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Charles Yelverton O'Connor
Birth: Jan. 11, 1843
Death: Mar. 10, 1902

New Zealand and Australian Engineer. This famous engineer was born in Gravelmount, County Meath, Ireland in 1843. Just before the potato famine hit Ireland, his family moved to Waterford, England, where he completed his studies and became a professional engineer. The poor economic conditions in Ireland forced the family to move to New Zealand in 1865. For the next 16 years Charles would supervise all sorts of engineering projects. He was a marine engineer for New Zealand, when the Western Australian Premier, John Forrest, suggested Charles to involve himself with railways, harbors and anything else he could do. Charles arrived in Western Australia in 1891, his first job was to build a new harbor at the mouth of the Swan River. Charles argued successfully against earlier designs, advocating blasting away the bar across the mouth of the Swan River to create an inner harbor instead. Construction for this started in 1892, and for the next 5 years the work continued on the port, finally being completed in 1897. For this work, he recieved a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in that same year. For the next five years he was also the engineer in charge and acting general manager of the government railways. The railways were given an overhaul by Charles, which saw many extensions and re-engineering, which made it more profitable. For what he's most famous for is getting water 560 kilometres uphill to the eastern goldfields. His solution was simple, but at the time he was brutally criticised by a Western Australian Newspaper, that stated the pipeline wouldn't work. As the huge project was nearing its completion, when Charles decided he couldn't take anymore criticism. He rode his horse into the sea, located near the Robb Jetty on March 10, 1902 and shot himself; he was 59 years old. His devoted Public Works Department staff paid for the Celtic Cross made from granite to mark his grave. Shortly afterwards, his pipeline was placed into operation, and is still in use today. (bio by: Cate Kirby-White) 
 
Burial:
Fremantle Cemetery
Fremantle
Western Australia, Australia
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Cate Kirby-White
Record added: Jan 24, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17659536
Charles Yelverton O'Connor
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Charles Yelverton O'Connor
Added by: Cate Kirby-White
 
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- R I P
 Added: Jun. 23, 2014
I'm sorry you could not find a reason to stay with us, Charles; your idea was right and worked. Rest in Peace. See you in Heaven.
- Mary
 Added: May. 2, 2014

- Åke Frisk
 Added: Mar. 10, 2014
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