Manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue
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  • Title
    Norman Weekes aggregated collection of personal and professional papers, 1923-1972
  • Creator
  • Level of description
    Aggregated collection
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Physical Description
    1.62 metres of textual material (6 cartons and 1 box)
    10 volumes - 443 architectural plans, drawings, photographic prints :

    Norman Weekes (ca. 1884-1972) was an engineer, planner, architect and landscape architect who trained in the United Kingdom. After he left school, Weekes served as an apprentice in Wolverhampton, and obtained qualifications in mechanical and civil engineering. He served in the Royal Engineers during World War One, and studied architecture and civil design at the University of Liverpool. Weekes held positions including Mechanical Design Engineer at Siemens, Assistant Engineer at the Corporation of Liverpool, and Assistant Engineer and Surveyor at the Corporation of Rochdale. In 1920, Weekes worked in the United States for the New York-based ‘landscape engineer’ Charles Wellford Leavitt.

    In 1923, Weekes moved to Australia to take up the position of City Surveyor (later City Engineer) for Sydney City Council. Following his resignation, Weekes acted as Director of the Sydney Regional Plan Convention in 1925 and set up a private practice. In 1926 he was appointed Necropolis Engineer to the Joint Committee of Trustees at Rookwood, a position he held until 1970. In 1931, Weekes worked as an adviser to William McKell in the drafting of the Greater Sydney Bill of the same year. During World War Two Weekes served in the RAAF and was held by the Japanese as a prisoner of war for three and a half years. After the war, Weekes became Senior Town Planner (later Chief Town Planner) in the Department of Local Government. He then returned to private practice. During his Sydney career, Weekes’ design work included buildings at Ascham School (ca. 1929 onwards), replanning of the city markets area for the Sydney City Commissioners (1928), the White Memorial Swimming Pool at Muswellbrook (ca. 1927-30), roads and drainage systems for the Joint Committee of Trustees at Rookwood, and lawn cemeteries for the Catholic Cemetery Trust (ca. 1957 onwards) and Jewish Cemetery Trust (ca. 1968 onwards). Weekes’ community work included acting as a judge for the Country Women’s Association’s Ideal Town Competition in 1927-1928. He also acted as adjudicator for the Presbyterian Church on design and development of their new assembly hall and office buildings at Wynyard.

    In his personal life, Weekes was an active Freemason and belonged to Lodge Victoria, No. 13, United Grand Lodge of NSW. He also undertook voluntary work for the Prisoners’ Aid Association; helped found the Buddhist Society of NSW in the 1950s; and acted as a guardian to several Asian students in the post-war period. By the end of his career, Weekes’ professional qualifications included Member of the Institute of Civil Engineers and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in Britain, Member of the Societe des Ingenieurs Civils de France, Fellow of the Institute of Engineers in Australia, Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, Member of the Town Planning Institute in Britain and a Fellow of the Australian Planning Institute.

    Information supplied by Dr Peggy James, 2008, assisted by funds allocated to the Royal Australian Historical Society through the former Heritage Office (NSW)
  • Scope and Content
    This aggregated collection chiefly documents Norman Weekes' professional activities as an architect and planner.

    Norman Weekes papers, 1923-1972
    Presented by Mrs A. Weekes, December 1972

    Norman Weekes architectural plans and photographs of buildings in Sydney and NSW, 1927-1971
    Presented by Mrs A. Weekes, December 1972
    This collection was originally received with the Norman Weekes papers, 1923-1972

    Norman Weekes further papers, ca. 1931-1972
    Presented by Mrs A. Weekes, May 1973
  • Subject

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