Sparkes, Sir Walter Beresford James Gordon (James)

View print friendly version


Birth Date: 22 April 1889 (Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia)

Death Date: 15 June 1974 (Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia)

Parents: James Sparkes and Mary Ann (nee Yates)

Family: (1) Jessie Elizabeth Lang on 28 February 1912 in Melbourne, 1 son, 1 daughter, (2) Alice Goongarry Scott on 15 December 1920, 3 sons, 1 daughter

Education: Croydon Park Public School, Sydney; St Joseph's Christian Brothers College, Sydney, 1901 to 1905

Religion: Church of England


Stud master and governing director, Lyndley Pastoral Co., from 1911; President, Local Government Association of Queensland, 1928-1932; Overseer, Momba Station, White Cliffs, New South Wales; Overseer, Barbigal Station

Official Awards: He was appointed a Knight Bachelor in 1970 for services to the beef cattle industry

Local Government Service: Chairman, Wambo Shire Council, 1922-1931 and 1937-1952; Councillor, Wambo Shire Council, 1916-1931

Parliamentary Representation:

House Party Electorate From To Elected/Departure Reason
Assembly CN Dalby 11 Jun 1932 11 May 1935
Assembly CP Aubigny 29 Mar 1941 28 May 1960

Parliamentary Service

Description From To
Opposition Whip 31 May 1950 10 Aug 1957

Additional Information

Notes: His interests included tennis and football. 'Lyndley' beef cattle stud is the oldest Hereford stud in Australia and is one of the best known. The Hereford section was established in 1911 and the Poll Hereford section in 1932, pioneering this breed into Australia. Over the years he also acquired other properties such asĀ 'Boxvale' and 'Niagara' in Dalby; 'Thuruna' in Chinchilla; 'Nunbank' at Taroom; and 'Jumma' and 'Glenrock' in the Burnett. Inaugural Member (1933), Councillor and Patron, Australian Poll Hereford Society. Founding Member (1918), Councillor (46 years), Vice-President (1923 to 1924 and 1970 to 1973) and Patron, Australian Hereford Society. Member: United Graziers Association; and the Queensland Turf Club. For many years he judged cattle at shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Board Member and Director, Queensland Primary Producers Cooperative Association Ltd, until 1969. Councillor (1949 to 1974), Trustee (from 1957), Chairman (1953 to 1973) and Life Member, Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland. Life Member, Dalby, Jandowae, Oakey and Toowoomba show societies. President, Local Government Association of Queensland, from 1928 to 1932. Sir Robert made an outstanding contribution to the state and to the beef cattle industry and, through the latter, to the rural economy of Queensland and to the export capability of the nation. His son, Sir Robert Lyndley Sparkes, was the State President of the Queensland Country Party from 1970 and retained the presidency for 20 years. Sir Bjelke-Petersen told members of parliament that Sir Sparkes spoke almost daily in the chamber on behalf of the working man and the man on the land

Sources: Imaged sourced from Fox, Matthew J, History of Queensland: Its People and Industries, V.II, 1919; Fox, Matthew J, The History of Queensland: Its People and Industries, V.II; McConville, Kieran and Simon Paton, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition, (Melbourne: University Publishing, 2002)

[Last Modified: Tuesday, 8 August 2017]