This introduction to the Bill Parker Collection Sale is intended not only in memory of the man himself but also in honour of his passion for collecting and preserving items of interest and antiquity.
William Joseph Moody Parker was born on a farm in Lisburn Co Antrim on the 11 January 1935 and was the middle son of five sibling brothers. His family ran a modest milk business from the family farm and kept a small drove of pigs for sale. Turkeys were also reared for the Christmas market his mother taking orders from the small grocery shop she ran from the front of the premises.
William, or Billy as he was known to his friends, had a busy young life on the farm just as you would expect. He did however display from a young age an inquisitive mind and an interest set that helped find him the time to keep and rear small birds and mink of all things, thankfully though not in the same cage! An inquisitive intelligent mind will seek out such things to indulge itself and this was certainly the case for the young Billy.
Billy spent his working life in the building trade and worked in England as a young man honing his skills as a joiner. He worked in the shipyard upon his return home and on many other building works throughout Northern Ireland. He ended his career as a Clerk of Works where he was involved at a high level in the restoration of many important historic buildings, a role he took great pride in. A joiner by trade but there was no task that Billy could not turn his hand to as anyone who knew him would most certainly testify and often did!
Billy’s collecting was a life long passion. His interest though centred on firearms and militaria was however much more eclectic. Lisburn local history was of great interest to him and as an active member of the Lisburn Historical Society he wrote articles for the Society Journal and was persuaded on several occasions to give lectures on subjects of local interest. Billy also sat on the Lisburn Museum subcommittee and his collection was of course so varied that the Museum were often able to borrow items for various exhibitions they were running.
There is so much more could be said to exalt the man, husband, father and grandfather that Billy was but there just isn’t the time here. We his children miss him and our mum Evelyn dearly and while none of us are collectors to quite the same degree as dad was, nowhere near in fact let us be honest, we all do very much appreciate not just the dad he was but also the collector he was. Antiquities and collectables, we are very aware, don’t survive through the centuries simply by themselves, they are collected, owned, cared for, loved, cherished and protected by special people like dad, by collectors. How important it is to secure these items for future generations cannot be overstated. They should and must be kept safe in the hands of people who will truly cherish owning them and this is the family’s sincere hope for the items in dad’s collection. God willing, they find their way to other collectors who will take joy in their ownership and simply love them as much as much as dad did, keeping them safe for generations to come. The family and our dad would like that very much.
Bill Parker our dad, Evelyn Parker our mother both missed dearly by their children Bill, Edwin and Helen their spouses and by their 10 grandchildren.
To view the catalogue please click on the following link: Bloomfield Auctions | The Bill Parker Collection