Robert Sidney Foster

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For the American Civil War general, see Robert Sanford Foster.
Sir Robert Sidney Foster
Order: 23rd Governor
1st Governor-General
Term of Office: Governor:
December 1968 – 10 October 1970
Governor-General:
10 October 1970 – 13 January 1973
Followed: Sir Francis Derek Jakeway
Succeeded by: Ratu Sir George Cakobau
Date of Birth 11 August 1913
Date of Death: 12 October 2005
Place of Death: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Wife: Madge Walker (1947; d. 1991)
Occupation: Colonial administrator

Sir Robert Sidney Foster GCMG KCVO (11 August 1913 – 12 October 2005) was a British colonial administrator, best remembered as the last colonial Governor of Fiji and the first Governor-General of the Dominion of Fiji.

Colonial service[edit]

Foster entered the administrative service in 1936 in Northern Rhodesia. He remained there, and in Nyasaland (now Malawi) until 1964, serving first as a cadet until 1938, and then as a District Officer until 1940. From 1957 to 1960, he was a Major Provincial Commissioner, before serving as Secretary to the Ministry of Native Affairs from 1960 to 1961, when he became Chief Secretary of Nyasaland, a position he held until 1963. He was Deputy Governor of Nyasaland from 1963 to 1964.

In 1964, he left Africa for the Pacific Islands to become High Commissioner of the Western Pacific. In this capacity, he had overall responsibility for the British colonies and protectorates in the region, namely the Solomon Islands, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands (now Kiribati and Tuvalu), and over the British participation in the Anglo-French Condominium of the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu). He remained High Commissioner until December 1968, when he became Governor of Fiji. When Fiji became independent on October 10, 1970, he assumed the new position of Governor-General. His role was little changed, except that he now acted on the advice of the Fijian Cabinet rather than the British government. He retired on 13 January 1973, ending a 37-year career in the colonial service. He was succeeded as Governor-General by Ratu Sir George Cakobau, a patrilineal descendant of King Seru Epenisa Cakobau, who had ceded Fiji to the United Kingdom in 1874.

Personal life and honours[edit]

Foster married Madge Walker in 1947. She died in 1991.

A number of honours were awarded to Foster during his lifetime. He received the CMG in 1961, the KCMG in 1964, and the GCMG in 1970.

Foster died in Cambridge, England on 12 October 2005.

Government offices
Preceded by
David Clive Crosbie Trench
High Commissioner for the Western Pacific
1964–1968
Succeeded by
Michael David Irving Gass
Governor of the Solomon Islands
1964–1968
Preceded by
Sir Francis Derek Jakeway
Governor of Fiji
1968–1970
Post abolished
New creation Governor-General of Fiji
1970–1973
Succeeded by
Ratu Sir George Cakobau