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The Samford Ecological Research Facility is built on land bequeathed by the eminent entomologist Elizabeth Nesta Marks, known to all as Pat, who died in 2002. The Marks family have been a feature of Brisbane since 1879 and through different family members have made a major impact on the history of medicine, science, the military, and environmental policy in Queensland. Their significance is increased if we take into account their association with the Drury and Dods families.
Pat Marks’s paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Gray Stodart, was born in Edinburgh in 1851 and emigrated to Melbourne with her family in about 1856. At the age of 15 ½, in 1866, she married Robert Smith Dods, a Dunedin wholesale grocer, and moved with him to New Zealand. Her first child Robert (“Robin”) Dods, born in 1868, was later known as one of Queensland’s most celebrated architects.
The family returned to Edinburgh, where the next two children were born – James Stodart (“Stod”) Dods and Joseph Espie (“Espie”) Dods - before moving again to London where Elizabeth’s husband Robert died in 1876.
Mother and children then returned to Australia, this time to Brisbane, in 1879. The family’s long association with medicine began with a shipboard romance between Elizabeth and a doctor, Charles Ferdinand Marks, leading to their marriage in Brisbane soon after their arrival.
Elizabeth Drury, now Marks, her husband Charles and her children moved to the inland town of St George for a time before returning to Brisbane for the birth of their first son Alexander Hammett Marks in 1880. They rented “Carlton” at what became 109 Wickham Terrace in 1882, and was later renumbered to 101 in about 1900. The house remained the home of the Marks family until Pat moved out of it in 1982, a few months short of a century later. Pat’s father Edward Oswald (“Ted”) was born there in 1882, as were her uncle Charles Hubert (“Carl”) in 1885 and her aunt Edris in 1891.
Shortly after moving into what became 101 Wickham Terrace, Charles Ferdinand Marks bought “Cushleva”, a property of 457 acres (185 hectares) on either side of Camp Mountain Road, Samford, to spell his horses – important given the distances he had to travel for his medical practice – and for his younger brother Keighly to use as a base from which to combine farming and his own country medical practice. The remnants of this property became the Samford Ecological Research Facility after Pat Marks’s death in 2002.
Charles Ferdinand also invested in the Rubyanna Sugar Company in Bundaberg, and narrowly escaped bankruptcy and the loss of the Wickham Terrace house when the company collapsed in the early 1890s. As it was, he had to rent the house from the bank for some time, and when it was fully recovered it was put in his wife Elizabeth’s name. She in turn left it to Pat’s aunt Edris who lived there until her death in 1977.
The other notable house associated with the Drury and Marks families was “Rougham”, in Windsor, to which Edward Drury’s widow Barbara (Pat’s maternal grandmother) moved with her children a decade after his death, in 1906.
“Rougham” was built by Queensland National Bank Inspector William McCullough in 1888/9. Commissioner of Railways John Mathieson owned the house from 1891 and sold it to Nesta’s cousin Victor Drury in 1896.
The house remained with Nesta’s brother Arthur until he died in 1935, passing in accordance with his mother’s will to her other son Bertie, later known as “Merry”, then living in South Africa. Returning to Australia to sell the house, Merry insisted it be sold with all its contents, so that the family had to bid for anything they wished to retain from it – hence the inventory of the house’s contents in the Marks papers. The house was demolished in 1937.
Edward Robert Drury was Pat Marks’s maternal grandfather. He was born in Brussels in 1832 and emigrated to Melbourne in 1852. Employed at first as a clerk in the Bank of Australasia, he was sent to Queensland as manager of the bank’s Brisbane branch in 1860. After a time back in Victoria at Bendigo, he became the first general manager of the Queensland National Bank – now the National Australia Bank – when it was founded in 1872. The new bank’s magnificent head office in Queen Street was known as “Drury’s Temple”. Despite or perhaps because of Drury’s autocratic management style, the bank dominated Queensland finances before a crisis of confidence led it temporarily to suspend payment in 1893. Drury married Barbara Jane Grahame in 1869, and they had eight children, including Ernestine (“Nesta”), Pat Marks’s mother.
