The UK's Nationwide Geology Club for Children

A Tribute to the Late Dr Matthew Parkes

The Late Dr Matthew Parkes

The Late Dr Matthew Parkes

Dr Matthew Parkes, the geological curator for the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin, died suddenly this October of a heart attack. Matthew was passionate about geology, and about sharing his knowledge with museum visitors especially the younger visitors. He encouraged budding geologists of all ages to learn how to understand and identify rocks and fossils. He’s been a staunch supporter of Rockwatch as an adult member for the past 17 years and has written for the magazine. His contribution to Issue 70 was entitled My Life as a Geological Curator‘, in which he explains the huge and fascinating range of work that being a curator entails.

At the time of his death Matthew was working on a major exhibition of Ireland’s geology which will open in 2021 at the Riding School in the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks. He sent a fabulous virtual display from the Museum for the Discovery Room at the 2020 Festival of Geology

Rockwatch member Milly Read wrote that Matthew had been an inspiration and good friend to her; she wrote to ask to ask us to share her thoughts and memories of Matthew with you all.

‘I was desperately sad recently when I heard that Dr Matthew Parkes, from the National Museum of Ireland, had died suddenly. Dr Parkes was fantastically good to me. When he found out that I was interested in fossils, he did everything that he could think of to encourage me. He gave me details of Rockwatch, as well as lots of other websites and information for kids. He sent me copies of magazines and books that he had written, and an Orthoceras fossil. He even found me an old chest of drawers that he was going to discard, that my Dad covered in ammonite wallpaper as my fossil cabinet. I would like to be a geologist when I grow up and hope that I can make a difference to people, the way that Dr Parkes made a difference to me.’ Rockwatcher, Milly Read (Aged 13)

Author: Helen Connolly

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