Sir Donald C. C. Luddington, KBE – Famous OD’s Profile.
Sir Donald Collin Cumyn Luddington, KBE CMG CVO (b 18 August 1920 – d 26 January 2009).
His father, Norman John Luddington, was a civil servant in British Ceylon and his mother was Myrtle Amethyst Payne.
He studied at #DoverCollege in the 1930’s and then the #UniversityofStAndrews, where he obtained a MA degree.
From 1940 to 1946, he served in the #BritishArmy and fought in the #SecondWorldWar. He was initially commissioned as a second lieutenant in the #KingsOwnYorkshireLightInfantry (KOYLI) on 28 December 1940, and transferred to the #RoyalArmouredCorps (RAC) on 22 October 1941.
He saw action in India and Arakan, Burma amongst others, and was Mentioned in Despatches on 5 April 1945. By that time, he was a lieutenant, he continued to hold his emergency commission until 19 July 1952 when he transferred to the Reserve of Officers, and was granted the honorary rank of captain.
In February 1949, Luddington arrived at #HongKong as a Colonial Service cadet and began his career as an official in Hong Kong.
He was initially sent to Tai Po as a District Officer and later served in various government departments, including the Secretariat for Chinese Affairs, the #HongKongPoliceForce, the Colonial Secretariat, and the Commerce and Industry Department, he also served in the Royal Hong Kong Regiment from 1949 to 1955.
In November 1960, he was appointed Defence Secretary and principal assistant colonial secretary and was responsible for overseeing the security issues of Hong Kong. He later served successively as Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs and Deputy Director of Commerce and Industry in the mid-1960s and became a member of the Hong Kong Management Association.
In April 1969, Luddington replaced Kenneth Strathmore Kinghorn as District Commissioner, New Territories, thus becoming an official member of the Legislative Council appointed by then Governor Sir David Trench under the approval from the Queen. In June that year he was further appointed as an official Justice of the Peace.
In May 1971, Luddington succeeded (later Sir) Ronald Holmes as the Secretary for Home Affairs and became a principal government official.
He was appointed High Commissioner for the Western Pacific on 10 October 1973, and his major duty was to administer a small and remote British colony, the British Solomon Islands. he was appointed ‘Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George’ before being appointed as high commissioner.
On 21 August 1974, he was further appointed as Governor of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate and he continued to serve this position until January 1976. After that the position of high commissioner for the Western Pacific was abolished, and thus he was the last person to hold this post.
During his term as governor, he entertained Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in their royal visit to the Solomon Islands in February 1974. He was subsequently appointed ‘Commander of the Royal Victorian Order’ for his hospitality to the Queen.
Furthermore, under his supervision, a new constitution was adopted in 1974 establishing a parliamentary democracy and ministerial system of government for the colony.
In mid-1975, the name “#SolomonIslands” officially replaced that of “#BritishSolomonIslands Protectorate” which paved way for the colony to self-government and independence.
Luddington left the governorship in January 1976 and self-government was established immediately. Two years later, the Solomon Islands gained independence from the United Kingdom as a Commonwealth realm. Luddington was appointed ‘Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire’ in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 1976 for his services to Oceania.
In May 1977, Sir Donald returned to Hong Kong to succeed Sir Ronald Holmes as chairman of the Public Service Commission.
He left the post in March 1978 but was appointed to replace Jack Cater as the second Commissioner of ICAC by Governor MacLehose on 4 July in the same year. During his term as the Commissioner, he strived to improve the stained relationship between the ICAC and the Royal Hong Kong Police Force and built up the ICAC’s public reputation for devotion to anti-corruption.
He finally retired from the government in November 1980.
Luddington spent his later years in retirement in Easingwold, Yorkshire. He died in a hospital in Harrogate on 26 January 2009 at the age of 88.
He died the last surviving former high commissioner for the Western Pacific. On his death, Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang and ICAC Commissioner Timothy Tong both sent condolences and praised Luddington’s contribution to Hong Kong.