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Death of an Engineer

Many of us in Westrn Australia are familiar with the 'Golden Pipeline'. This name refers to the engineering feat that has been supplying water to the Western Australian goldfields for over 120 years.

In 1903 the Helena River was dammed and the Mundaring Weir was built in and from this magnificent resevoir, water is pumped, with the help of pumping stations along the way, 530 klms to Kalgoorlie, Coolgardie and surrounds. The engineer who created this marvel, was Charles Yelverton O'Connor. C Y. as he is affectionately known, was persistantly criticised in the press at the time and his reputation and character undermined. So much so that he took his own life on South Beach on 10th March 1902.


C Y O'Connor

The sad part of this story, is that a few weeks after his tragic death, pumping trials began at the No 1 Pump Station. The remaining 260 miles of pipe was laid and by mid-April water had reached Northam.

As each section of the pipeline was completed, the water followed, reaching Merredin on the 22nd August, Southern Cross on the 30th October and Coolgardie on the 22nd December 1902 and finally

on the 16th January 1903 the people of Kalgoorlie were enjoying the water pumped from the Helena River.


Mundaring and Hills Historical Historical Society is holding a talk on C Y O'Connor and the Golden Pipeline at the

Boya Community Centre

135 Scott St Boya at 2.45

on Saturday the 16th March.

Afternoon tea will be available for a gold coin donation.

Ph. 9295 0540 E: mhhs@mundaringhistory.org


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