George Fergusson (diplomat)

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His Excellency The Honourable
George Fergusson
George Fergusson.jpg
Governor of Bermuda
In office
23 May 2012 – 2 August 2016
Monarch Elizabeth II
Premier Paula Cox
Craig Cannonier
Michael Dunkley
Preceded by David Arkley (Acting)
Succeeded by Ginny Ferson (Acting)
Governor of the Pitcairn Islands
In office
2 May 2006 – May 2010
Preceded by Richard Fell
Succeeded by Vicki Treadell
Personal details
Born (1955-09-30) 30 September 1955 (age 61)
Scotland, United Kingdom
Spouse(s) Margaret Wookey

The Hon. George Duncan Raukawa Fergusson (born 30 September 1955) is a British diplomat. He was the British High Commissioner to New Zealand and Samoa, and the Governor of the Pitcairn Islands, from 2006 to 2010.[1] He was the Governor of Bermuda from 2012 to 2016.[2]

Early life[edit]

George Fergusson was born in 1955, the son of Baron Ballantrae, who was Governor-General of New Zealand 1962-1967. His middle name "Raukawa" is Māori and reflects the history of Fergussons being appointed to vice-regal posts in New Zealand (two Governors and two Governors-General; George Fergusson is a direct descendant of all four). He was educated at Eton College and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he edited the student newspaper The Tributary.[3]

Political career[edit]

Viceregal styles of
The Hon. George Fergusson
Flag of the Governor of Bermuda.svg
Reference style His Excellency
Spoken style Your Excellency
Alternative style Sir

Fergusson joined the Northern Ireland Office in 1978. While serving in Belfast he introduced the Foreign Office to Christie Davies's humorous suggestion that Northern Ireland be the new home of Hong Kong's British population when the territory was returned to China in 1997.[4][5] In 1988 he transferred to the Foreign Office as 1st Secretary (Political) in Dublin.

From 1991 to 1993, he was in the Soviet and then the Eastern Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. From 1994, he was 1st Secretary (Political/Information) in Seoul, and in 1996 he returned to London as Deputy Head of the Southern African Department. Later, in 1996, he became Head of the Republic of Ireland Department.

In 1999, Fergusson became Consul-General in Boston, and in 2003 was seconded to the Cabinet Office as Head of the Foreign Policy Team.

In 2006 he was appointed High Commissioner to New Zealand and Samoa, and Governor of the Pitcairn Islands. He left this Wellington based post in May 2010.

Fergusson was seriously injured in a mugging attack on 20 April 2012 in London. He suffered facial injuries that resulted in loss of the sight in his left eye.[6]

In May 2012, Fergusson took over as Governor of Bermuda from the retiring Sir Richard Gozney and served until August 2016.


He is married to Margaret (née Wookey), and they have three daughters. The couple also had a son, who died in 2005.


  1. ^ A & C Black (2012). "FERGUSSON, George Duncan". Who's Who 2012, online edition. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  2. ^ "New Governor : 'Challenges are crime and the economy'". The Royal Gazette. May 23, 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Colophon". The Tributary (10). 27 November 1975. p. 2. 
  4. ^ "National Archives reveal Hong Kong-to-NI 'spoof'". BBC News Online. 3 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Owen Bowcott (3 July 2015). "UK officials discussed resettling 5.5m Hong Kong Chinese in Northern Ireland". Guardian online. 
  6. ^ "Mugged diplomat George Fergusson loses sight in eye". The Telegraph. 22 April 2012. 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
James Poston
British Consul-General
in Boston

Succeeded by
John Rankin
Preceded by
Richard Fell
British High Commissioner
to New Zealand

Succeeded by
Victoria Treadell
(Non-resident) Governor
of the Pitcairn Islands

(Non-resident) British High
Commissioner of Samoa

Preceded by
David Arkley
Governor of Bermuda
Succeeded by
Ginny Ferson