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John Murray (1873-1943)

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John Murray (1873-1943)

1944 Obituary [1]

JOHN MURRAY was well known in engineering circles in South Africa, where for many years he was prominent as a consulting engineer specializing in the erection of sugar factories and the marketing of sugar machinery. He was born in 1873 and received his technical education at the Barrow Island Technical School. On the completion of a five years' apprenticeship with the Naval Construction and Armaments Company, in 1894, he went to South Africa where he was employed as a fitter in the Natal Harbour Department.

Returning to this country in 1897, he served as marine engineer in various ships of the Clan Line and obtained his Board of Trade first-class Engineer's Certificate. In 1900 he again went to South Africa and for the following seven years was in the service of the Natal Harbour Department in the dual capacity of marine engineer on board dredgers, and mechanical engineer in the department's shore establishment. He was then appointed chief engineer to the Tongaat Sugar Company and carried out various improvements and additions to the plant.

Acting under the instructions of the Government of the Union he embarked in 1913 upon a tour of inspection of all cane sugar countries, in the course of which he visited various refineries and distilleries in Great Britain and numerous sugar estates as far apart as Cuba and the Hawaiian Islands. In the following year he became consulting engineer to the South African Sugar Refineries and the Tongaat Sugar Company. In 1917 he went into practice as a consulting engineer in Durban, and for twenty-five years was actively concerned with the execution of many important schemes throughout North and South Africa. In addition he held the position of agent for a number of British engineering firms. He also took charge of the construction and equipment of complete sugar factories, to his own design, in Southern Rhodesia and elsewhere. He was also responsible for the erection of the important power station at Colenso, Natal, which is a centre of electrical supply to the South African Railways.

Mr. Murray, whose death occurred on 29th January 1943, was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1912 and was transferred to Membership in 1916. He was a past-president of the Natal Institute of Engineers.

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