Obituary – Farewell to Rex “Jack” Parsons


Rex John Parsons, better known as Jack Parsons, was born as the second son of Roy and Ivy Parsons, in Brewarrina on 10 June 1948.

Jack was the second of six children and grew up with his five siblings – Isaac, Franklyn, Donnas, Joseph, and Sandra. Sadly, Jack would lose another sister Heather, as a baby.

Although he spent many years around Bourke and Brewarrina, Jack loved to reminisce about his time growing up at Barcaldine, at the foot of the Glasshouse Mountains, where he first tasted pineapple jam and developed a passion for owning his own farm.

Jack’s family returned to Bourke, living on the banks of the Darling River and spending time swimming and fishing. His father, Roy, was a shearers’ cook and every Friday the family looked forward to special treats when Pop returned to town. Jack returned to Bourke at the age of 12.

Horses played a big part in the lives of Jack and his brothers. The boys often rode track work for local trainers and at the age of 10, Jack moved to Orange to begin work as an apprentice jockey. It was at this time that Jack met Clarrie and Allan Spicer who became lifelong friends.

When he was just 16, Jack and his siblings lost their beloved mum Ivy, the glue that held the family together. Jack’s aunt Lorraine and Uncle Allan became an important part of Jack’s life with this bond strengthening over the years.

Jack married Joan Fazldeen at Bourke on 31st December 1967. Joan and her family were living at Belvedere Station west of Bourke, and when courting Joan, Jack would ride his bike out to Belvedere on Fridays after work.

In 1966 Jack began working for the Bourke Shire Council and became known as the best backhoe operator. He often said that the backhoe was an extension of his arms, and that he could dig by feel.

He worked on the road gang for many years, then moved from the road gang to work with the water and sewer crew. Phil Nicolls remembers Jack standing in the tractor bucket near Enngonia picking quandongs from the trees – all in a day’s work for Jack.

Jack and Joan moved into their home in Meadows Road in 1968 when their eldest daughter Joanie was born. John came along in 1973, with Julie-Ann born during the 1976 floods.

In 1975 Jack’s dad Roy died in Deniliquin, in 1982 Jack’s brother Joe became wheelchair bound following a bull-riding accident, and in 1984 his sister Franklyn passed away.

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