McNESS, Sir Charles (1853-1938)

McNESS, Sir Charles (1853-1938)
was born at Huntingdon, England, in 1853. He came to Australia when about 30 years of age, and started in business in Perth as an ironmonger. He later became an estate agent and invested largely in city properties which became very valuable. He retired in 1915 and henceforth spent much of his time in travelling, and the disposal of his fortune in charity by giving large subscriptions to patriotic funds, hospitals, religious bodies, the State war memorial, and Anzac House. In 1930 he founded the McNess fund for the relief of unemployment, and in 1932 gave £20,000 for this purpose. In 1937 he gave about £12,000 for the construction of a road in memory of his wife who died in February of that year. He also built the McNess Hall for the Presbyterian church at Perth. He died at Perth on 21 June 1938 and was survived by a son. He was knighted in 1931. He was of a somewhat retiring disposition and took no part in public life, though much interested in the problem of the housing of the poor. It has been estimated that his benefactions may have exceeded £150,000.
The West Australian, 23 and 24 June 1938.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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