Shortly after moving to Taupo, Wellington District Law Society’s first full-time secretary Frances Parker died.
Miss Parker was assistant secretary and secretary of the society for nearly 28 years. She started in 1958 as assistant secretary to both the Wellington and New Zealand Law Societies. Six months later New Zealand appointed a full-time secretary and Wellington appointed Miss Parker to the position she held until March 1985.
She remained as assistant secretary of the New Zealand Law Society for 12 years and was also for many years clerk to the Disciplinary Tribunal.
Presidents throughout her time have much to thank Frances Parker for. Co-operative, helpful and complete on procedural details, she was able to smooth the path for incoming office holders.
The complexities of administering the Society multiplied during her time. When Frances Parker was appointed secretary there were less than 500 members and only a handful of committees. When she retired there were 1040 members and 31 committees.
Frances Parker was the daughter of a distinguished Editor of the capital’s Evening Post. In 1938 she travelled with her parents to England where she took up an administrative position at Eton College when they returned home.
She was at Eton four years before returning home in 1942, a journey made hazardous by the hostilities between the Allies and the Axis powers.
Before joining the Society Frances Parker was secretary to Sir Wilfrid Sim QC.
The Society honoured Frances Parker in 1982 by creating a special honorary associate membership of which she was the first member.
The memorial service held for Frances Parker in Wellington was attended by the President of the Court of Appeal Sir Robin Cooke and other senior judges.
This was first published on page 7 of the December 1986 issue of Council Brief, the monthly newsletter of the Wellington District Law Society.