Walter Reeks

Walter Reeks (1861-1925) was one of the earliest naval architects in Australia and is known for designing yachts, ferries and coastal ships.[1],[2]

Walter Reeks
Born25 February 1861
Died2 October 1925
OccupationNaval Architect

He was born in Christchurch, England and migrated to Australia in 1885.

Reeks apprenticed with Alexander Richardson and at shipbuilders George Inman & Sons in England. He became an expert at yacht design and propulsion.[2]

He was active in the Sydney yachting community on arrival in Australia and joined several of the yacht clubs and engineering associations. He was Rear Commodore for the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron from 1906 to 1910.[3] He was president of the NSW Engineering Association in 1914.[4]

He worked for various Sydney ferry companies between 1890 and 1915 a period in which the ferry system saw significant growth. He designed the first double-ended screw Manly ferry, the Manly (II), and the Kuring-gai, which became the model for Manly ferries of the first half of the 20th century.[1] Other Sydney ferries designed by Reeks, including all but one of the early 20th century 'Lady' ferries, such as the Lady Denman,[3][5] and all of the Watsons Bay ferries, such as the Vaucluse. He also designed the Hobart ferries Derwent and Rosny.[1]

Reeks married Mary Emma Kent in March 1889. They had a daughter, Thelma, and son, Thomas, together. Mary died in 1895 and Reeks married again in 1900. Reeks's son was murdered in England in 1914.[6][7][8]

Reeks died in October 1925.[9] Several of his yachts are extant as of 2018, including Boomerang and Ena in Sydney.[10]

References

  1. Gunter, John. Across the harbour : the story of Sydney's ferries. Rigby. p. 31. ISBN 0727007157.
  2. Prescott, A. M. (1988). Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  3. Payne, David. "Walter Reeks". Australian National Maritine Museum. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  4. "PRESIDENT WALTER REEKS". Construction : Weekly Supplement To Building. XIII, (314). New South Wales, Australia. 11 May 1914. p. 7. Retrieved 31 January 2018 via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  5. "WALTER REEKS". Construction : Weekly Supplement To Building. 11, (237). New South Wales, Australia. 26 August 1912. p. 8. Retrieved 31 January 2018 via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  6. "MR. WALTER REEKS'S SON". The Sun (1115). New South Wales, Australia. 22 January 1914. p. 8 (FINAL ESXTRA). Retrieved 28 January 2018 via National Library of Australia.
  7. "Late Mr. Reeks". The Scrutineer And Berrima District Press. New South Wales, Australia. 28 January 1914. p. 2. Retrieved 28 January 2018 via National Library of Australia.
  8. Reek Murder Still Unsolved." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser Manchester, England 11 Feb. 1914: 9. British Library Newspapers. Web. 28 Jan. 2018.
  9. "Mr Walter Reeks, Death Announced". The Sydney Morning Herald (27, 378). New South Wales, Australia. 3 October 1925. p. 16. Retrieved 31 January 2018 via National Library of Australia.
  10. Crafti, Stephen (10 May 2015). "Auctioning of the luxury steam yacht Ena designed by Walter Reeks". Financial Review. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.


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