Grafton Bridge: Charles Rosegger Agster

Charles (Karl) Rosegger Agster

(1877-1919) Chief Assistant Engineer the Ferro-Concrete Company of Australasia

Karl Rosegger Agster was a Hungarian Count who relocated to Auckland around 1905.

He was employed by the Auckland Education Board as the Instructor of Applied Mechanics and Science for Plumbers.

In 1905 an article appeared in the Auckland Star where he related the arrest of himself and fellow student collegues by Russian Authorities in Poland in the 1890s.

Sent to exile to Siberia, a party of twelve initially escaped. Only five survived an encounter with a Russian patrol.

Following a 3000 mile trek across the steps of Siberia, the Gobi Desert and Tibet they eventually reached the Chinese Empire.

From there Rosegger made his way to America via Saigon and Singapore.

Rosegger spent seven years in the United States studying Engineering. Around 1902 he relocated to Australia.

In 1905 Rosegger married Lucy Margaret Colman in Sydney, Australia.

Lucy Colman was the daughter of the late Thomas Colman of Waverley NSW, she was a trained nurse.

The same year, 1905, saw the Roseggers move to Auckland.

Rosegger was a member of the Illustrious Order of Oddfellows.

He is credited, along with Mr George George, with the design of the Seddon Memorial Technical College in Wellesley Street in 1906.

After George left Auckland in 1908 Rosegger apparently worked briefly with the Architect John Mitchell.

From 1908, Rosegger was employed as an Engineer by the Ferro-Concrete Company of Australasia who had won the tender for Grafton Bridge the previous year.

With the bankruptcy of the company in 1909 Rosegger returned to Australia.

Rosegger’s offical title was Assistant Chief Engineer but he is referred to in some newspaper acounts as “the Designer” while Moore is stated to be the Engineer.

After Rosegger left Auckland there was a public exchange of views in the Letters to the Editor’s column on his role by R.F.Moore and the Architect John Mitchell F.N.Z.I.A

Upon arriving in Australia Rosegger worked mostly on Railway construction for various State Government Agencies.

In 1918 it was reported that he was missing from his property in Gosford, New South Wales.

Following the outbreak of War Rosegger had offered himself for active service, but he was rejected as being medically unfit.

This preyed on his mind and apparently resulted in a nervous breakdown.

In 1919 he was charged with wilful desertion of his wife, although he died before any proceedings occured.

He died in Gosford, New South Wales on the 5th of November 1919 at the age of 41.

Marriage 21/6/1905

Lucy Margaret Coleman


Carmen Angela