A replica of the Coventry
cottage where Sir Henry Parkes was born is to be built in a town named
after him as part of a tribute to his role in creating the Australian
Despite arriving without a job
in Sydney he went on to become one of the founding fathers of the
Australian nation, and was Prime Minster of New South Wales five
Coventry’s Lord Mayor Cllr
Sheila Collins will be going to the town of Parkes as the city’s
representative at celebrations of the centenary of the Federation of
Australian Local Government.
It was efforts by Sir Henry
Parkes that drew the different states together and set Australia on
the road to becoming a modern nation.
Born in 1815 in the moat House
in Canley, he arrived in Sydney in 1839. He went on to found a
newspaper called The Empire and was involved in many social issues,
including campaigning for the abolition of convict transport.
In 1878 he set up the
Federation of all states and colonies to create the Australian
parliament under one flag.
His memory is revered in
Australia and the town of Parkes was named after him.
Efforts were made by the town
to buy the cottage of his birth and transport it back to Australia.
Instead a replica is to be built, but the cottage’s current
occupants, a Mr and Mrs Clarke, are to be honoured in a representation
for restoring the building.
Cllr Collin, who will be
visiting Parkes, one of Coventry’s 26 twin towns, will dedicate the
cottage and will also open the Coventry Room at the Parkes Shire
“I am proud to be leading
this delegation to Australia, to honour a Coventry kid who made such
a lasting impression on human rights and politics in a foreign
“The rights of people in
the 18th century were as important as they are today, so we should
be proud as a city, as well as individuals, of Henry Parkes’