CF Marks was Pat Marks’s paternal grandfather. Apart from the collapse of the Rubyanna Sugar Company, in which he was an investor, his career was a notable success. He became a member of the Legislative Council in 1888, and as such was given a gold railway pass for life, a small medallion which Edris made into a brooch after he died. He was also a member of the Immigration Board, Surgeon Major in the Queensland Defence Force, a visiting surgeon at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, a member of the Central Board of Health and the Queensland Medical Board (President of the Board from 1909 to 1912) and in World War 1 Commandant of the 6th Australian Army General Hospital, Brisbane.
Charles’s wife Elizabeth died in 1908, after which his daughter Edris was kept home from boarding school and his unmarried sister Annette was brought in to run 101 Wickham Terrace. Edris now became his assistant in his various endeavours.
Charles retired from 101 Wickham Terrace to “Cushleva”, the Samford property he had bought to spell his horses not long after buying 101 Wickham Terrace. Edris counted 18 wagon loads of furniture and other household goods which accompanied him there. He lived at “Cushleva” until his death in 1941.
Born in Edinburgh to Pat Marks’s paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Gray Stodart and her first husband Robert Smith Dods in 1874, Espie Dods studied medicine at Edinburgh and Public Health in Dublin, before following his mother to Brisbane in 1899, where he joined the Army Medical Corps, serving in the Boer War as a Captain, and was awarded the Queen’s Medal with four clasps. Returning to Queensland, he was appointed Government Medical Officer. He married Anna Ruth Walker in 1906, and signed up for military service again at the outbreak of World War 1, joining the Army Medical Corps, attached to the 5th Light Horse Regiment. Dods served at Gallipoli from May to August 1915, when he was badly wounded by shrapnel, but returned to the lines a couple of months later. Awarded the Military Cross, he later served in France at Pozieres in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and by the end of the war was a lieutenant-colonel. After the war he worked in general practice, fathered three children, and was president of the Queensland branch of the AMA, the Medical Defence society, and the Queensland Club. Despite his successful career and for unknown reasons he hanged himself in 1930, at the age of 56.
Alex Marks was born to Pat Mark’s paternal grandmother Elizabeth and her second husband CF Marks in 1880. Trained in medicine in Dublin he returned to Brisbane in 1904 and became a notable member of the medical establishment. He had a special interest in obstetrics and gynaecology, and at different times between 1919 and 1930 was an honorary radiologist, junior physician and junior and subsequently senior gynaecologist at the Brisbane General Hospital. He was also a member of the honorary staff of the Lady Bowen Hospital, a foundation fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, a member of the council of the Queensland branch of the British Medical Association (1909-1927, President in 1914), president of the Medical Defence Society of Queensland (1931-1946) and of the Australasian Trained Nurses’ Association (1923-1934).
Alex Marks also had a significant military career, beginning with his appointment in 1911 as an honorary captain in the Australian Army Medical Corps attached to the 2nd Brigade. Enlisting in the AIF in 1914 he was posted as regimental medical officer to the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade, before serving at Gallipoli from the landing until the final evacuation. He was promoted major in September 1915, and in February 1916 was appointed deputy assistant director of medical services of the 4th Division. He served with the Division in France from May until he was promoted lieutenant-colonel commanding the 2nd Australian Field Ambulance in December. He was invalided to England in February 1917 and appointed to form and command the 16th Australian Field Ambulance, attached to the 16th Brigade. He returned to France in October 1917, commanding the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station until his promotion to colonel and assistant director of medical services of the 1st Division in September 1918. He returned to Australia in 1919 having received for his war service the Distinguished Service Order (1916), and the French Croix de Guerre (1918), and been twice mentioned in despatches. He was appointed CBE in 1919.
