The legacy of Charles Viertel

02 Aug, 2019

George Curphey, former Trustee and Chair of the Sylvia & Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation and current Trustee, Rex Freudenberg recently visited QEIF to share their memories of Charles Viertel as a friend and businessman, and how the relationship between the Foundation and QEIF has developed over the last 30 years.

Charles Viertel, was born in Queensland with a humble upbringing. An achiever since childhood, he received a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Queensland and became an Accountant and Company Director. Charles was an astute investor, and at the time of his passing in 1992, he was one of Queensland’s most successful share market investors. His wife, Sylvia had severely impaired vision and Charles also had eyesight problems.

After being treated by Dr John Ohlrich, the couple saw Professor Lawrence Hirst, former QEIF CEO at the Princess Alexandra Hospital where he was an Ophthalmologist. In 1986 the Chair of Ophthalmology was established at The University of Queensland with, amongst others, the generous support of Charles Viertel and Professor Hirst was appointed as Chair.

Charles established the Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation in his will and in addition, named three Queensland organisations as beneficiaries, including the Prevent Blindness Foundation (now Queensland Eye Institute Foundation).

QEIF CEO, Professor Mark Radford chatted to George and Rex about the impact achieved via the Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation funding, including the special grant which saw QEIF establish its state-of-the-art facilities at 140 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane. George, Rex and Mark were filmed whilst they were chatting, ensuring the legacy of Charles Viertel is kept alive and a legacy which is a vitally integral part of QEIF’s history and its purpose to save sight.