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Sir Henry Parkes To Be Honoured Down Under

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 nation.

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 times.

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 Cultural Centre.

She said:

“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 country.

“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’ achievements.”

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CWN / Heritage / Famous People / Sir Henry Parkes / 11 Jan

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