Edward William O`Sullivan Print Page Print this page

The monument over the grave, erected by public subscription, commemorates Edward O`Sullivan, a politician and journalist who died in 1910. 

Edward William O'Sullivan (1846 – 1910) was an Australian journalist and politician.As a politician, O'Sullivan had strong Labour sympathies before the Labor Party had developed in New South Wales, and worked untiringly for old-age pensions until they became law in 1900. He was much criticized for his supposed extravagance as Minister for Public Works; at the time it seemed with reason, as the state was suffering from drought for part of the period. Possibly, however, he was wise in realizing the necessity of keeping people at work in times of depression. He was certainly right in his efforts to provide Sydney with a proper supply of water, and his efforts to relieve unemployment by developing the tramway and railway systems, showed him as a man of great foresight and courage.

The Hon. E. W. O'Sullivan, M.L A , whose lamented death occurred yesterday morning after a brief illness, was a native of Tasmania, and started his journalistic career as a compositor at the "Hobart Mercury" at a very early age. In 1871, after a brief sojourn in Sydney, he started the "Tasmanian Tribune," a daily evening paper published in Hobart, which he successfully worked for a couple of years. Between 1874 and 1882 he figured largely in Melbourne and Sydney in connection with the Labor movement, becoming President of the Sydney Trades and Labor Council. In 1882 he made his first attack on West Sydney, was beaten, a feat which was repeated in 1885, but immediately afterwards - the very same night of his defeat — he went to Queanbeyan, not knowing a soul there, and in a fortnight's time was returned for that electorate, which he represented for 19 years, only relinquishing it in 1901 for the Belmore division of Sydney, which he served till the day of his death.

The deceased was an ardent trades unionist and protectionist all his life, and the most liberal, if not extravagant, Minister of Public Works which this State probably ever had. Two or three years ago he was presented with a purse of 1050 sovs. in recognition of his useful and honorable career. Mr. O'Sullivan was very popular in the Moree district, where he promoted several public works in the time of drought, which not only gave employment to a great many sufferers but proved extremely useful in after years. He was also a great admirer and strong advocate of the bore baths, and several times visited Moree to undergo treatment in them.
Moree Gwydir Examiner and General Advertiser (NSW), 
 26 April 1910. 

The mother State has had few public men more devoted to her interests than the late E. W. O'Sullivan, ex-Minister of Works, and that his services and straightforwardness have not faded from the memory of those whom he served so faithfully will be proved on Sunday next, the 11th inst. On that day, at 3 o'clock, the unveiling of a striking memorial to the deceased statesman will be performed either by the Premier, the Hon. James McGowen, or Alderman Clarke, Lord Mayor of Sydney.

On the memorial, which is in the form of a beautifully-carved marble Celtic cross, surmounting three massive marble steps, the whole supported by a bluestone base, is inscribed: "A Public Tribute to the Memory of the Hon. Edward William O'Sullivan, M.L.A., ex-Minister for Public Works. Born March 17, 1846. Died April 25, 1910. A True Champion of Australian Democracy," and on a panel, "Erected by the People of New South Wales, August 11, 1912." The memorial, the execution of which has been capably carried out by Messrs. Doyle and Jukes, of Waverley, stands almost immediately at the rear of the Irish monument to Michael Dwyer, the Wicklow Chief, and his wife, and is a handsome addition to the many striking examples of monumental art adorning the cemetery.
Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW), 7 August 1912.


Address:St Thomas & Trafalgar Streets, Waverley Cemetery, Bronte, 2024
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.907222
Long: 151.264167
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - State
Monument Manufacturer:Doyle & Jukes (Waverley, NSW)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 11th August, 1912
Front Inscription

A public tribute to the memory of the Honourable Edward William O'Sullivan, M.L.A., Ex-Minister For Public Works.

Born March 17, 1846. Died April 25, 1910.

A true champion of Australian democracy

Erected by the people of New South Wales,

August 11, 1912.

Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au