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Biographical entry O'Connor, Charles Yelverton (1843 - 1902)


11 January 1843
Castletown, Meath, Ireland
10 March 1902
Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia


Charles Yelverton O'Connor was engineer-in-chief for Western Australia 1891-1902. He was responsible for the construction of the harbour at Fremantle, he made striking improvements in the building and operation of the government railways and was the driving force behind the Coolgardie Water Supply Scheme. The latter project resulted in O'Connor being submitted to almost constant uninformed criticism which lead to him taking his own life. Despite this, the scheme was completed in late 1902 and proved to be immensely successful. Before his Western Australian appointment, O'Connor worked in New Zealand on various surveying and engineering projects 1865-1891.



1874 - 1883
Career position - District Engineer for Canterbury province in New Zealand
1883 - 1890
Career position - Under-Secretary for public works in New Zealand (Canterbury province?)
1890 - 1891
Career position - Marine Engineer for the colony of New Zealand
1891 - 1902
Career position - Engineer-in-chief for Western Australia
Award - Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG)

Published resources


  • Ayris, Cyril, C. Y. O'Connor: a Brief Biography, Cyril Ayris Freelance, West Perth, 2004, 56 pp. Details

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Rosanne Walker