Alex Marks married twice – to Annie Georgina Rhodes in 1907 and Charlotte Watson in 1945. He died of hypertensive heart disease in 1954.
Charles and Elizabeth’s son Ted (EO Marks), Pat’s father, attended Brisbane Grammar School from 1896 to 1900, before studying engineering at Trinity College, Dublin, there being no university in Queensland until the University of Queensland was established in 1909. In going to Dublin, Ted joined his brother Alec (Alexander Hammett Marks), who was studying medicine there. Alec and Ted lived with their maiden aunts Annette and Blanche Marks, before Ted graduated BA in January 1905 and BAI (engineering) in December, winning every possible prize for a student passing through the School of Engineering, for geology, mining, metallurgy and palaeontology.
Returning to Brisbane, Ted worked at Mount Morgan before joining the staff of the Geological Survey of Queensland in 1908 as Assistant Government Geologist. His first task was a survey of the coal resources of the Southeast Moreton District, since described as “the most widely consulted geological map ever published in Queensland”. He completed a number of further reports, ending with a report on a “Deep-sinking Proposal on the Charters Towers Mineral Field”, which included a scale model, displayed at the Brisbane Exhibition in August 1913.
By 1913 Ted wished to marry Nesta Drury and felt she would be averse to living in mining camps. In any case the mining boom was tailing off, so he returned in that year to Dublin to study medicine. Nesta followed in 1914, and they were married in London in July. War broke out while they were honeymooning in Switzerland and as they returned to England by train they sang the “Marseillaise” at the stations to assure the local French they were on the right side.
After completing his medical degree in Dublin, Ted Marks was a resident at St Patrick Dun’s Hospital at the time of the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916, an Irish nationalist rebellion against the British. Staff from the hospital collected the wounded during pauses in the fighting. Nesta, working in England in the Voluntary Aid Detachment, missed the event.
Ted graduated in July 1916 and joined the British Army as a Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was promoted to Captain the following year, but contracted rheumatic fever and was invalided out of the Army, which was fortunate in the light of a bomb which killed his successor and many others.
He and Nesta stayed in Ireland, where Pat was born in 1918. Ted graduated MD in 1919, but, not sure if the rheumatic fever had left him strong enough to go into practice with his brother Alec as planned, took a further course, in ophthalmology, followed by six months residency at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin and a further period as a locum at the Shrewsbury Eye and Ear Hospital.
Ted and Nesta returned to Brisbane in 1920 for Ted to work as an eye specialist. He and Nesta rented 101 Wickham Terrace from his sister Edris, and found that a significant collection of artefacts from New Guinea came with the house. These had been given to his father Charles by Sir William MacGregor, a doctor as well as colonial administrator, and administrator of British New Guinea (now Papua) from 1887 to 1894 and Lieutenant-Governor (reporting to the Governor of Queensland) from 1895 to 1898. As part of his responsibilities he explored some 600 km along the Fly River and climbed Mount Victoria. He also collected many artefacts which he sent to the Queensland Museum. MacGregor became Governor of Queensland in 1909 and the first Chancellor of the University of Queensland the following year, before retiring and leaving Queensland in 1914. When Nesta declared she could not have the artefacts given by him in the marital bedroom, they were donated to the Queensland Museum.
Ted Marks went on to an important career in ophthalmology and science. He was a Foundation Member of the Ophthalmological Society of Australia and an Honorary at the Brisbane Children’s Hospital from 1921 to 1938, a senior ophthalmologist from 1938 to 1946, and a consulting ophthalmologist thereafter. From 1932 he was also part-time Ophthalmologist to the Queensland School Health Services, was in charge of the Wilson Ophthalmic Hostel for Trachomatous Children and made four trachoma surveys in western Queensland.
He was for many years Councillor and Deputy Chairman of the Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme, and a Councillor of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Queensland. To quote Dorothy Hill (Queensland Naturalist 20 4/6, 1972), “His work for trachomatous children practically eliminated this disease from western Queensland”, to the extent that the Wilson Hostel closed for lack of patients.
