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Marks, Ernest John (1861–1925)

The death in Kiama Hospital on January 9 last of Mr Ernest John Marks removes one of the foremost residents of the South Coast, a man who was widely known and highly respected, both in his own district and by many of the people of the North Coast also. Mr. Marks acted as a judge in a cattle section at the Bangalow show on one occasion.

Of fine physique, the late Mr. Marks seemed health and strength personified. On the Sunday week previous to his death he, with his family, had motored to Seven Mile Beach and took part as happily as his boys and girls in the outing. Towards midnight, however, he became very ill. The doctor was sent for and decided upon an operation. A specialist was sent for, and the operation was performed by him in the Kiama Hospital. The operation in itself was successful, but complications arose which could not be combated, and the end came to a valuable life.

In his home Mr. Marks was one of the best of fathers, sharing the interests and pleasures of his boys and girls as an elder brother might—a comrade and friend as well as a parent, with their well-being and future comfort ever in view.

The late Mr. Marks had intellectual ability of a high order and a far-sighted capacity, that made his opinion and advice valued and relied upon. In the dairying industry of the Jamberoo district he has been a forceful personality and identified with most of the progressive movements, of which the Jamberoo Cooperative Company, is the centre. Since its inception Mr. Marks has been a director, taking the keenest interest in its operations and in an advisory way one of the most useful men on its directorate. The Kiama Agricultural Society has lost from his accustomed place, a vital member. As a "cattle man" his advice was ever accepted, being one of the foremost of district breeders, and examiner of the Illawarra MS. Dairy Cattle Association, of which he was one of the chief members. For many years he supervised and compiled the ''milk tests" of the show.

The late Mr Marks was a voluminous reader, and had a keen sense of humour, a gift for which his father was noted before him. He was a native of the Kiama district, having been born at Albion Park, when his father, the late Mr. Samuel Marks, farmed there, before succeeding his brother, the late Mr. John Marks, M.L.C., at Terragong. Mr. Ernest Marks lived there, in the old family home, from a boy of nine until his death. He was an only son. His sisters were: Mrs. H. King, Mrs. Harrison (now in England), Mrs. P. Kendall (Western Australia), and Mrs. H. E. Fox, Roseville.

During his illness Mrs. King was in constant attendance at the hospital. Mrs. Major, his mother-in-law, also.

The funeral took place from the hospital, and despite short notice, it had a very large and representative attendance. At the Albion Park show, the attendance was greatly affected by it the second day, where on all sides regret was expressed. The committee had the flags hung at half-mast as a tribute to his memory. Representatives of the Kiama Agricultural Society carried the coffin to the grave. The Mayors of Jamberoo, Shellharbour, Kiama and Mr. J. Cope (town clerk for Gerringong), represented the surrounding municipalities, and Messrs. C. W. Craig (chairman), Stuart Graham (manager), with the directors of the Jamberoo Company, were also present with the president, Mr. G. Grey, and members of the I.M.S. Society.

His sons, Mrs. I. King, and Dr. H. E Fox, representing Mrs. Fox, were the chief mourners.

The Rev. A. M. Ogilvie, Presbyterian minister, officiated at the graveside. In his address he referred to the respect and esteem in which Mr. Marks had been held, as he had upheld the traditions of an old family whose name had been honoured in the history of the district. He, as a parent, citizen and friend, had left a noble memory behind, for unselfishness and a desire to benefit his day and generation—one that his family could feel proud of.

Beside the relatives already mentioned, his widow and eight children survive to mourn their loss—his sons Brian, Eric and Cedric, his daughters Wanda, Myrtle, Hazel, Mollie and Lilian, and many expressions of sympathy were received by them.

At a meeting of the Kiama Agricultural Society the president, Mr. Thomas Fredericks referred in feeling terms to the loss sustained by the district and the society by the death of Mr. Marks. It was with deep personal regret that he moved a vote of condolence from the society to the family, and to his sisters, Mesdames King, Harrison, Kendall and Fox. The late Mr. Marks had been a splendid member of the society, and had taken a great interest in show matters —they would miss him greatly. He had a keen mind, more than ordinary ability, and his advice was always worth having. In district affairs he was a ready helper, and took an interest in everything pertaining to agriculture and dairying, also in sport, having helped with both cricket and rifle shooting. In his home he would be missed most of all, for he was a devoted parent. Mr. C. W. Craig was deeply affected as he seconded the resolution. He felt the loss keenly of such a citizen, neighbour and friend. The death of Mr. Marks had cast a gloom over the district, for he was widely known and as widely respected for his keen brain and fine personality, a man amongst men. The society lost greatly by his death, and he would be keenly missed by his old friends and associates in the committee.

Mr. John James supported, paying a tribute to the great interest of Mr. Marks in all things pertaining to agriculture, to his intellectual capacity and personal attraction. His help and advice had meant much to the committee, and his death was felt to be a personal loss to every member.

Mr. Sharpe said the late Mr. Marks would be much missed, in committee and at the show, for his genial personality, witty and happy conversation made meeting him always a pleasure. His opinion and advice were always valued. When he spoke on any subject he was listened to with attention, and each member felt he was a man the society could ill afford to lose. They admired him as a father, for he was a devoted parent to his children, with whom they deeply sympathised in their great loss.

Original publication

Citation details

'Marks, Ernest John (1861–1925)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/marks-ernest-john-16046/text27995, accessed 15 September 2019.

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