Emmanuel family donate guitar to Henry Parkes Museum

The Henry Parkes Museum has become the new home of a guitar that’s belonged to the famous musical Emmanuel family for 57 years.

The Emmanuels – the same family of famous guitarist siblings Tommy and Phil Emmanuel, and Parkes man Darcy Emmanuel – settled in Parkes in 1967, after years on the road with the family band.

Older sister Virginia Emmanuel was given a lap steel guitar called a Moody in 1960-61 when she was 12 years old and the family were in Gunnedah.

She would travel to Tamworth, guitar in hand, once a week for lessons.

Virginia didn’t move to Parkes when the family settled here, she instead travelled back to Gunnedah and got married.

And the Moody went with her.

Fifty years later Virginia decided to give the guitar to little brother Darcy to donate to the Henry Parkes Museum.

“The significance of this is that it has come to Parkes,” Darcy said.

Darcy delivered the instrument himself to the museum.

He’s also helped the Parkes Historical Society volunteers set up a special display of the Emmanuel family’s memorabilia – including photos, posters, other instruments, awards and even Tommy’s model Corgi Car collection, which has proven very popular.

Parkes Historical Society president Yvonne Hutton was thrilled with the new addition.

“It’s quite fitting having the guitar here, we also have a music corner,” she said.

“This has proved quite mind boggling for us.

“It’s been a great success this display.

“Most people have been in contact with Tommy and in various ways with Phil.”

Yvonne said the numerous posters advertising both Tommy’s and Phil’s shows and album releases over the years always attract a lot of attention from museum visitors.

“People who have heard of Tommy and Phil or have been to their concerts have come in to the museum,” she said.

“Last month two people from Japan walked in to the museum and told us they were at Tommy’s concert in Japan in 2007 as they pointed to the poster on the wall.

“They said ‘oh it’s absolutely beautiful’, talking about the display.

“It’s been a plus, we realised these (the family’s memorabilia) needed to be put up. They may only be minute but each have a special little story.”