ES Marks and his contribution to Australian sport

  • Bruce Stephen Coe

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis presents a chronological study of the life of Ernest Samuel Marks,a proudly Jewish man who was universally known as a champion of amateur sport in Australia,a highly efficient administrator in many sports and a long-serving alderman,and sometime Lord Mayor,in the City of Sydney,who,over half a century since his death,has been largely forgotten. Ernest Marks was a man who found the time and energy to devote to his love of sport,to public service,to patriotic work and to charities,to history,to communications,to business and to his faith. He was a man who for sixty years was an exemplar for volunteerism through his multifarious unpaid activities within and without the world of sport. His realms of influence included:  Amateur sporting clubs and associations in Sydney,New South Wales and Australia  Australian Olympic and Empire Games Movements,including the chairing of the organising committee of the 1938 Empire Games in Sydney,the first pageant of international sport to be hosted in this nation  International sport,through his links with a number of bodies including the International Olympic Committee  Municipal Council of Sydney where,for a quarter of a century,he was a highly respected alderman with a particular interest in the provision of playing facilities for children,especially the underprivileged  Patriotic activities during both World Wars  Manifold charities  Philanthropy  His Jewish community. As an administrator,Ernest Marks contributed to the modernisation of sport in Australia from predominantly locally-based games to that where activities and competitions were well organised and this nation had become a significant player on the international sporting stage. This thesis celebrates his story and,in the words of John Ritchie,a former General Editor of the Australian Dictionary of Biography,‘rescue [s] and restore[s] a comparatively unknown person to his … rightful place’.1 I believe that by sharing the story of the life and times of Ernest Samuel Marks which hitherto had been forgotten,under-estimated,misrepresented,confused or ignored,this thesis has added to the body of knowledge of those who have contributed to Australian sport. In the process,I believe that I have also been able to underscore his profound sense of civic responsibility.
Date of Award1 Jan 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Canberra

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