In 1922 he became a Foundation Member of the the Great Barrier Reef Committee and was partly responsible for mounting and financing the Michaelmas Cay and Heron Island bores in 1927 and 1937, as well as the highly significant Yonge expedition to the Low Isles in 1928. He served as Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Committee from 1947 to 1954, and in that role played an important part in the establishment of the Heron Island Marine Biological Station.
He was a keen member of a range of learned societies, not limited to those concerned with science. At different times he was a member and office holder in the Royal Society of Queensland, to which he was elected an Honorary Life Member in 1954; the Geological Society of Australia, of which he was a Foundation Member; the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, becoming an Honorary Fellow in 1963; the Anthropological Society of Queensland, of which, again, he was a Foundation Member; and the National Parks Association of Queensland, of which he was a Foundation Member, as he was of the National Trust of Queensland. He died in 1971.
Ted’s daughter Pat lived more or less permanently in Brisbane after the family’s return to Brisbane in 1920. After primary schooling at St John’s Cathedral Day School, she boarded for four years at the Glennie Memorial School, Toowoomba, of which she was Dux in 1934. She also had a successful sporting career, both at school and at university, in swimming, horseriding and hockey.
While Ted was known for his support of women in medicine, he, his brother Alec and their friends did not appear so in conversation, and for that reason and because the course was shorter, Pat moved into science rather than medicine. Under the supervision of Ronald Hamlyn-Harris, the Brisbane City Entomologist (and earlier Director of the Queensland Museum from 1910 to 1917), a pioneer in the biological control of mosquitoes in Australia, she completed an honours degree in parasitology for the University of Queensland in 1939. Her research for the degree included describing the life history of the mosquito and a detailed description of Anopheles atratipes, including of the eyes, which had been missed by the author of the first description of the species, Ian Mackerras, She was awarded second class honours, entitling her to the degree of MSc without a further thesis.
On her graduation in 1939, Pat’s ambition had been to work at the Queensland Museum, but no positions were available there and she became Assistant Curator at the Pathology Museum of the University of Queensland, working with Konrad Hirschfeld, director of the museum and lecturer in Surgical Pathology.
Under the impetus of the intense interest in mosquitoes which developed in 1942 because of the war in New Guinea, an outbreak of dengue fever in late 1941 felt as far south as Brisbane, and a serious epidemic of malaria in Cairns in late 1942, the Australian Army established twenty Malaria Control Units in 1943. Pat was appointed to one of these as a Graduate Research Assistant on a grant with the new Mosquito Control Committee, established by the Government in 1943. She worked in the University of Queensland’s Entomology Department, on, among other things, the identification of mosquitoes collected by schools, and of mosquitoes collected by Malaria Control Units in New Guinea. In the course of this she revised descriptions of the Aedes kochi group. The project led to the creation of the University’s mosquito collection.
She visited the UK and Europe essentially on unpaid leave in 1949, and spent six weeks studying at the British Museum funded by the remaining L100 of her grant. She then stayed in Britain to complete a PhD at Cambridge (Newnham College), working on the Fijian mosquito species Aedes pseudoscutelaris, of which she established her own colony. While at Cambridge, she also identified a new species, Aedes polynesiensis (from Tahiti), now named after her as Aedes polynesiensis marks.
The Mosquito Control Committee negotiated a further grant which supported her on her return in 1951, working on the same project as before. She played a major role in the eradication of Aedes aegypti in southeast Queensland in the mid 1950s, and with it the outbreaks of dengue fever in Brisbane of which it was a vector.
With various changes in title (ending as Senior Research Officer) Pat remained in this position until June 1973, when the Government dissolved the Mosquito Control Committee and she moved administratively under the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) as Principal Entomologist, though for space reasons she continued to work at the University’s Department of Entomology until she moved into QIMR’s new building in 1976. She remained at QIMR until her retirement in 1983, and indeed beyond it, since QIMR continued to provide her research facilities as an Honorary Research Fellow.
