Charles Nathan (1870-1936)
Charles Nathan was a businessman and government adviser. Born in South Melbourne and raised in Christchurch, he came to Western Australia in 1894 after spending four years living in Sydney.
In 1901 Nathan joined the Fremantle branch of Charles Atkins & Co. Ltd, a South Australian company which supplied material and commodities for gold mining. He later bought the company and moved its head office to Perth where it diversified into a leading mercantile and engineering enterprise that handled tools, machinery, electrical household goods, radios, and automotive supplies.
In addition to running a successful business, Nathan participated in a broad range of social and public activities, often in a voluntary position. During World War I he was co-founder of the State branch of the Australian Red Cross Society. He also acted as an adviser to both State and Commonwealth Governments.
Active in the conservative National Party, Nathan held the Metropolitan suburban seat in the State Legislative Council between 1930 and 1934. During this time he was actively opposed to secession, being criticised by secessionists for protecting his own commercial interests. Nathan helped establish the Federal League in 1931 and as its president led the 'No' campaign at the 1933 referendum.
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