". itsanhonour.gov.au. Australian Government. 1976. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
- "Nicholas Michael Shehadie AC". itsanhonour.gov.au. Australian Government. 1990. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
- "Governor-General's Program – 17 May 2001". Governor-General of Australia. Retrieved 3 March 2009.[dead link]
- "Nicholas Michael Shehadie". itsanhonour.gov.au. Australian Government. 2000. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
- "Nicholas Michael Shehadie". itsanhonour.gov.au. Australian Government. 2001. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
- "Nicholas Shehadie OBE". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
- Shehadie, Nicholas (2003) A Life Worth Living, Simon & Schuster Australia
- Howell, Max (2005) Born to Lead – Wallaby Test Captains, Celebrity Books, Auckland NZ
- Mosman Sporting Wall of Fame
- Australian Lebanese Historical Society Inc.
- Nicholas Shehadie Test statistics at ESPN Scrum
- Wallaby Hall of Fame
- Official Website of the Governor of New South Wales
|Lord Mayor of Sydney
|Chairman of the Special Broadcasting Service
|Australian national rugby union captain