In memory of William (Bill) Park 1920-2015
28 Jul 2015
In Memory of William (Bill) Abernethy Park
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust is deeply saddened at the passing of Mr William (Bill) Abernethy Park CBE, AM who was a passionate supporter and advocate of the Churchill Trust.
Bill's involvement with the Trust stems from participating in the initial fundraising for the Trust as Deputy Chairman of Brisbane’s Doorknock Appeal in 1965 to the position of Patron of the Trust at the time of his death.
Bill also served as Finance Director, National Chairman and National President. The Park Family is also a generous sponsor of Churchill Fellowships.
Bill’s fifty years of service to the Trust is an exceptional achievement and Bill will be remembered by the Trust as an iconic and inspirational leader.
‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give’ – Winston Churchill.
Education is the key (Book Excerpt) written by Penelope Hanley
‘Getting involved with the Churchill Trust was the second-best decision of my life,’ said William (Bill) Park, as we sat on the verandah of his Brisbane home, drinking his daughter Leigh’s aromatic coffee. ‘The first was marrying Lesley.’ He and Lesley have had a long association with the Trust. The Park Family Sponsored Fellowship is in the field of education and vocational training.
Bill Park’s parents had put much time into the Red Cross, his father eventually becoming Chair of the organisation and Chair of the Red Cross Blood Bank. According to Bill, ‘It’s very important that you contribute to life – the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.’
On retirement from the Board in 2002 Bill was invited to become a Patron of the Trust. Bill believes that: ‘Education is the key to the advancement of civilisation, but we mustn’t forget vocational education as well.’ While pointing out that the Fellows ‘are our product and we have to be judged by the product,’ he also emphasises: ‘We are people oriented, not just a body to hand out money.’
Some examples of Park Family Churchill Fellows include Anna Rose (2010) from New South Wales and Brenton Pedler, from the Northern Territory, in the same year. Anna researched youth and climate change education in the United States, the United Kingdom and China. Brenton travelled to the United States, Canada, Denmark and the United Kingdom to investigate alternative education programs and their evaluation.
Nicholas Wyman’s Park Family Churchill Fellowship enabled him to explore new approaches to engage young Australians in skilled careers. In 2012 Nicholas, from Victoria, reviewed after-school options in six countries: Australia, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and the United States. We learn about his innovative journey to find ways to improve employment prospects for school-leavers in Chapter 6.
Read more about the achievements of our Churchill Fellows and the 50 year history of the Churchill Trust in a new book available for purchase in our online shop from October 2015.