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Charles Currey

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Charles Currey (1833-1878)

1879 Obituary [1]

MR. CHARLES CURREY, the only son of the late Rev. Charles Currey, Vicar of Heath, Derbyshire, was born at Borden, Hent, on the 9th of June, 1833.

He was educated at Marlborough College, and, on the death of his father in 1852, entered the service of the Great Northern Railway Company, then under the management of the late Mr. Seymour Clarke, Assoc. Inst. C.E. This service afforded an excellent practical training, and Mr. Currey, after passing through various grades, by his great ability and industry became superintendent of the line, and it was the general opinion of those best able to judge, that had, he remained in this country, a distinguished position among railway managers here, awaited him.

The Great Northern railway has furnished many of the most competent officers for the traffic service and general management of Indian railways, and, at the beginning of 1863, Mr. Curriy applied for the Indian agency (then vacant) of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company. He was unsuccessful in securing this post, the nomination of the Board of Directors for the appointment falling to the late Admiral, then Captain, Sherard Osborn, R.N.

Mr. Currey’s aptitude for a position of this nature was, however, recognised by the Government Director for Indian railways, Mr. Juland Danvers, who shortly afterwards recommended him to the Board of Directors of the Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway Company, as a suitable successor to their agent, then about to retire. Communications followed, which resulted in the Indian agency of that company being accepted by Mr. Currey, who proceeded to Bombay in April 1865. The Bombay, Baroda, and Central India railway had then been for only a short time opened to Bombay, the extension of the line from Surat southward to Bombay having been carried out after the section from Surat northward to Baroda and Ahmedabad was built.

In India Mr. Currey’s intelligence and power of application found plenty of opportunities, while his ability and capacity for good service were fully and constantly recognised, both by the Board of Directors whom he represented, and by the authorities of the Bombay Government with whom he was in continuous communication on behalf of the company. His cautious tact, sound judgment, and practical character led to his nomination by the Bombay Government as member of a Government Commission, appointed in 1872, to report on the subject of the connection of the port of Carwar with the interior, by railway passing over the Ghauts; and shortly afterwards, when, in 1873, the municipal constitution of Bombay was considerably changed, and the element of election by popular vote was introduced into the assemblies charged with the local government of the city, Mr. Currey received the compliment of being appointed by Government the first chairman of the then newly-created Town Council. In this position he did valuable service, and greatly facilitated, the regular and practical working of a new organisation intended to give the ratepayers and householders in the mixed community of Bombay increased control over their local municipal affairs.

Mr. Currey held this position until early in 1875, when in failing health he returned to England on furlough. While in England on this occasion he offered himself, with the full consent of the directors of his own company, as a candidate for the Secretaryship, then vacant, of the North Eastern Railway Company, and was one of four candidates selected as the best qualified out of a large number, from whom the final nomination was made.

But this nomination did not fall on Mr. Currey, and he consequently went back to India. His health, however, gradually gave way, and therefore when, on the death of Mr. J. A. Baynes, for many years secretary of the Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway Company in London, the Directors offered the post to Mr. Currey, he gladly accepted it, and left the tropics.

He had only held this last appointment for about two years and a half, when death removed him, on the 11th of September, 1878. Mr. Currey has left many friends, who appreciated his worth. On hearing of his death, the Bombay Government issued a Gazette Extraordinary, in which they acknowledged the good service he had rendered to his company, to the city of Bombay, and to Government, and, in doing so, they only expressed the feeling of all who knew him. Mr. Currey was a Justice of the Peace and a Fellow of the University of Bombay.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 7th of December, 1875.

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