Thomas Danks

Cabin Maker, Tinsmith And Canister Manufacturer

Terms served on Council

Title Council From To
Alderman Waterloo 1896 1917
Mayor Waterloo 1899 1899
Mayor Waterloo 1904 1904
Mayor Waterloo 1906 1907
Mayor Waterloo 1915 1915
  • Waterloo Alderman Thomas Danks, 1908 (City of Sydney Archives A-00033308)

Family background

Thomas Danks was born in 1854 in Staffordshire, England, son of Richard Danks and Sarah J Davies. He arrived in Sydney in 1879 on the vessel ’Peterborough’. Danks was married to Jemima Shephard (1854-1940) in Dudley, Staffordshire, England in 1876 and they had four children, Sarah E (1876), Richard (1879), Martha A (1882) and James W (1884). The family lived at 22 Elizabeth Street, Waterloo. Danks was a long time resident of Waterloo, having commenced business as a tinsmith and canister manufacturer c1885. The business was one of the largest of its kind in NSW, equipped with the most up to date machinery for canister making and tin printing. Thomas Danks died at his residence, 22 Elizabeth Street, Waterloo on 7 June 1925 and he was buried at the Church of England Cemetery, Rookwood. He left a will and his estate and assets were assessed at £2,507.

Occupation & interests

Danks was a Freemason and member of the Redfern Lodge for about 40 years. Also he was a member of the Chamber of Manufacturing almost from its inception and he sat on its Council for many years.

Community activity

Thomas Danks was vice-president and one of the trustees of the Waterloo Working Men’s Institute, president of the Waterloo Relief Society and an old member of the Redfern Bowling Club, where at various times he held the positions of president, vice president and treasurer. He was a justice of the peace (JP) and the Returning Officer for the Alexandria Electorate. Rate payers arranged a banquet in his honour in 1905.

Local government service

Thomas Danks was an alderman on Waterloo Council in 1896-1917 representing East Ward. He was mayor in 1899, 1904, 1906-07 and 1915. Danks retired 21 June 1917.


‘Municipal Elections’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 February 1896, p. 3,

Obituary, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 June 1925, p. 7,

‘Aldermanic Album, with autobiographical notes’, Truth, 19 February 1911  p. 3,


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