Born on 15 April 1916, Corry Barraclough Wilson was the eldest child of shopkeeper Albert Corry Wilson (1885-1949) and his wife Marjory Jane. The couple appears to have met when Marjory, a music teacher, took on Albert as a student for an examination held in Brisbane in 1907 by the Trinity College of Music. Engaged in 1912, they married in Brisbane in May 1915, but appear to have settled in Cheltenham, NSW, just before (or just after) their son Corry was born. He attended Parramatta High School and later enrolled at Sydney University, where he completed his matriculation in March 1934 and was duly admitted to the architectural course. According to another source, he completed his studies at the Sydney Technical College in 1939. His earliest known architectural commission, completed that same year, was a three-storey block of shops and flats in the inner Sydney suburb of Summer Hill, designed in the popular Streamlined Moderne style. In what would have been a notable achievement for any recent graduate, this early project was published in the building column of the Sydney Morning Herald.
In the late 1930s, Wilson otherwise kept busy as secretary/treasurer of the Parramatta High School Ex-Student’s Association, a position that he held until he resigned to join the RAAF. Enlisting on 3 March 1941, he was briefly attached to the 5th Elementary Flying Training School at Narromine before being discharged in July with the rank of Leading Aircraftman. That same month, he married Miss Flora May Lambert (1921-85), a fellow member (and former assistant secretary) of the Parramatta High School Ex-Students’ Association. Their reception was held at Romano’s Roadhouse, which had been the regular venue for many of the association’s events. The first of the couple’s seven children, son Corry John, was born in 1942. He was registered as an architect in NSW in 1944, and, two years later, admitted as an associate of the RAIA.
By the late 1940s, Wilson had formally commenced his own architectural practice in Parramatta, with an office at 20a Phillip Street. In 1951, he established a branch office at Armidale, in CWA House at 105 Beardy Street. The following year, he advertised that he was present at the Armidale office on the first Friday and Saturday of each month, or other times by appointment. Remaining highly active in Parramatta, he was a member of the local Lions Club as well as the Parramatta Business & Professional Men’s Club (for whom, in the capacity of Honorary Architect, he prepared plans for the renovation of the club premises). While it has not been confirmed how long the branch office at Armidale continued to operate, Wilson is known to have practised in Parramatta, from the same address in Phillip Street, until well into the 1960s. Little, however, is currently known of his work during this later period.
From the 1940s, Corry and Flora Wilson resided in Baulkham Hills, where he built a sprawling ranch-style house in Seven Hills Road, with four bedrooms and two living rooms, to accommodate their large family. Flora died in April 1985 and Wilson later married for a second time, to Olive “Molly” Wakefield. She similarly predeceased him, in 2008. Wilson himself died the following year, on 27 May 2009, aged 94 years. His seven children survived him.
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