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The Goldfields Water Supply Scheme is a pipeline and dam project which delivers water to communities in Western Australia's Eastern Goldfields, particularly Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. The project was started in 1896 and was completed in 1903. Taking 7 years to build and covering 600 kilometers, travelling through some of the harshest environments in the world.
During the early 1890s, thousands of settlers had swarmed into the barren and dry desert centre of Western Australia in search of gold, but existing infrastructure for the supply of water was non-existent and an urgent need arose. The pipeline continues to operate today, supplying water to over 100,000 people in over 33,000 households as well as mines, farms and other enterprises.
Although supported by Premier Forrest, O'Connor had to deal with widespread criticism and derision from members of the Western Australian Parliament as well as the local press based on a belief that scope of the engineering task was too great and that it would never work. There was also a concern that the gold discoveries would soon dry up and the state would be left with a significant debt to repay but little or no commerce to support it.
Sunday Times editor Frederick Vosper - who was also a politician, ran a personal attack on O'Connor's integrity and ability through the paper.
O'Connor committed suicide in March 1902 less than 12 months before the final commissioning of the pipeline. Lady Forrest officially started the pumping machinery at Pumping Station number one on the 22 January, and on 24 January 1903 water flowed into the Mount Charlotte Reservoir at Kalgoorlie.
The beach where O'Connor died was named after him and there is also a statue sculpted by Tony Jones, of him in the water there.
The novel The Drowner by Robert Drewe provides a fictionalised account of O'Connor and the building of the pipeline.
On 7 December 1898, his daughter Eva married Sir George Julius at St John's Church, Fremantle, Western Australia. Julius was the first chairman of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) which later became the CSIRO.
The C. Y. O'Connor College of TAFE in Western Australia bears his name.
Statue of O'Connor and horse at C.Y. O'Connor beach
A bronze statue of O'Connor stands in front of the Fremantle Port Authority buildings, commemorating O'Connor's achievements.
O'connor has also had a school named after him called O'connor Primary School, in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
CY O’Conner was a man of vision. Despite all the opposition he stood his ground and changed the state of Western Australia. His dream was so great that it cost him his life, but still he stuck to his guns.
What is our churches vision for 2011? How will we as a community make a difference?
I would like to start with our church’s vision statement and then move on down to some bible passages.
To know God
and honour Him by
worshipping, praying and
obeying His Word
To grow a loving and united
community, equipping people for
learning, giving and serving God in all things
To go into the South Perth
community and beyond,
showing in a culturally relevant way
that people matter to God.
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