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Oakden, Percy (1845–1917)

Mr. Percy Oakden.

The sudden death occurred yesterday morning of Mr. Percy Oakden, one of the oldest and best known architects in Victoria. Mr. Oakden, who was born in Launceston in 1845, was the second son of the late Mr. Philip Oakden, who in 1837 floated in London the Union Bank of Australia, which had its first headquarters in Tasmania, and of which he was one of the first directors. Mr. Percy Oakden served his articles under Mr. Henry Hunter in Hobart, and subsequently he studied his profession under Sir Digby Wyatt in London. He also attended the London University College, where he won the Donaldson silver medal for architecture. He returned to Australia in 1869, and practised in Melbourne. In 1874 he joined the late Mr. Leonard Terry, and the firm of Terry and Oakden were among the leading architects in Victoria. In 1885 the firm became Terry, Oakden, and Kemp, and later on, when the late Mr. Henry Ballantine joined Mr. Oakden, the firm was known as Oakden and Ballantine. In 1900 Mr. C. H. Ballantine was admitted as a partner, and he and Mr. Oakden have been associated until now.

Mr. Oakden who was an associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects, was regarded as one of the most distinguished architects in Australia, and his services in deciding competitions for important buildings were frequently availed of. He designed the Ballarat Town Hall, the Working Men's College, Queen's College, St. James's Buildings in William street, the Church of England Girls' Grammar School, the city of Melbourne Bank Buildings (now occupied by the Royal Bank), the New Zealand Insurance Company offices, the music warehouse of Allan and Co., and a great many other public and private buildings. He was for many years standing architect for the Metropolitan Fire Brigades Board. Mr. Oakden was a leading Freemason, and a Past Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, and was also a prominent member of the Y.M.C.A. He leaves a widow, but no family. The funeral will arrive at the Brighton Cemetery at a quarter to 4 today.

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Citation details

'Oakden, Percy (1845–1917)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/oakden-percy-4311/text30762, accessed 21 September 2017.

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