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Calder Edkins Oliver

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Calder Edkins Oliver (1865-1930)

1930 Obituary[1]


The news of the death of Mr. Calder Edkins Oliver, at Melbourne, on May 13, will be received with regret by a wide circle in the profession. The son of the late Mr. Alexander Calder Oliver, one of the first secretaries of the Roads and Bridges Department of the State of Victoria, Mr. C. E. Oliver, who was for many years Chief Engineer of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works, was born at St. Kilda, a suburb of Melbourne, in 1865. He received his general education at the Church of England Grammar School, Melbourne, and afterwards entered the University of Melbourne as a civil-engineering student. Subsequently, he gained the certificates of municipal engineer and of hydraulic engineer, and finally obtained the degree of M.C.E. (Master of Civil Engineering). Mr. Oliver’s active career commenced in 1877, when he was appointed a field assistant in the Victorian Railways Department and became engaged on the surveying of new lines. The five years from 1878 to 1883, however, were spent on the staff of the railway contractors, Messrs. C. and E. Millar, Mr. Oliver being engaged on work connected with the construction of railways in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales ; he superintended the construction of upwards of 600 miles of line. After a brief period in Sydney on water-supply and sewerage undertakings, Mr. Oliver returned to railway construction work in New South Wales and Western Australia.

Mr. Oliver’s long connection with the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works began when the Board was constituted in 1891. His first appointment was that of superintending engineer of sewerage. Subsequently, he became engineer of sewerage and water supply, and, after a period of service as acting chief engineer, he became Engineer-in-Chief in 1908, which position he retained until his retirement in April, 1919, after nearly 30 years’ service. During his term of office as Engineer-in-Chief, his services were requisitioned by Government bodies in various parts of Australia. For instance, he was engaged on the sewerage of Perth in 1909, on that of Brisbane in 1912; and on that of Canberra in 1916. Upon his retirement in 1919, Mr. Oliver, in conjunction with Mr. A. G. H. Frew, opened a consulting practice. Subsequently, however, he practised on his own account for a short time, definitely retiring in 1923. Mr. Oliver became an associate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on March 5, 1889, and was transferred to full membership on November 30, 1897."

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