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Captain Charles, Engineer of Charity
The Remarkable Life of Charles Gordon O'Neill
By Stephen Utick

Very good paperback

Published In: Australia, 01 April 2008
The extraordinary saga of the colonial character 'Captain' Charles Gordon O'Neill is told for the first time. An engineer, inventor, parliamentarian and philanthropist, Charles was a principal co-founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia and New Zealand. Born of Irish parents in Scotland in 1828, O'Neill travelled to the colonies in 1863 with driving ambition, matched by entrepreneurial vision. A brilliant engineer, he helped create town plans, railway routes and tramways across New Zealand. Elected to the New Zealand parliament as a goldfields MP, he warned of the risk of climate change from destroying forests. He moved to Sydney in 1881 to work for the poor of Australia. Beginning in Sydney's wild Rocks district, he pioneered many charitable initiatives and established the St Vincent de Paul Society in New South Wales. His foresight was vindicated as the colonial age of gold was followed by the economic depression of the 1890s. In a bitter twist of fate, despite all his technical skill, access to capital and political connections, O'Neill died a pauper amid the slums of The Rocks in 1900.

ISBN: 1741753783
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