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In   1855   Charles   Todd   arrived   in   the   young   colony   of   South Australia.        He    was    28    and    his    mind    was    full    of    the    new sciences   and   technologies   that   were   changing   life   in   19th century   Europe.      He   had   trained   with   the   best   at   Greenwich   in England    and    in   Australia    he    was    presented    with    a    ‘blank canvas’ to implement his many ideas. Until   recently,   he   was   best,   and   to   many,   only   known   for   his work    with    the    Overland    Telegraph.        Though    this    was    a tremendous   feat   of   management,   its   two   years   are   but   a   short part    of    this    man’s    50    year    contribution    to    our    national heritage.      However,   lesser   known   is   the   fact   he   worked   with similar   bright   people   in   his   own   colony   and   the   others   on   the continent     to     establish     the     foundations     of     astronomy. meteorology,   electrical   engineering,   time   keeping,   surveying, telegraphy and an efficient postal system. He   was   also   influential   in   the   establishment   of   many   social and    intellectual    institutions    of    the    Colony    including    two    of South   Australia’s   universities,   its   Museum,   the   State   Library, the   Art   Gallery   and   two   churches.      His   work   extended   to   a national     level     and     it     influenced     some     key     issues     at Federation.   In    many    ways,    Todd    could    stand    with    us    as    one    of    our contemporaries    -    he    was    deeply    involved    in    building    and running    the    infrastructure    of    a    science    and    technology obsessed   society   like   ours.      He   would   also   be   a   familiar   figure to    the    legion    of    MBA’s    dotted    throughout    our    enterprises.      Todd’s   story   is   replete   with   examples   of   his   capacity   to   think strategically,   while   dealing   with   the   tactical   issues   of   running bureaucracies,      networking,      managing      resources      and providing     the     leadership     required     to     achieve     visionary outcomes   for   Australia.   Any   senior   civil   servant   who   survived the   administrations   of   22   Premiers   and   completed   50   years   of public   service   with   his   envious   reputation   fully   intact   could   run a Masters course or two in a modern business school. What   makes   Todd   really   endearing   to   his   researchers   and biographers   is   his   affability.   Though   it’s   tempting   to   dismiss reports     of     his     employees’     admiration     for     their     leader, attributing   this   to   the   rose   coloured   hue   of   fond   memories,   it is   impossible   to   ignore   the   many   flattering   reports   found   in news   articles   of   his   day.      There   is   no   doubt   that   the   Adelaide Newspaper    of    record,    the    South   Australian    Register,    was enthralled    with    the    man    in    his    latter    years    with    many favourable   reports   of   his   activities.   By   the   time   of   his   death   in late   January   1910,   he   was   a   national   treasure.   But   even   at that   final   point,   the   measure   of   the   man   was   his   request   that his   funeral   cortege   was   not   to   proceed   down   King   William Street    as    was    the    tradition,    since    this    would    disturb    the rhythm   of   the   city.      Instead,   mourners   proceeded   directly   to North   Road   Cemetery   with   minimal   disturbance   to   the   daily endeavours of his fellow citizens.
Consisting    of    members    from    six    science    and    technology socities   in   South Australia,   the   group   formed   in   2012   to   mount the   Sir   Charles   Todd   Symposium.      The   Symposium   marked   a gathering   of   Todd   family   descendants   in   Adeliade.   Covering astronomy,    meteorology,    electrical    engineering,    surveying, telecommunications     and     the     postal     system,     Symposium speakers   recognised   the   importance   of   Todd   in   establishing each     of     their     disciplines.          However,     no     one     had     a comprehensive   view   of   this   pioneer   and   the   Symposium   was the   first   known   attempt   to   bring   the   main   treads   of   the   story together. The   Symposium   attracted   a   sellout   audience   of   150   “Todd-o- philes”   and   was   a   great   success   for   speakers   and   audience alike.   Realising   that   there   was   an   even   more   comprehensive story    to    reveal,    the    speakers    continued    their    collaboration.      The   first   vehicle   for   this   work   was   the   creation   of   a   mobile   app aimed   at   the   general   public.   An   attendee   of   the   Symposium (Roger   Edmonds)   donated   his   expertise   in   online   education systems   to   support   the   work.      The   app   was   launched   in   May 2014   at   the   Royal   Institute   Australia   (RiAus),   fittingly   on   the 125    anniversary    of    Todd’s    accession    to    the    original    Royal Institute in England. The    third    major    endeavour    of    the    Research    Group    now occupies   it   with   the   ongoing   construction   of   an   online   research centre,     containing     copious     reference     material     for     those interested   in   the   professional   and   civic   life   of   Charles   Todd.   In the   fullness   of   time   this   centre   is   expected   to   contain   upwards of    3,000    documents.    All    documents    go    through    a    review process    to    ensure    their    veracity    before    inclusion    in    the database.        A    find-and-retrieve    tool    is    available    to    identify documents relevant to specified search criteria. In   parallel   with   the   online   research   presence,   this   website   has been   created   to   act   as   an   entry   point   to   all   the   work   of   the Committee members relating to Sir Charles Todd. DISCLAIMER The   full   story   of   Charles   Todd   has   is   a   story   waiting   to   be   told.     The   Research   Group   is   aware   that   they   will   not   see   its   full expanse,   thus,   this   website   and   its   links   do   not   detail   the   final and authoritative account.  
Charles Todd Research Group
Who was Charles Todd?