Catholic Life

Double graduation for family

Jennifer, left, and Katherine Parkes with their father Andrew, a police officer

One graduation in the family is a happy event but to have two on the same day is particularly exciting, writes Jackie Parkes.

Jennifer Parkes, 23, and her sister, Katherine, 20, graduated on July 13.

Jenny, as she likes to be known, qualified as a doctor at Hull/York Medical School (HYMS). Her graduation took place in the morning in Hull.

Katherine graduated with a 2:1 with a BA Hons in English in the afternoon at Hull University.

The sisters have six younger sisters and two younger brothers. The sisters and the other girls all went to or are presently attending St Paul’s Roman Catholic school for Girls, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

The boys attend St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School in Kings Norton, Birmingham.

The Parkes family of 10 children enjoy a wide range of activities and love being part of a large family. As the children say: “There is always someone to play with.”

The day started early with a drive from Birmingham to Hull. The anticipication grew as the girls looked forward to the fulfilment of all their hard work.

It is to be celebrated that the eldest child, Jennifer, is now a qualified doctor of medicine after five years studying and training. Katherine was hard-pressed to settle on English as a degree and had achieved four grade As at A-level, being gifted musically and artistically also.

The family considers itself blessed to have such hard-working and gifted children who all practise their Catholic faith to a high degree.

The large family is a great blessing. Mrs Parkes’s family was inspired by reading about Victoria Gillick’s family more than 20 years ago, in her book A Mother’s Tale.