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British Industrial History

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William Fyvie

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William Fyvie (c1859-1943)

1946 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM FYVIE was well known for many years in Australia as a prominent consulting engineer. He will be remembered for the long and valuable services he rendered to the Institution from 1929 to 1941 in the capacity of Honorary Correspondent and as a representative for Victoria on the Australian Advisory Committee.

He was born in Scotland and served his apprenticeship with Mr. William Paterson, engineer, in Aberdeenshire, and at the engine works of Messrs. Robert Napier and Sons, at Glasgow. During the latter period he attended classes at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College. After holding the position of chief engineer at the paper mills of Mr. John Collins, Bowling, for three years, he went to Australia where he spent the remainder of his long professional career, his first appointment being that of chief engineer to Messrs. Wood Brothers and Boyd, sugar refiners, North Queensland. He relinquished this position six years later and joined the Colonial Sugar Refinery Company in Melbourne, to whom, as chief engineer, he was responsible for the complete reorganization of the works.

In 1901 he retired and entered into private practice as a consulting engineer in Melbourne. Some four years later, owing to the rapid expansion of the business he took into partnership Mr. (now Sir Alexander) Stewart, with whom he was associated for twenty-four years. On the dissolution of the partnership Mr. Fyvie continued to practice on his own account until his death, which occurred on 19th February 1942 at the age of 83.

The advice of his firm was extensively sought with regard to numerous important industrial schemes, including the erection of the Ford Motor Car Works in Australia; the remodelling of the Australian Sugar Company's refineries in Queensland and of the powdered milk manufactures, besides the erection or reorganization of various textile concerns. In addition the firm's services were retained as agents by a large number of prominent engineering firms in Great Britain.

Mr. Fyvie was elected a Member of the Institution in 1908. For some years he was a member of council and a vice-president of the Victorian Institute of Engineers.

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