Charles Richmond John Glover


The Metropolitan Infectious Diseases Hospital was established on 7th October 1932 by the South Australian Government, to take over from the overcrowded Infectious Diseases Block at the Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace.  The new hospital was designed to care for and accommodate patients with infectious diseases such as polio, scarlet fever, measles, and diphtheria.

The new Hospital was an autonomous organisation controlled by its own Board of Management and its finance was maintained solely by the contributions of local councils. Charles Richmond John Glover, JP, served as Chairman in 1932.


The Right Hon. The Lord Mayor of Adelaide

Studio photograph of Charles Richmond John Glover, first Lord Mayor of Adelaide, 1919


Charles Richmond John Glover was born 3rd May 1870, in Richmond, Surrey, United Kingdom.  
At the time of his birth, his father, Charles, was 42 and his mother, Hannah, was 39.


He arrived in Australia in 1872 at the age of two with his parents, Mr Charles Peter Glover and Mrs Hannah Glover (nee Shortland).  He resided continuously in the State, with the exception of three visits to the England in 1891, 1904 and 1921.


Mr Glover was educated at Prince Alfred College from 1882-1887 inclusive. On leaving school he was apprenticed to the drug trade with Messer’s F.H. Faulding and Co.


C.R.J. Glover married Elizabeth Maud Hannam on 17th May 1900, at St John Church, Adelaide.

Photograph of the first Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Adelaide, Mr and Mrs C R J Glover
Sourced from City of Adelaide archives

Charles and Elizabeth had two children:

  • Thelma Violet Glover (born 19th February 1901, died 8th January 1978, aged 76 years)
  • Charles John Glover (born 30th August 1902, died 10th January 1969, aged 66 years) – he also served as a Board Member for the Infectious Diseases Hospital, in 1948.


Mr Glover worked as a pharmaceutical chemist for some years. Subsequently, for six years (from 1898 – 1904) he was a sharebroker on the Adelaide Stock Exchange.

In 1903 the Plough & Harrow Hotel (later the Richmond Hotel) was transferred from his father to him, and on his mother’s death in 1913 he inherited half her estate of £32,000.


Glover began his career with the Adelaide City Council in 1906. He was an alderman from 1909 to 1917, then was elected to the position of Mayor.  In 1919, the Mayors’ title became “The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Adelaide”.  

Oil painting of Charles Richmond John Glover, Mayor of Adelaide
1917-1919 and 1923-1925

Charles Richmond John Glover became the first person to have this title, a position he also held in 1923-25 and 1930-33, when he retired.  (The title of “The Right Honourable” is dropped when the person finishes their time in office).  At the time he served as Chairman on the Board of the Metropolitan Infectious Diseases Hospital in 1932, his full title was acknowledged on the Board Members plaque.

In September 1918, Charles Glover told the Adelaide City Council that “To hold the annual Mayor’s Ball while the War is still taking a heavy toll of so many of the best of our younger citizens would be inappropriate”.  Instead, he proposed to “promote the happiness and well-being of the children of the city”.  The council subsequently cancelled the ball and spent the money on a playground in the South Parklands, close to Gilles Street School.  Glover Playground was opened in December 1918.  Glover’s commitment to children’s playgrounds saw him build two more at his own expense in the 1920s, on Le Fevre Terrace, North Adelaide (also Glover Playground) and East Terrace, Adelaide.

He also instituted the War Memorial Drive on the northern bank of the Torrens Lake in 1919 and defrayed half of the cost of the first section.


Mr Glover was a devoted Freemason from 1893, and in 1909 he was chosen for the responsible position of Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge in South Australia, a position he held until his death in 1936.  He has a room named after him (the Glover Room) in the Freemasons Hall, Adelaide in recognition of his important role as a Grand Lodge member. 


After purchasing St Andrews in 1914, a spacious mansion in North Adelaide, Charles Glover developed his extensive, well catalogued library and ethnological collection.  He specialized in books on Australasia and the South Sea, largely acquired between 1912 and 1934, keeping thorough records of his purchases from Australian booksellers and on his overseas trips.  The greater part of his library, one of the major Australian collections, was sold at auction in Melbourne in 1970 ( the catalogue of sale from the auction in 1970 listed 2827 entries).  

Many of his Aboriginal artefacts were originally collected by Charles Chewings on his travels between Alice Springs and Newcastle Waters, and by George (Poddy) Aiston, a policeman and ethnographer, who held the position as a Sub- Protector of Aboriginals in South Australia.


Charles R.J. Glover published in the church paper ‘A brief history of the Church of St John the Evangelist, Adelaide, 1839-1909’

He also authored the book ‘A History of the First Fifty Years of Freemasonry in South Australia’, 1834-84 (written in 1916).


Mr Charles Richmond John Glover died of cancer on 27th October 1936, at the age of 66.  He is interred in the family plot in West Terrace Cemetery.


Caricature & article, Charles RJ Glover, News (Adelaide, SA), Monday 25 May 1931, page 6.
Caricature by John Henry Chinner in “Notable Citizens” series
“Saturday Journal”, Observer (Adelaide, SA: 1905 – 1931)
 Saturday 8 December 1923, page 54

More Information about the Metropolitan Infectious Diseases Hospital can be found here:

Written by Karyn Baker, CALHN Health Museum Volunteer