James William Blair was admitted to the Queensland Bar in 1894. In 1902, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly and in 1903 became Attorney-General as well as Minister for Mines in 1904. He introduced several important law reforms before losing his ministerial offices in 1907, regaining them later, and finally losing his seat at the general election in 1915. In 1922 he was offered an appointment as judge (which he had previously declined in 1908) on the Northern Queensland bench, and in 1925 was appointed Chief Justice. He became Chancellor of the University of Queensland in 1927, received a knighthood in 1930, and was appointed KCMG in 1935. He served as deputy governor of Queensland and in 1933 was appointed lieutenant-governor. He retired from the bench in 1940. Blair was an active member of the IGS Old Boys’ Association and was president of the Queensland Rugby Union and Tattersall’s Club. He was noted for his colourful personality, sense of integrity and his gift for public speaking, which had emerged while he was a pupil at IGS. Blair State School, Ipswich is named in honour.
From The Story of Ipswich Grammar School 1863-2013, Sophie Church