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Charles O`Neill Print Page Print this page

The headstone over the grave commemorates Charles O`Neill, founder of St Vincent de Paul in Australia who died in 1900.  In 1961, in accordance with his wishes, his remains were removed to the society's burial plot for the destitute at Rookwood in company of those he served so well.

Charles Gordon O'Neill (1828-1900), engineer and charity worker, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, son of John O'Neill, hotel proprietor, and his wife Mary, née Gallagher. He trained as an engineer in Glasgow and graduated as a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and for some time was chief assistant in the Public Works Office, Glasgow. As a captain in the 3rd Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers he made miniature targets for the better training of soldiers in rifle shooting. On graduation he had joined the Society of St Vincent de Paul, a society of Catholic laymen devoted to works of charity.

In 1881 O'Neill moved to Sydney from New Zealand and, with aid from the Marist Fathers, founded on 24 July the first conference of the Society of St Vincent de Paul in Australia to be firmly established at St Patrick's, Church Hill. On that day a preliminary meeting was held, resulting in the formation of a conference at St Francis's, Haymarket; by December four branches were established. Recognized as head of the society in Sydney because of his leadership and apostolic zeal, he became first president of the Particular Council of Sydney on 28 January 1884. His untiring energy in the visitation of conferences strengthened them and encouraged their members; by 1890 Sydney had twenty conferences and Braidwood one, and the first special work of the society, St Aloysius Home for Boys (St Vincent's Boys' Home, Westmead) was established in Surry Hills. He was also a member of the third order of St Francis and of the Total Abstinence Society.

A monument erected to the memory of the late Charles O'Neil, M. Inst. C.E., by the members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, was unveiled by the Rev. Father Le Rennetel at Rookwood Cemetery on Sunday. There a large attendance of members of the society. Father Le Rennetel, who was introduced by the president of the society (Mr. T. E. Murphy), referred to the fact that Mr. O'Neil had been the founder of the society in New South Wales and in New Zealand.
The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate
(Parramatta, NSW), 12 July 1902.


 


 

Location

Address:Hawthorne Avenue, Rookwood Necropolis, Rookwood, 2141
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.874722
Long: 151.058333
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Humanitarian

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 6th July, 1902
Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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