The West

Governor flat chat right up to last day
Retiring State governor, Malcolm McCusker, with his wife Tonya and daughter Mary, displaying a gold coin specially struck by the Perth Mint to mark their three-year tenture at Government House in Perth. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

Malcolm and Tonya McCusker packed their suitcases, farewelled staff and left Government House yesterday with this unique gold coin among their most cherished possessions.

Struck at the Perth Mint and presented by Premier Colin Barnett on Thursday night, the coin is adorned with a picture of the smiling couple and WA's coat of arms on the reverse side.

It is the first time a coin has been designed and made for an outgoing WA governor.

"It was a lovely gesture and it's something we'll treasure for ever as a great memento of our three years here in Government House," Mr McCusker said. "It was most unexpected and a lot of thought went into it."

As was the case during most of his three-year term, Mr McCusker was kept busy on his last day in Government House.

He hosted a function to say goodbye to staff, attended a Commonwealth Games luncheon - his last official appearance as governor - and then spent the rest of the day packing.

"There is a slight degree of nostalgia about it," he said. "The staff were always very helpful and very friendly, but I think they'll miss our daughter Mary much more than they'll miss us.

"It's a beautiful building with a lot of interesting features and the grounds are just magnificent. We've been so busy we're seldom in a position where we can just sit there and admire the view."

Past outgoing governors have been chauffeured from the grounds in a vintage Rolls-Royce, but the McCuskers chose a less ceremonial exit.

"We'll just get into our car and drive off," Mr McCusker said. "I wouldn't trust the Rolls-Royce anyway."

The West Australian

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