He then rode his horse out to Robb Jetty in Fremantle and there rode into the sea and shot himself – the tragic story of C.Y O’Connor, Irishman, Engineering genius, on the 120th anniversary of the opening of Fremantle Harbour in Western Australia. From the archive.
C.Y.O’Connor statue at entrance to Fremantle Port
At the entrance to Fremantle Harbour, south of Perth, is an imposing statue some 12 feet high, of a man who changed the face of Western Australia during a period of ten years or so at the turn of the 19th and 20th Centuries. This is Charles Yelverton O’Connor, Engineer-in-Chief in the colony from 1891 to 1902. At the base of the statue are plaques depicting his most notable engineering achievements – Fremantle Harbour, the Darling Scarp Railway Tunnel, and the Mundaring Weir, the starting point for the world-renowned Goldfields water supply.
Adjacent to the statue is a further tribute from his Engineering peers and the Port Authority.
Revered for his genius, he is commemorated, respected and admired particularly in Western Australia, yet is practically unknown in his native Ireland, his home for 21 years, and a land that remained close to his…
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