- Letter Writer
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- June 1997 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Johnston was first and foremost a “people person” but his interest and involvement in the advancement of education in the Territory was recognised by the grant of an honorary doctorate of law by the University of Queensland under whose aegis the new Northern Territory University was being sponsored. Community organisations such as the St John Ambulance received his energetic patronage and support, as did more than 80 other organisations throughout the Territory. He was very proud to be the first honorary colonel of the North West Mobile Force (Norforce) covering parts of Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Kimberley.
In 1988 he was made an officer of the Order of Australia in the general division for his service as Administrator, and had the unusual distinction of being entitled to wear the insignia of both his AO and his military AM.
Johnston retired in 1989 after the longest term as Administrator in the postwar period, and settled in the Darwin suburb of Nightcliff.
From there he continued his involvement with community organisations and chaired a number of statutory bodies including the Northern Territory Grants Commission, Bachelor College and the Northern Territory electoral redistribution committee.
He was also a keen sportsman and a great participant in the sport of kings, as an owner, spectator and punter. Among his trophies was the Darwin Cup, won for him by Scarvilla. He also bred a greyhound called Kendall Joe, which won five races.
In November last year, it was discovered he had cancer. He died in Darwin Hospital.
Johnston was a man of enormous energy, great ability and wide experience.
He gave generously of himself to the Northern Territory, declaring it “the place of the present and of the future”.
Paul Everingham is a former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory.
(The Australian, 3rd March 1997).