Captain Charles, Engineer of Charity: The Remarkable Life of Charles Gordon O'Neill

Author(s): Stephen Utick

Australian Stories People History

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.'a fascinating, meticulously researched and detailed study of the life of Charles O'Neill The themes of personal sacrifice in the cause of social justice and the fight against poverty are universal and still contemporary.'


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AcknowledgementsPrologue: The Pauper's Bequest (Sydney 1900)PART I: Scotland (1828-1863)1 Young Charles O'Neill2 The Christ of the Poor3 A Public Reputation4 Captain Charles O'NeillPART II: New Zealand (1863-1880)5 The New Iniquity'6 Goldfields Politician7 The Politics of Progress8 Lessons from Abroad9 Parliamentary Roundabout 1872-187510 Backlash in The Thames11 City of Wellington12 Charitable Endeavours13 Professional PridePART III: The Australian Colonies (1850-1880)14 Sacred Quest15 Gerald Ward's LegacyPART IV: New South Wales (1881-1900)16 Foundation in The Rocks17 Money for Rent18 Social Respectability19 Captain' Charles at the Helm of Charity20 Plans, Politicians and Protectionism21 Economic Depression22 Humiliation and Ruin23 Poverty and Pestilence24 Between Heaven and Earth SuspendedEpilogueGlossaryBibliographyInd

General Fields

  • : 9781741753783
  • : Allen & Unwin
  • : Allen & Unwin
  • : April 2008
  • : 229mm X 154mm X 20mm
  • : Australia
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 920
  • : 288
  • : Stephen Utick
  • : Paperback