Charles Barraud was an extraordinary man.
Chemist, artist, businessman and a philanthropist, his family name is memorialised on a street in Lower Hutt.
Born in London, England, he was the 10th child of 12 and wanted to be a doctor but after his father died when he was young the family could not afford the training and he became a chemist instead.
After marrying and producing six sons and three daughters, the family emigrated to New Zealand arriving in Wellington in 1849. He set up a chemist shop on Lambton Quay.
He was a success, opening another in an octagonal building on Manners St called the Pill Box along with branches in Napier and Whanganui but by 1880 his shop was on the corner of Molesworth St and Hill St, Wellington.
By then he had set up a meeting that led to the formation of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand and became its first president. That led to the Pharmacy Board which, for the first time, registered pharmacists and set standards to protect public health and the reputations of chemists against fakers selling drugs.
When his Lambton Quay store was destroyed by fire in 1887 (for the second time) he retired and devoted his time to his other love, art.
He won recognition for his painting, working mainly in water colours but also in oils.
Many of his works are in the collection of Te Papa, including a painting of the White Terraces which were believed destroyed in the eruption of Mt Tarawera.
His works can still be bought today. In 1882 he was the principal founder of the Fine Arts Association - now the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts and due mainly to his efforts was the building of the first gallery, the forerunner of the National Art Gallery.
Along with that he was the chairman of the Wellington Sailors Rest and treasurer of the Wellington Hospital Convalescent Fund.
As if he didn’t have enough to do he was a churchwarden at St Paul’s and painted the illuminated texts that decorate the nave.
He is buried at the Bolton St Cemetery.