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Obituaries Australia

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Marks, Ernest Samuel (1871–1947)

A former Lord Mayor of Sydney and a notable figure in the history of Australian sport, Alderman Ernest Samuel Marks, who died on Tuesday night, was buried in the Jewish section of Rookwood cemetery yesterday afternoon.

Aged 77, he died in St. Luke's private hospital, Darlinghurst, after a month's illness.

At the time of his death Alderman Marks was vice-chairman of the City Council's Health and recreations committee. He had been a member of the council for 27 years, first for Lang Ward and then for Gipps Ward, and was Lord Mayor from July 1, 1930, to December 31, 1930.

He was M.L.A. for North Sydney from October 8, 1927, to September 8, 1930. He was made a C.B.E. in 1940.

He was associated with the N.S.W. division of the Red Cross for more than 20 years, and was deputy chairman of the division. During the war he was chairman of the Red Cross Day committee, which raised more than £1 million.

He was an Australian delegate to the International Red Cross conference in Tokyo in 1926.

Alderman Marks probably did more for amateur sport in Australia than any other man.

He believed the one sure way to personal and national prosperity was to teach young people how to play. He put this belief into practice by working, through his position on the City Council, for the establishment of children's playgrounds and encouraging young people to participate in organised sport.

He represented Australia at several Olympic conferences overseas, and was vice-chairman of the Australian Olympic Federation and vice chairman of the N.S.W. Olympic Council.

The King of Sweden decorated him for his services on the international jury at the Stockholm Olympic Games, and he held the Veteran's Medal of the International Amateur Athletic Federation.

Alderman Marks was a foundation member of the International Amateur Athletic Federation.

Other official sporting positions he held at the time of his death were chairman of the British Empire Games (Australian Division), chairman of the N.S.W. Rugby Football Union, president of the N.S.W. Amateur Swimming Association, and president of the Union of Old Athletes.

He had been associated also with athletic, boxing, wrestling, coursing, and billiards organisations.

Alderman Marks was a noted athlete as a young man, and won at least 40 prizes. He had a vast library of sporting books, and presented a collection of literature and data on athletics to the Mitchell Library.

He was connected with the wool trade for 40 years, and was principal of the wool export firm of Joseph Marks and Co. for many years. Alderman Marks was a bachelor.

His funeral yesterday was attended by the Lord Mayor, Alderman Bartley, and other members of the council.

After the burial, a memorial service was conducted in the Great Synagogue by Rabbi I. Porush. The Town Hall flag was flown at half mast yesterday.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Marks, Ernest Samuel (1871–1947)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 September 2020.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2020

Ernest Marks, 1942

Ernest Marks, 1942

City of Sydney Library, NSCA CRS 54/21

Life Summary [details]


7 May 1871
Maitland, New South Wales, Australia


2 December 1947
Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage
Religious Influence
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