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Percy Allan

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Percy Allan (c1862-1930)

1930 Obituary[1]


We regret to note the sudden death, at the age of 68, on May 7 last, at his home at Darlinghurst, N.S.W., Australia, of Mr. Percy Allan, formerly Chief Engineer of the New South Wales Public Works Department. The son of the late Mr. Maxwell Rennie Allan, who was Principal Under-Secretary for New South Wales, and a grandson of Mr. David Allan, who came to Australia in 1808 and subsequently, from 1818 to 1823, served as Deputy Commissary-General, Mr. Percy Allan received his general education at Calder House School, Sydney, and entered upon his engineering career in 1878 when 16 years of age. In that year, he was appointed a cadet in the Public Works Department, and, after some three years of preliminary training, was given a post in the drawing office. In 1886 he was promoted to the rank of chief draughtsman, and continued in that capacity until 1893, when he was given charge of the designing of all highway bridges in New South Wales. During the next six years he was responsible for the design of over 450 bridges of all types, perhaps the most important of which were the Glebe Island and Pyrmont bridges, both in the neighbourhood of Sydney.

In 1900, Mr. Allan became surpervising engineer, and was subsequently appointed principal assistant engineer, for the rivers, water supply, and drainage section of the Public Works Department. While in this capacity he superintended the completion of the low-level sewerage system of Sydney. From 1904 to 1907, Mr. Allan was engaged on various works connected with water conservation and artesian-well boring, and in April, 1908, he was appointed district engineer at Newcastle and president of the Hunter District Water Supply and Sewerage Board. During his four years’ tenure of office at Newcastle, he organised and directed the operations for the deepening of the harbour bar from 19 ft. to 23 ft. 6 in. In October, 1912, Mr. Allan was recalled to Sydney to take up the appointment of assistant to the newly-created Director-General of Public Works in New South Wales. Some four years later, however, the position of Director-General was abolished, and Mr. Allan was appointed Chief Engineer for National and Local Government Works. During the next few years he again devoted his attention to bridge design, finally retiring in 1928. Mr. Allan became an associate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on May 20, 1890, and was transferred to full membership on December 19, 1900. He was awarded a Telford Premium for his paper, “ Port Improvements at Newcastle, New South Wales,” presented to the Institution on February 22, 1921. He was also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers."

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