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Varney Parkes (1859–1935)

The death occurred yesterday of Mr. Varney Parkes, eldest son of the late Sir Henry Parkes and Lady Clarinda Parkes, at the age of 78 years. After an active life in Parliament of New South Wales, during which he held the portfolio of Postmaster-General, Mr. Parkes went to live on the South Coast, where he took up the study of geology, and he spent many years more or less as a recluse in a small cabin near Milton.

Mr. Parkes's boyhood was spent largely in the home of his father, near Lansdowne Bridge, on the Hume Highway. He entered business in Sydney as an architect, and at the age of 21 went into politics. He represented Central Cumberland from 1885 to 1888, East Sydney from 1891 to 1894, and Canterbury from 1894 to 1900. He was included in Sir George Reid's Ministry as Postmaster-General from August, 1898, to September, 1899.

He lived at Liverpool for some time and then at Canterbury, and afterwards retired to the South Coast. His chief hobby became the collection of fossils, at which he spent most of his spare hours, until he had accumulated many remarkable examples of these remains of early life. He sold part of this collection to the Australian Museum.

Mr. Parkes is survived by two sons and a daughter. His remains will be buried beside those of his father in the Faulconbridge Cemetery to-morrow. There will be a service at the parlours of Wood Coffill Limited, at 11 a.m.

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Citation details

'Parkes, Varney (1859–1935)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


4 June, 1859
Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


14 May, 1935 (aged 75)
Gladesville, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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