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Sir Benjamin Chilley Campbell Pine 1868-1869

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Sir Benjamin Pine has an odd claim to fame. He was the Governor who never took up office. 

He was appointed under Letters Patent dated 30 July 1868 and became WA's eighth Governor despite never arriving, nor taking the Oath of Office. 

Sir Benjamin was appointed to take over from Governor Hampton but just as he was chosen another vacancy occurred for the Governor of Antigua, in the West Indies, and the English authorities decided he should fill that instead. 

Governor Pine was a career officer of the Colonial Service. Before his WA appointment, he had already served 27 years in the colonies - successively in West Africa, Natal and then the West Indies. He had earned himself a good reputation in these postings.

It was thought that his appointment to WA would prove attractive at the time because his predecessor Governor Hampton had paved the way in many aspects of the colony's development, including progress in public works and internal communications. Hampton also had made the public service more efficient.

It was expected that Sir Benjamin would take the colony forward from Hampton's achievements and concentrate on economic development now that the transportation of convicts had ceased. But his talents were not to be tested, and the job fell to Frederick Weld.

A combination of circumstances meant that nearly six months passed before news from England arrived in the colony that Pine would not be coming.

It was then nearly a year after Hampton's departure from Fremantle, in late 1868, before Weld arrived in Perth in mid-1869 to take up residence at Government House.

Reviewed 2012 - 2013

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