Tom Parkinson was the younger brother of William, a Norwood premiership player in 1891, and had a similar distinguished sporting record at St Peter's College.
Born in England on 31 January 1876, Tom came to South Australia as an infant. He developed into an excellent athlete who captained both the cricket and football teams at St Peter's. In 1892 he won the College Cup as the school's top athlete - a feat twice performed by his brother.
As captain of the school football team which played the old scholars at Adelaide Oval on 9 June 1893, Tom earned high praise despite his team's 4.10 to 1.2 defeat. The Evening Journal said: "Parkinson, who roved throughout, played the best game on the ground. His high marking was splendid all through."
One sporting record he was happy to forget was the St Peter's cricket team's dismissal for 11 runs, with eight ducks, in reply to the 78 of East Torrens on 7 April 1894. Tom, as captain, did top-score with six.
Tom, who left school in 1894, played both football and cricket for Norwood in 1895. The Parkinson name crops up in football reports between 1893 and 1895, but because initials and given names are frequently absent it is not always possible to distinguish the deeds of Bill and Tom.
In June 1895, when Norwood defeated the Natives 9.10 to 3.7 at Kensington Oval, The South Australian Register named Parkinson, "a St Peter's College boy", as one of the best of the 40.
Parkinson "did some good work" that same month as Norwood drew with Port Adelaide, 3.9 to 3.6. Parkinson also was in the team which in August went down to South Adelaide, 9.8 to 3.2, in the match which decided the premiership.
Tom followed the career path of his father, Dr J. Parkinson of Crystal Brook, and was an undergraduate at the University of Adelaide when a notorious imbroglio involving the hospital and the faculty of medicine caused an exodus of medical students. Tom and his widowed mother moved back to England, settling at Newcastle-on-Tyne. He graduated in medicine at Durham University and in 1903 married Dr Esther Molyneux Stuart, daughter of the late Milton Stuart, shipowner, at Kenley, Surrey.
P Robins August 2017
* Picture kindly supplied by Andrea McKinnon-Matthews, Archivist at St Peter’s College.