Essentially, Pat Marks’s research career followed the direction set by the Mosquito Control Committee, initially – at its inception in 1943 – to carry out detailed taxonomic, biological and ecological studies of Queensland mosquitoes, and in 1952 broadened to the acquisition of knowledge of the life histories of all Queensland species of mosquitoes. This was extended to all Australian species, since only 25 of the 153 Australian species did not occur in Queensland, with the eventual aim of producing a monograph on Australian mosquitoes, regrettably not achieved, though in 1966 she did produce an Atlas of common Queensland mosquitoes, which she used for the many courses she gave on mosquito taxonomy, biology and control – the last in 1998, when she was 80.
Pat Marks researched and collected widely throughout Queensland, as well as interstate and in both halves of New Guinea. Among many other places, she visited Mildura and Townsville (researching Murray Valley Encephalitis in 1951, and returning to Townsville in 1954 for the same purpose), the Torres Strait (researching malaria on a number of occasions between 1953 and 1985), and Cape York (a number of expeditions looking at arboviruses, and Murray Valley Encephalitis).
She was deeply involved in myxamatosis research with CSIRO between 1951 and 1956. Funded by the Bishop Museum she carried out extensive collecting work on New Guinea mosquitoes, in both Dutch New Guinea (now Irian Jaya) and Papua New Guinea, in 1958, and in 1961 at the invitation of the Director of Public Health, Papua New Guinea, transferred a large mosquito collection (mainly collected by Wallace Peters) to the University of Queensland. Other New Guinea expeditions were carried out in 1956 and 1979.
Among her most lasting achievments was the preparation and publication of The Culicidae of the Australasian region (1989), a 12 volume, 3000 page annotated bibliography of 620 mosquito species known to inhabit Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and islands north to the equator and east to 1800E, and including islands north of the equator such as Hawaii, Kiribati and Tuvalu. The project was initiated by Professor David Lee, Head of the Entomology Section of the Sydney School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and completed by Pat with the support of others after his death.
On one trip to what was then Dutch New Guinea she was presented with a set of spears. Each had a specialised purpose, but the set was missing the one for killing man. In line with family tradition, she donated them to the Queensland Museum.
Like her father, Pat Marks was a devoted and active member, and often office holder, of many learned societies, including the Queensland Naturalists Club, the Entomological Society of Queensland, the Royal Society of Queensland, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Australian Entomological Society (which she was instrumental in forming, in 1965), the Linnean Society of NSW, the Royal Entomological Society of London, the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Zoological Society of NSW, the Museum Control Association of Australia, the Museum Society of Queensland, the Royal Historical Society of Queensland and the Pine Rivers Historical Society.
On leaving 101 Wickham Terrace in 1982, she, like her grandfather, moved to the family property at Samford, though by this time the land had been subdivided and a large section of it sold. The section remaining with the family was known as “the old farm”. A cottage on its boundary – still to be seen in what is now the Queensland University of Technology’s Samford Ecological Research Facility – is said to be the oldest extant building in the Pine Rivers Shire, and to have been in place at the time of the area’s first survey in 1865. Pat moved into a barracks first built for quarry workers on the original property of “Cushleva” but later dismantled and re-erected on the Old Farm. The former quarry office, known to the family as “The Mews”, was also moved from “Cushleva” to the Old Farm, in 1948. The barracks was slab-built, with a central living space and basic kitchen (featuring a wood stove) and two wings, originally designated for men and women. The walls and ceilings were unlined and windows were shuttered, without glass. Into this, Pat moved much of the magnificent furniture from 101 Wickham Terrace, amongst which she entertained guests. Pat Marks lived at the barracks almost until her death in 2002, the last of her direct line of the Marks family.
In the course of a remarkable career, Pat Marks published 110 scientific papers and described 38 new species of mosquitoes, as well as providing much more detailed descriptions of many others than had been previously available.