Thomas Elder - Philanthropy


Elder encouraged exploration, contributed largely to Warburton's 1873 expedition and Giles's in 1875, supplying camels in each case, which proved to be of the greatest value. He also contributed liberally to the cost of other explorations, and in no case sought or obtained any return for himself. On one occasion he offered £5000 on condition that a like sum was subscribed by the public to finance an expedition to the Southern Ocean, but the condition was not fulfilled.

He supported every kind of manly sport and his benefactions both private and public were widespread and almost without limit.

The Art Gallery of South Australia received a bequest of £25,000, and many of the finest pictures of the gallery were purchased from this fund.

In 1874 he gave £20,000 towards an endowment fund for the newly established University of Adelaide, and with later gifts and bequests the total amount received by this institution from him was just short of £100,000. The Elder Conservatorium of Music perpetuates his name.

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