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Norman Alexander Gavin

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Norman Alexander Gavin (1870-1917)

1917 Obituary [1]

NORMAN ALEXANDER GAVIN was born at Wester Elchies Castle, Morayshire, Scotland, on 21st June 1870.

Having received his early education privately, he began an apprenticeship in October 1886 with Messrs. Ransomes and Rapier, Ipswich, and in March 1887 continued it with the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., Ltd., Glasgow, until 1892. During a part of this latter period be studied at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College.

He then worked for Messrs. Crossley Brothers, Ltd., Manchester, for a year as draughtsman, and proceeded in 1893 to the Transvaal, where he gained considerable experience in mining on the Rand, and completed several contracts on some of the principal mines near Johannesburg.

In 1900 he proceeded to the Beira and Mashonaland Railways, acting as engineer and contractor, and from the following year until 1904 he was engineer to the African Lakes Corporation, Ltd. During this period he undertook the transportation of a steamer from the Lower to the Upper Zambesi, a distance of 117 miles, by first taking it apart and then carrying it overland on a road specially made through unopened country and forests, and finally re-erected it. In recognition of his work he was appointed in 1904 Acting Superintendent of the Company's fleet and workshops.

In the following year he went as engineer to the Mopes Sugar Estates, with which Company he was connected for three years, the last six months as chief engineer.

During 1907-8 he was manager of the Ancobra River Transport Co., Ltd., W. Africa, and then became chief engineer to the Goldfields of Venezuela, Ltd., where he completed all the construction work, the designing and carrying out of improvements in the plant.

In 1912 he was appointed by Messrs. Lever Brothers, Ltd., as an engineer to one of their mills in the Belgian Congo, and in 1914 was promoted to chief mechanical engineer of the Associated Co.

Owing to the arduous nature of his work his health broke down, and he returned to England in 1916 an invalid.

His death took place at Llandrindod Wells, Central Wales, on 20th September 1917, at the age of forty-seven.

He was elected an Associate Member of this Institution in 1913.

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