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PARRY, Evan, 1865 - 1938

Evan Parry

Evan Parry. Image from the Energy Library and Information Services Ltd. The Energy Library collection is now held at the Alexander Turnbull Library as the Electricity Corporation New Zealand Collection and is likely to include this image.

Born in 1865 at Llanberis, Carnarvonshire. After serving some five years with Winton and Co., Marine Engineers, Carnarvon, during which time he obtained a Whitworth Exhibition in 1888, he proceeded in 1890 to the Glasgow University where he studied under the late Lord Kelvin. During the latter part of his time at Glasgow he acted as Demonstrator in the Physical Laboratory. He obtained a B.Sc. Of Glasgow in Civil Engineering and Mechanics.

From 1893 to 1895 Mr. Parry acted as Assistant Engineer and Manager to the City of London Electric Lighting Company, and in 1895 he joined the British Thomson Houston Company as a designer of electrical machinery, etc.

From 1897 to 1910 Mi: Parry was Chief Assistant to Mr H F Parshall, Consulting Engineer. During his service with Mr Parshall he was engaged in the design and supervision of the electrical equipments of the following undertakings: Central London Railway; Dublin, Bristol, London United, Glasgow Corporation, and other Tramways.

He was also connected with the early stages, under Mr Parshall, of the Yorkshire Electric Power Company and of the Lancashire Electric Power Company.

In 1910 he proceeded to New Zealand to take up the appointment of Chief Electrical Engineer to the Public Works Department, and during the succeeding ten years he was responsible for the development of various hydro-electric undertakings in the North and South Island, The Lake Coleridge Scheme was constructed under his supervision, and a great. Deal of the preliminary work was carried out in connection with the Arapuni, Mangahao and other power schemes, which have been ultimately completed.

Mr, Parry retired from the New Zealand Government Service in October, 1918, to join the English Electric Company in London as Chief Engineer, but in 1924 he resigned in order to join Messrs, Preece, Cardew & Rider as a partner.

Since 1924 Mr. Parry had been engaged in a large number of electricity supply schemes in different parts of the world, including many of the Dominions and Crown Colonies. Among the many works for which he was responsible was the power station of the Uhl River scheme in the Punjab, which was started in 1929 and completed in 1933. He made numerous visits to Ceylon in connection with development of hydro-electric work in that Island and including a large scheme at Watawala, tenders for which are now being called.

Many members will remember with pleasure Mr. Parry's visit to Australia and New Zealand early in 1938 in connection with work his firm have in hand for Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne, and numerous schemes in New Zealand; and the cabled news of his death on 18th December, 1938, was received with the greatest regret for the passing of one who had rendered exceptional services of the highest value to the Dominion of New Zealand.

Mr, Evan Parry was one of the oldest Members of the Institution, having been elected on 1lth September, 1914. He was the first Member to be appointed by the Council as the Institution's Representative in London, in which capacity he acted from 1935 to the end.

Mr. Parry was a Member of The Institutions of Civil and Electrical Engineers, London.

Obituary from Proceedings of NZ Institution of Engineers, Vol. XXV, 1938-39, pp 330/1

Refer also to:

  • Furkert, F W, "Early New Zealand Engineers", A H & AS W Reed, 1953, p 239
  • Martin, "John E; Parry Evan, 1865 - 1938". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Vol. 3, P11. (http://www.dnzb.govt.nz/)