George Molnar, Sydney
George Molnar, AO (1988) and OBE (1971), died only a few days before the opening of his last exhibition; a collection of watercolours launched by Ken Woolley at Tusculum, Sydney, in late November.
Born in Nagyvarad, Hungary, Molnar came to Australia in 1939 with a B.Arch (Budapest), and began work as a government architect in Canberra. At the end of the Second World War, he took up a lectureship at the University of Sydney and began contributing cartoons to The Daily Telegraph. His satirical sketches were precisely targeted with the subtlety of a stiletto, and executed with exceptional asperity of line—although it was claimed by some that he did not obtain good likenesses of people.
His talent was quickly recognised by opposition newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald, which employed him from 1952 to 1984, in addition to his positions as Associate Professor at Sydney University and Professor at the University of NSW. The SMH’s editor when he was first employed, John Douglas Pringle (who came to regard Molnar as his best friend), recently noted of his work: “It is true that his cartoons were very static. No-one moved in a Molnar cartoon. But they did not have to. Everything was expressed in George’s incisive drawings, each of which was a small work of art.”
Considered conservative (“irretrievably European”) in his attitudes, Molnar was a frequent critic of modernism’s preference of abstraction over human values—“we need more statues!”—and he enjoyed exposing irrational social fashions and foibles. He was widely read in four languages—Maygar, French, German and English—and often delivered homilies to acquaintances in Latin.
George Molnar is survived by his wife, Carol, daughter Katie (an architect) and son Christopher.
Edited from obituaries in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian.
Ross Chisholm, Perth
He is most widely remembered as a director of Cameron Chisholm & Nicol, a prominent Perth practice which continued from Powell Cameron & Chisholm (the office of his father, Ossie Chisholm), where he worked during the early 1950s.
After spending five years in London and Europe, Ross Chisholm took a partnership with PC&C in 1958, and one year later began work on commissions for the Wesley College Memorial Chapel and 54 houses at the Empire Games Village at City Beach. He was also honorary architect for the Games administration and recreation buildings. His office’s notable later Perth buildings include the Floreat Forum shopping centre, Mineral House, The West Australian Club, the City Centre Tower and the Education Department building in East Perth, which won the RAIA’s Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings in 1983.
CC&N’s projects across Australia include the Carillon Tower (gifted from Britain) on Aspen Island in Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin, the ACT’s Belconnen Mall retail complex, the Pier in Brisbane, the
Prudential Centre office
towers in Chatswood, NSW, the Centennial
Plaza trio of towers in Sydney’s CBD and the
Robina Town Centre on Queensland’s Gold
Coast (with the USA’s Jerde Partnership).|
CC&N also did planning and design services for developments in Malaysia and Indonesia. He supported architectural education in WA and served on numerous committees, boards and the council of the RAIA’s WA Chapter. Personally, he is remembered for his loyalty to family, profession and friends, and as a disciple of music, food, wine, film, Aussie Rules, Rottnest and impromptu celebrations. In his last weeks, he tape-recorded some of his thoughts on civic design for Perth.
He is survived by his wife Elizabeth and their son and daughter.
Edited from a text by Bill Weedon.
Peter Corkery, Canberra
After a Yorkshire/Darjeeling education disrupted by his Army service in the Second World War, he gained a Bachelor of Architecture degree in London and then worked with several British practices, notably Llewellyn Davies Weeks & Partners.
In 1968, he accepted a senior lectureship at the University of Adelaide. Six years later, he joined the School of Environmental Design at the Canberra College of Advanced Education, with a brief to establish an architectural diploma. This course was upgraded to degree status when the college became the University of Canberra.
From 1982 to 1986, Peter Corkery was an active consultant to the ACT National Parks Association and the Heritage Commission and produced urban planning reports for organisations in Britain and Australia. After he ‘retired’ from full-time academic employment in 1987, he continued to serve for several years as Head of UniCanberra’s Faculty of Environmental Design, and was a valued member of the ACT Administrative Appeals Tribunal until 1997. As acknowledgement of his contributions to the ACT RAIA and community groups, he was awarded a Life Fellowship of the Institute in 1995.
He is survived by his wife Vera and daughter Selina, both now based in London.
Edited from a text by Peter Freeman.
Noted in 1998