Raoul Warocqué

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Raoul Warocqué

Raoul Warocqué (Brussels, 4 February 1870 – Brussels, 28 May 1917), was a Belgian industrialist of Wallonia. Raoul was the great-grandson of Nicolas Warocqué, the founder of the Warocqué-dynasty. His father was Arthur Warocqué, (1835 –1880),[1] a promotor of Belgian horticulture, after whom the arum Anthurium warocqueanum was named.[2]

He made the coal mines of Mariemont successful, and at 21 years of age had established a considerable fortune.

A careful investment policy made him the richest man in Belgium at the beginning of the 20th century. His industrial ventures were numerous, such as in the coal mines of Campine as well as in other industrial sectors including Clabecq, Gas and Electricity of Hainaut, railroads and coal mines in China, tobacco in Portugal, and others.

As an industrialist, he was a philanthropist and a paternalist. Raoul Warocqué was a freemason of the Grand Orient of Belgium, Belgian patriot and a royalist. At the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), he participated in the Jeune Garde libérale (Young Liberal Guard). In Mariemont and in Hainaut, he founded liberal organizations.

As a politician he was mayor of Morlanwelz and liberal deputy of Thuin. He supported bills favorable to the working class, while at the same time he was opposed to the right to strike. His most noted interventions relate to Belgian Congo, the military service, compulsory education and of course the coal mines. As a philanthropist, he created open dormitories in Brussels (1891), which distributed soup and of bread to the poor. He supported the ULB, the Ecole des Mines (E: School of the Mines), and founded the Institut commercial (E:Commercial Institute) (Warocqué) in Mons as well as the Athénée du Centre (Central Athenaeum) in Morlanwelz, an orphanage, a childcare facility, a maternity hospital, and so on.

He is also one of the financiers of the World Fair of Brussels (1897 and 1910) and of Charleroi (1911). He fell ill and died during World War I, in 1917.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arthur Warocqué (French)
  2. ^ James Herbert Veitch (2006 reprint). Hortus Veitchii. Caradoc Doy. p. 227. ISBN 0-9553515-0-2. 

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