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Edward Matthew Park

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Edward Matthew Park (1850-1884)

1884 Obituary [1]

EDWARD MATTHEW PARK, third son of the late eminent sculptor Patric Park, R.S.A., was born in Edinburgh on the 16th of November, 1850.

In early boyhood a pupil of John Watson’s Institution, Edinburgh, from which he was removed in 1861 to a London school, and in 1865 to one in Lausanne, Switzerland, Mr. Park served an apprenticeship in a lawyer’s office in Inverness, which he left in July 1869 for New Zealand, intending to become a sheep-farmer. Arrived in the colony, he went to live at Ashburton, in the province of Canterbury, with his uncle Robert Park, late Surveyor General to the New Zealand Government.

In the year 1871 the New Zealand Government, under the premiership of Mr. (now Sir) Julius Vogel, were beginning the construction of the railway system which has contributed so largely to the prosperity of the colony, and Mr. Park entered into an apprenticeship to Mr. John Carruthers, M. Inst. C.E., his uncle on the mother’s side, who then held the position of Chief Engineer to the Government.

On the completion of his apprenticeship he was appointed Assistant and afterwards Resident Engineer in the Public Works Department, and was engaged on various works, including the tunnel through the Rimutaka range, and the Rimutaka incline.

Returning to this country, he was sent out in 1881 by Messrs. Wilson Sons & Co. to the Great Western Railway of Brazil, where he was employed on the construction of a branch line of that system which leaves Parahyba for the interior of the country.

On his return from Brazil, Mr. Park went out to Venezuela in 1883 as Chief Assistant under Mr. Lidiard (presumably John George Liddiard), to take the trial-survey for a line from Las Tablas, on the mouth of the Orinaco, to the Guacipati mines. This trial-survey was completed by him towards the latter end of October of the same year, during the absence of Mr. Lidiard in England.

While engaged upon this work, Mr. Park contracted those seeds of malarial poisoning which ultimately proved fatal to him. He died at Inverness on the 7th of April, 1884, at the early age of thirty-three, having borne his last illness with the same unvarying cheerfulness and unselfishness which during his short but useful and happy life had endeared him to a large circle of friends.

Mr. Park was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 4th of February, 1879.

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