He was educated in public schools in Cornwall. Later, he apprenticed as a Carpenter and Joiner, and joined the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of England.
Robert married Matilda Edwards of Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales in 1895, and had seven male children. The family moved to Calgary in 1910.
Robert Parkyn was elected to Calgary City Council as an Alderman on the Labor ticket for the first time on January 2, 1922 and served his first stint as Alderman until January 2, 1924.
He would return to city council with his re-election on January 2, 1926. He served as both an Alderman and as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. His second term in office ended on December 31, 1926.
Robert would serve 3 more broken terms as an Alderman January 1, 1933 to December 31, 1934 and January 2, 1935 to January 1, 1936 and his final term from January 1, 1939 until his death on June 13, 1939.
In the 1921 Alberta general election Robert ran his first provincial campaign as a Labor candidate and ended up finishing 8th in a field of 20 candidates. Parkyn was elected in the 1926 Alberta general election this time as an Independent Labor candidate by winning the 5th seat in the Calgary district. The win was seen as an upset. He was defeated after serving a single term in office.
Parkyn was an advisory delegate during the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation founding meetings.
Parkyn attempted re-election in a 1933 by-election again running under his Independent Labor banner. In that election he never came close as the vote polarized between Labor, Cooperative Commonwealth candidate Amelia Turner and Independent Norman Hindsley.
In 1938 Parkyn became terminally ill with an undisclosed illness. His last wish was to meet the King and Queen of England on their Royal Visit to Canada in 1939. He did so with the help of wife and physician days before his death. He died on June 13, 1939.
- "Calgary results 1930 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- "Illness Fatal To Alderman Robert Parkyn". Vol XXXII No. 154 (The Lethbridge Herald). June 13, 1939. p. 1.
|Legislative Assembly of Alberta|
John J. Bowlen